Dallas Cowboys: Mike Tomlin

NFLN survey/popular coach: Cowboys

January, 28, 2014
Jan 28
IRVING, Texas -- In the latest installment of the NFL Nation survey, coaches enter the mix.

The 320 players asked could not pick their own head coach, so after the final vote was tallied, 28 head coaches received at least one vote. One defensive coordinator received two votes. Who? Former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips.

Jason Garrett received one vote. Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was the winner with 77 votes.

Locally, the Cowboys’ vote was split between four coaches with two votes apiece. And all four were coaching in the conference championship games. Carroll, John Fox, Bill Belichick and Jim Harbaugh each received two votes among the Cowboys polled.

Mike Tomlin and Tom Coughlin received one vote each.

What does it say? The reputation that others might have of these guys as either tough guys or player coaches doesn’t matter. Winning matters. All of them have coached (or in Carroll’s case will coach) in a Super Bowl. Belichick, Coughlin and Tomlin have Super Bowl rings.

For Garrett to get more votes, he will need to win.

Mike Tomlin is big fan of Monte Kiffin

March, 19, 2013
PHOENIX -- If there's anybody who believes in new Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, it's Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins joins Galloway & Company to discuss the latest from the NFL owners meetings, Tony Romo's contract situation and much more.

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Tomlin worked with Kiffin and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli in Tampa Bay.

"Monte is going to be great in particular, Monte in a combination with Rod, that's a lethal combination," said Tomlin, who worked with the duo from 2001 to 2005 as a defensive backs coach. "These guys are football purists. I imagine they're somewhere in the bowels of that facility right now, man, with trash cans talking about how to defend the A, B, C gap.

"I grew up professionally with those guys. They're special people. I wish them nothing but the best. I acknowledge if you're competing against them, you got your hands full for a lot of reasons. I've been blessed to be associated with those guys."

Kiffin encountered some lean years in the college game following his son, Lane, especially last season at USC. He resigned after the season and was open to a return to the NFL.

In some ways, Monte Kiffin might be back in his comfort zone in the NFL instead of college.

"I don't think Monte is ever out of his comfort zone," Tomlin joked. "If you asked me that when he was in L.A., he's in his comfort zone; if they're snapping a ball and he's got 11 to defend it, he's in his comfort zone."

Kiffin is changing the Cowboys' defense from a 3-4 alignment to a 4-3. The Cowboys believe they have the personnel to pull this off. They will move outside linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer to defensive end and move defensive end Jason Hatcher to defensive tackle alongside Jay Ratliff.

The linebackers remain the same in Sean Lee (middle) and Bruce Carter (weak side), but the strongside linebacker spot has to be filled. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones has pegged Kyle Wilber in that spot.

Tomlin doesn't believe the switch will be a problem for Kiffin and Marinelli.

"How those guys work, I really think it's insignificant when you talk about whether or not you got four guys with their hand on the ground or three guys with their hand on the ground," Tomlin said. "One thing that they're going to do is they're going to be fundamentally sound, their going to play responsible football and they're going to play extremely hard with the 11 men that they have. I look forward to watching their tape. I think there's a lot of people in the NFL looking forward to watching their tape. Those are the type of guys, when they put tape out there, it's food for all of us. It's going to be fun."

What Jason Garrett can learn from Tomlin

February, 2, 2011
When Jason Garrett became the interim coach with the Cowboys this season he needed to change the culture. He made players wear full pads on Wednesdays, shoulder pads on Thursday and shells on Friday.

He instituted a dress code, placed digital clocks around the locker room to make sure players arrived to meetings on time.

And once Garrett was hired as the head coach on full-time basis, he said he wants training camp to be physical and is increasing the accountabilty around Valley Ranch.

It remains to be seen if any of the veteran players on the Cowboys will embrace Garrett, once the 2011 season begins with its minicamps and organized team activities.

The thought of how Garrett will conduct himself in his first season on the job in 2011 brought to mind how Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin conducted business his first year.

"When he first got there, he was very militant," wide receiver Hines Ward said of Tomlin, who is going to coach in his second Super Bowl on Sunday vs. the Green Bay Packers. "I remember making guys wear certain things. There were some veteran guys that challenged his authority, and they’re no longer here. At the same time, the guys that he kept, we bought into his belief and his system. They don’t give a coaching rule or a coaching book on how to be a head coach."

Garrett had plenty of success in 2010, going 5-3, with three road wins. But Garrett is also part of the staff that finished 6-10 for the 2010 season.

He will have four years to fix this mess.

One thing Garrett can learn from Tomlin is the ability to adjust. It seemed Garrett has done that somewhat as the 2010 season wore on he relaxed the requirment of players wearing full pads on Wednesday's as the season progressed.

How Garrett reacts to his veteran players, many who have strong voices, when things get tough will be interesting. Last season, the veteran players were seeking any help to change the season around. Many players brought into what Garrett was trying to do.

The same happened with Tomlin with the Steelers.

"The first year, I remember two-a-days, we were full pads the whole time in training camp, and by the time that we made it to the playoff game against Jacksonville, we were a beat-up team," Ward said. "Then he adjusted on the run. Once I think he saw the type of players he had on his team on a day-to-day basis and knows how we practice, how we get through the week of preparation, he started to cut back a little bit. He’s not going to drive everybody into the ground."

The Steelers have officially arrived

January, 31, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially touched down in the Lone Star State. And they are not heading home until the conclusion of Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6 against the Green Bay Packers.

Pittsburgh's team plane arrived at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport at approximately 11:30 p.m. CT Monday. The Steelers then loaded several buses, along with a police motorcade, on their way to their headquarters in Fort Worth.