DALLAS — One of the most interesting hires of the Mike McCarthy era was that of Rob Davis.
In late January, there were reports that the Dallas Cowboys would be hiring the former Green Bay Packers director of player development as assistant head coach.
The hiring of Davis to any part of the coaching staff was curious given he was out of football since 2017 and also didn't spend time on the Packers' coaching staff.
After spending 11 seasons in Green Bay as their long snapper, Davis went to the front office, not the sidelines. Now, 12 years after his retirement from football, Davis is assistant head coach with McCarthy.
According to McCarthy, Davis will be the first "true assistant head coach" in his 13 seasons.
"It was always a titled coach that was part of a position or there were other reasons for that title," McCarthy told reporters.
In 2007, McCarthy's second season with the Packers, linebackers coach Winston Moss was given the assistant head coach title, which he carried with him until the end of the 2018 season. However, that may have been just a title; Davis will be more hands-on in his role and have a much broader influence than Moss did in Green Bay in the McCarthy era.
"The ability to have someone work hand-in-hand with you on pretty much everything that touches the football team," McCarthy said. "That’s really the best way I can describe his job description."
McCarthy is putting Davis in such a unique position because the former Super Bowl XLV winning coach believes "regularly available communication" with players is an area where he could have improved upon as a coach.
Said McCarthy: "Rob will take that to a whole different level as we form a partnership. He’s very much involved in everything I’m working on, outside of the offensive meetings that I attend. His eye is on training camp. Philosophical. Everything and anything that touches the team. He’s working as my right-hand man."
The hiring of Davis is another one of McCarthy's aims to improve upon his vulnerabilities as a coach. McCarthy spent his year "away from football" actually engrossed in the analytics side; determining how to integrate analytics into his coaching. In the same vein, McCarthy saw deficiencies in player communication and developing better cohesion and sought to fortify the vulnerability.
McCarthy is aiming to do something no coach has done before with a second franchise with a club that hasn't done it since 1996: win a Super Bowl. Rather than blaming situations out of his control or placing the onus on outside factors, McCarthy has taken ownership and tweaked his approach.
If McCarthy is on target with his own self-scouting, then the Cowboys will be the beneficiaries, and it could at least help them qualify for their first NFC Championship Game since 1996.
Davis is a former player and also has spent time in his "athlete afterlife" as a professional culture developer. There is no one better suited in McCarthy's circle to form such a partnership that will facilitate better player communication.
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