Will The Cowboy Coaching Staff Stay Intact?

Surprise, surprise, I know many of you will be saying here goes Robert Allen who is too close to the Oklahoma State football coaching staff, defending them and saying we need to love on them. Yes, I admit that I am maybe too close to the coaching staff, and yes, I am saying Cowboy fans need to appreciate and love on them.

Let's see, the Cowboy coaching staff has taken the program to three consecutive winning seasons, solid recruiting that is getting better and needs to on the defensive side, an exciting and spectacular wide open offense, and a return to the overall best special teams in the Big 12 and Division I. I see a lot of things I really like out of Gundy and this coaching staff. They are even opening up new recruiting territories and boosting their recruiting in state with OU having a BCS championship game appearance.

The bottom line is whether you love this staff, like them a lot, or feel some of them need to go, I believe you are going to get the latter and that will prove you better be careful what you wish for. The first place to look may be with Joe DeForest.

This is a resume year for DeForest as the Cowboys special teams overall were number one in Division I and obviously in the Big 12. The punt game, coverage and returns, were excellent. Kick returns were stout. The placement game was near perfect and the only average area was Kickoff coverage, but that was still above average.

Unless it is as a defensive coordinator, head coach or he receives a massive salary increase (tough for any school considering that he made $319,000 in 2008 at OSU) then DeForest is not going to another university. The NFL has long flirted with DeForest, and DeForest with the NFL.

Gundy highly values DeForest and made him his first hire four years ago when he was named head coach. He will fight hard to keep him. But the question remains which way will Gundy go with the defensive coordinator hire? How will that impact the situation? Big questions and the answer will come here in a week to 10 days.

DeForest's good friend, former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan is now going to have another NFL job if he wants it and he has wanted to hire DeForest for a long time. There are other NFL teams in the mix too, including an opening for special teams coordinator at Dallas. The NFL knows about DeForest and special teams coordinators are celebrated there at the same level as offense and defense. Keep an eye out on this.

At least for now, one loss has been averted or delayed. Coordinator of recruiting Robert Matthews, who is outstanding at what he does and will someday make a really good on the field coach, told Tim Beckman on Wednesday that he has decided to stay in Stillwater for now. I don't know if Gundy made a case for that but I know how much Gundy values Matthews, and I know that others out there have been watching and Matthews will have other opportunities.

Offensively, the only coach I really feel is locked in is run game coordinator and offensive line coach Joe Wickline with his five-year deal and salary. Wickline is treated that way because he deserves it and he has bought land and decided to make Stillwater home. It would be tough for anybody to pry him away. Wickline is a quality guy that is really good at what he does. As far as his recruiting abilities, just remember that Kendall Hunter and Dez Bryant were his recruits in East Texas.

Now mark my words, offensive co-coordinators Gunter Brewer and Trooper Taylor and former Cowboys and now standout assistants Curtis Luper and Doug Meacham are solid with the head coach and the program. But there are a lot of schools that would like the results OSU is getting on offense and may want to tap into the think tank also known as the OSU offensive staff room.

Brewer is well known in college football and has expanded his opportunities with his experience in Stillwater. Taylor is highly regarded because of his high energy, excellent relationships, and recruiting prowess. He too has expanded his horizons.

Luper is very popular, and like Taylor, will benefit from the intense scrutiny and pressure to give standout African-American coaches opportunities to become a head coach or coordinator.

Meacham is an excellent recruiter that has coordinator experience. Meacham longs to call plays. He is happy at Oklahoma State but people outside the program know him and his abilities. He also has friends in the NFL which means the people at that level know how he can coach, and Brandon Pettigrew makes for a very strong resume for a tight ends coach.

Defensively, I think Glenn Spencer and Jason Jones are both very good coaches and recruiters, and Gundy will want to keep them on board as he does Joe DeForest. Every coach is always on the look out, that is the nature of this business. Now we'll need to see what happens in the next few weeks.

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