With the retention of both Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn as coordinators and the decision to stick with Mike McCarthy as head coach for 2022, along with valuable assistants like Joe Whitt Jr. staying put after interviewing with several teams (at least for now), the coaching staff for the Dallas Cowboys remained intact this offseason. That was until the Minnesota Vikings hired Matt Daniels to be their special teams coordinator under newly-hired head coach Kevin O'Connell -- Daniels having served as assistant special teams coordinator in Dallas (and, previously, in Los Angeles) under John "Bones" Fassel.
That created a need in that role that the Cowboys are hoping to fill with Tennessee State linebackers coach Joe Bowden, sources confirming to CBS Sports that the organization is closing in on trying to add Bowden to their staff with a strong lean toward being Daniels successor under Fassel. The deal isn't done quite yet, but discussions are well-advanced, sources say, and things could be finalized soon -- if the Cowboys have their way.
Bowden, 51, is no stranger to the Cowboys. A former fifth-round pick at linebacker, he spent the 2000 season on the team's roster after they acquired him in free agency to help with depth at the position, after eight seasons spent with the Houston Oilers turned Tennessee Titans. At the time, he played backup in a rotation that included Dexter Coakley and Darren Hambrick, being active in all 16 games that season under head coach Dave Campo.
It would ultimately be the last NFL team Bowden would suit up for before starting his coaching career in 2006, joining Central Oklahoma as their secondary coach through the 2008 season. He'd make his jump to NFL coaching by way of the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams in 2012 as assistant linebackers coach, then gaining more experience with the San Francisco 49ers before returning to the collegiate ranks as defensive coordinator and LBs coach for Missouri Baptist in 2017; and that's where he remained until Tennessee State came calling in 2021.
The Cowboys apparently never deleted his phone number, or tracked down the new one, and are hoping he'll return 22 years later to help Fassel coach their special teams unit after losing Daniels to Minnesota, and to undoubtedly also contribute to a linebackers coaching staff led by Scott McCurley with a sizable helping hand from senior defensive assistant George Edwards.