Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made it clear that Mike McCarthy's job was safe following the team's playoff loss to the 49ers, but that statement apparently didn't apply to everyone on the coaching staff.
The team made a major move Thursday by parting ways with six assistant coaches: Offensive line coach Joe Philbin, running backs coach Skip Peete, senior defensive assistant George Edwards, assistant head coach Rob Davis, quality control/analytics coach Kyle Valero and assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett.
Of those six guys, Davis, Valero and Lett were fired while Philbin, Peete and Edwards simply didn't get their contracts renewed. The Cowboys' decision comes just four days after their season-ending playoff loss to the 49ers.
"We thank these men for their hard work, dedication and contributions to the Cowboys," McCarthy said in a statement (via NFL Network). "Each of them represented our team and organization at a high, professional level with class and commitment to making our team better. These were difficult decisions to make because of the great respect I have for each of them as a coach and person of character, combined with the experiences we've all gone through together. This is the hardest part of the business and we wish them nothing but the best."
One surprising name on the list was Edwards, if only because Cowboys star Micah Parsons seemed to be a huge fan of the defensive assistant.
All I can say is thank you! Not for taking a kid from Harrisburg but for raising me like I was one of your own! I wouldn’t have made so many leaps with out you! You will be missed! #love pic.twitter.com/oQLD1deUjd— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) January 26, 2023
Another surprising name on the list is Philbin. The former Dolphins head coach (2012-15) was hired by McCarthy in 2020 and had been the team's offensive line coach for the past three seasons. Philbin helped with the development of rookie Tyler Smith, who played both guard and tackle this year. Philbin also had to deal with a multitude of injuries in 2022, including the loss of Tyron Smith in August.
The loss of Davis also wasn't expected. The assistant head coach was tight with McCarthy and had been with the Cowboys coach dating back to their days together in Green Bay.
With McCarthy losing some of his favorite assistants, it seems very possible that these decisions didn't all come from him. Jerry Jones pretty much has final say on everything involving the Cowboys, and it wouldn't be surprising if he pushed for McCarthy to revamp his coaching staff heading into the 2023 season.