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Cowboys: Former defensive coordinator Mike Nolan voted worst assistant in 2020


The Cowboys were oh so right to get rid of Mike Nolan.

Despite his close affiliation with Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, former defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was so bad he couldn’t hold onto his gig in Dallas. He was simply unfathomably bad.

The Cowboys went from the 11th-ranked defense in 2020, to near the bottom of the league under Nolan. In fact, they were fifth-worst in the NFL. While some of that can be blamed on the front office’s ineptitude and injuries, the majority of it has to go on Nolan, the man in charge, for failing to properly implement his scheme.

In a poll by Football Outsiders, Mike Nolan was voted among the worst coaches in football. In fact, he was the top assistant on said list.

The poll was voted on by fans, so it should come as no surprise that Nolan was thrown under the bus.

Matt Patricia and Adam Gase, both fired from their respective head coaching gigs, topped the list of worst coaches by a wide margin. Nolan was third overall with over 4% of the vote.

As previously mentioned, it’s unfair to pile all the blame on Nolan for the Cowboys defensive struggles. In the end, the players shoulder the blame for their play on the field, but it’s the coach’s job to ensure they improve on a week-to-week basis. That didn’t occur in Dallas, which is why Nolan was shown the door.

McCarthy is not a defensive coach by trade, which is why the defensive coordinator hire in Dallas is among the most important he made this offseason. Dan Quinn, for better or worse, will have a tremendous impact on the Cowboys’ success going forward.



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