Frisco, Texas — Owner Jerry Jones didn’t sound like a man who feels the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff needs a major turnover.
Jones voiced his support of coach Jason Garrett and also backed offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, returning for the 2018 season during his radio show Tuesday.
Jones said he wanted Linehan, who formerly ran the Lions offense, and Marinelli, a former Lions head coach, to return.
Linehan has been the coach under most scrutiny after the offense took a step back this season. The Cowboys had the 14th-ranked offense — both in yards and scoring — compared to the fifth-ranked in each category a season ago.
But the defense has consistently improved under Marinelli since he became defensive coordinator in 2014. They had the 19th-ranked defense in 2014; the 17th in 2015; the 14th in 2016; and finished eighth this season. This season marked the first time the Cowboys have had a top-10 defense since 2009.
Marinelli, 68, expressed interest in coaching what would be his 45th year in the game next season, and his players defended his scheme and coaching after the season. Linebacker Sean Lee referred to him as a “Hall of Fame coach.”
The same can be said for Linehan, who had the full support of quarterback Dak Prescott and others after the finale.
Lewis gets 2-year deal
Coach Marvin Lewis got a two-year contract extension Tuesday, providing more chances to try to get the Cincinnati Bengals that playoff victory that has eluded him for 15 seasons.
The agreement came after a second straight losing season and two days of discussions with owner Mike Brown. Lewis has the second-longest active coaching tenure in the NFL, behind Bill Belichick’s 18 seasons with New England.
QB Palmer retires
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is retiring after 15 NFL seasons, calling his long professional career “the most incredible experience of my life.”
Palmer, who turned 38 last week, made the announcement in an open letter released Tuesday by the Cardinals. Palmer missed the last nine games of what would be his final season with a broken left arm.
The statement came one day after Cardinals coach announced his retirement.
Gruden has Raiders hopes
Jon Gruden hopes he’s a candidate to return for a second stint as coach of the Oakland Raiders, and believes a final decision will be made next week.
Gruden made his most specific comments about the opening in Oakland in an interview Tuesday with the Bay Area News Group. The Raiders fired coach Jack Del Rio on Sunday following a disappointing six-win season.
Bills fans boost Dalton fund
Giddy Buffalo fans are making a surge in donations to Andy Dalton’s foundation, their way of thanking the Bengals quarterback for his role in the Bills’ long-awaited playoff appearance.
Dalton’s foundation reported Tuesday it has received more than $100,000 in donations since the Bengals beat the Ravens 31-27 on Sunday. Dalton threw a 49-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left to eliminate the Ravens and open a spot for the Bills.
No. 6 Atlanta at No. 3 L.A. Rams, Saturday, 8:15 p.m. (NBC)
No. 5 Carolina at No. 4 New Orleans, Sunday, 4:40 p.m. (FOX)
Saturday, Jan. 13
New Orleans or Carolina or Atlanta at No. 1 Philadelphia, 4:35 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday, Jan. 14
L.A. Rams or New Orleans or Carolina at No. 2 Minnesota, 4:40 p.m. (FOX)
No. 6 Buffalo at No. 3 Jacksonville, Sunday, 1 p.m. (CBS)
No. 5 Tennessee at No. 4 Kansas City, Saturday, 4:20 p.m. (ESPN)
Saturday, Jan. 13
Kansas City or Tennessee or Buffalo at No. 1 New England, 8:15 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, Jan. 14
Jacksonville or Kansas City or Tennessee at No. 2 Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (CBS)