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Dallas Cowboys release first assistant coach following 2013 season

Dallas Cowboys part ways with assistant coach Chris Boniol
Dallas Cowboys part ways with assistant coach Chris Boniol
Photo by Handout/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys released their first assistant coach after their 2013 season ended in disappointment. Strangely, it was an assistant on the team's strongest area in 2013 - the special teams. According to ESPN on Jan. 8, the Cowboys have let assistant special-teams coach Chris Boniol go.

In 2012, the Cowboys fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan despite the offense being the problem all season. In 2013, the defense was the worst in the NFL, and the second worst in NFL history, and Dallas started their changes by releasing a special teams coach.

Boniol, a former Dallas kicker himself on the 1995 Super Bowl team, coached a unit that finished fourth in the NFL in field goal percentage. Dallas' special teams also ranked fourth in the NFL in kick return yardage and fifth in punt return yardage. Special teams was clearly the shining area on the team in 2013.

Bonoil said that he was happy to get the chance to coach with the Dallas Cowboys and for the opportunity the team gave him. He joined up with Dallas in 2010. His contract expired at the end of this season and Dallas agreed to part ways with him.

Chris Boniol will attend the Senior Bowl and he hopes to remain in the NFL as a coach somewhere. All Cowboys coaches are off this week, and if this season is similar to last season, Jerry Jones made his major decisions two weeks after the regular season ended, which is next week.

In 2012, the Cowboys fired Ryan and running backs coach Skip Peete. On the bubble this year is defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan.

The Cowboys also might lose defensive coach Rod Marinelli, who has a chance to re-join Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay. There is also the chance that Marinelli could take more power in the Dallas Cowboys' defense next year to ease Kiffin out of the job.