Sal Monella

Man among boys
Asante Samuel worked with quite a few defensive coordinators during his 11-year NFL career. When asked on Twitter who was the worst coordinator he ever played for, Samuel made a revelation that might concern some Dallas Cowboys fans.

Samuel shared that Mike Nolan, who was hired by head coach Mike McCarthy to coach the Cowboys’ defense this season, is the worst defensive mind he’s been around in his NFL career.

Nolan served as the defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons from 2012-’14, when Samuel was nearing the end of his NFL career. During their time together in Atlanta, the Falcons’ defense ranked 24th in yards allowed in 2012 and 27th in 2013. After Samuel retired, Atlanta’s defense ranked 32nd in total yards allowed and the entire coaching staff was let go.

Of course, Samuel notes that Nolan’s horrible defense didn’t impact him. While he played into his 30s, he still racked up five interceptions and 17 pass deflections in the 2012 season. But he showed more signs of decline the following season with just four deflections.

The Cowboys will certainly need to hope Nolan proves Samuel’s words wrong. The return of Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper ensures that one of the NFL’s best offenses will maintain its dominance. However, Dallas lost shutdown corner Byron Jones this offseason and that will be a big blow for this unit.

If Nolan’s defense can’t deliver and the team falls short of expectations, the finger could quickly be pointed toward Nolan.


Quality Starter
I was glad to be rid of Marinelli and sidekick but the Nolan hire didn't thrill me. The signing of a bunch of aging vets on defense is a wait and see thing for me. Hope it works out but I am not counting on it.


Great article that skates over the fact the 2012 Falcons were ranked 5th in pts allowed and 5th in turnovers forced with 35. Or that the Falcons won 13 games.

Other than John Abraham in 2012, there wasnt much talent on those Falcons defenses and the team itself was bad in 13 and 14. The defensive players on those two teams were a who's who of nobodies, has been's or never will be's.
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