One of the biggest surprises of the offseason thus far was the New York Giants' decision to part ways with long-time tight end coach Mike Pope — a man who is widely respect around the league and considered to be the very best in the game. What shouldn't come as a surprise is how desirable Pope is on the open market. And teams in need of a new tight end coach, like the Dallas Cowboys who recently lost Wes Phillips to the Washington Redskins, are expected to come calling.
In fact, ESPN's Calvin Watkins reports that the Cowboys are already interested and are eyeing Pope to join Jason Garrett's staff.
Pope, who is the only coach to have his name inscribed on all four of the Giants' Super Bowl trophies, does have a bit of a history with Garrett. Both were with the Giants from 2000-2003 when Pope was coaching tight ends and Garrett was the back-up quarterback behind Kerry Collins (even eventual third string behind Jesse Palmer).
Besides the league-wide belief that Pope is the best in the game at what he does, Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett & Co. have also seen firsthand for years what he's capable of doing with tight ends. Not only have the Cowboys seen Pope mold and develop tight ends like Mark Bavaro, Jeremy Shockey, Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard, but they also watched him turn Martellus Bennett into a quality all-around player after they failed in his early development.
Should Pope end up in Dallas with Jason Witten, who is already a Giants killer, and other young talent at the tight end position, the decision to let him walk could become even more disastrous for New York.
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