After all sorts of wild speculation the evening the Dallas Cowboys' season ended a couple of weeks ago, it turns out defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was not only not leaving Dallas to reunite with ol' buddy Lovie Smith, but he never even considered it.
Turns out, Marinelli was pretty darn happy with the Cowboys in his first season as the defensive coordinator, where he worked a minor miracle by putting a capable defense on the field after the 2013 Cowboys owned the league's worst defense by a lot.
“I just love it here,” Marinelli told ESPN.com as he checked into his hotel at the Pro Bowl on Tuesday. “I love football and this place, it just reeks with tradition and winning and wanting to win, wanting to be the very, very best. I think that’s as exciting as anything.”
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After a historically woeful year defensively under Monte Kiffin in 2013, Marinelli made the Cowboys a respectable unit in 2014 and had them playing at their best late in the season. When all was said and done, the Cowboys ranked 19th in yards per game, 15th in points and second in takeaways with 31, a huge number that told the story of their success.
“I think we laid really a strong foundation of what we want in terms of how hard we want to play, the discipline of the system, physical and takeaways,” Marinelli said.