Despite going through all of last week, their bye week, without making a move, the Dallas Cowboys announced on Monday that they’ve fired offensive line coach Paul Alexander, who was just seven games into his tenure with the team.
Assistant offensive line coach Marc Colombo was promoted. Alexander must not have been a good fit; it’s the first time since Jason Garrett took over as head coach in 2010 that he has fired an assistant during the season according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
‘We felt this move would serve the best interests of our team’
Alexander told reporters earlier this year that he felt like he’d gone to heaven getting the opportunity to coach the Cowboys’ line, which has been one of the best in the NFL for a few years. But his methods, apparently, weren’t working.
“While approaching the midpoint of the season, and going through an overall evaluation of our entire operation during the bye week, we felt that this move would serve the best interests of our team moving forward,” Garrett said in a statement.
“We have great respect and admiration for Paul and what he has accomplished in a very successful career in the NFL.”
Illness led to change, Prescott not well-protected
The Cowboys began the regular season with distressing news, as four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, which attacks the nervous system. He is likely out the entire season.
But despite star power at other spots on the line, including tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, the offensive line has struggled.
Quarterback Dak Prescott has been sacked 23 times through seven games, which translates to 53 sacks over the course of a full season.
Colombo promoted, Houck brought aboard
Colombo spent the bulk of his 11-year playing career with the Cowboys, but also played for the Bears, who drafted him 29th overall in 2002, and with the Dolphins, with whom he spent his final season in 2011.
After retiring as a Cowboy in 2012, Colombo returned to the franchise in 2014 in the personnel department; he joined the coaching staff a year later. He was named assistant offensive line coach in 2016.
The Cowboys have also re-hired 75-year-old longtime O-line coach Hudson Houck to serve as an adviser. Houck retired in 2011 after nearly 40 years as a line coach with two colleges and five NFL teams, including two stints with the Cowboys.
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