Mike Nolan's stint as the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys was so disastrous, it was limited to only one season.
Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy elected not to bring back the veteran assistant for a second season in 2021. The record shows it was a wise decision, as the team's defense surrendered 473 points (the most in franchise history), while finishing near the bottom in run defense and points allowed.
As part of its postseason awards feature, Football Outsiders compiled a list of the worst head coaches and coordinators in the league for its Keep Choppin' Game Film Award. When the reader voting was tabulated, the final results showed Nolan as the league's worst assistant in 2020.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase (58.9 percent) and Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia (26.8 percent) were the two leading vote getters, but Nolan was in third at 4.5 percent. He edged out Los Angeles Chargers special teams coordinator George Stewart for the "honor" of most ineffective assistant.
Not surprisingly, Gase, Patricia and Nolan were all fired, and Stewart's role was changed under new Chargers head coach Brandon Staley.
The 2020 Cowboys defense was one of the worst units, if not the worst in team history. They have nowhere to go but up in 2021.
If they can't do that, they won't be able to blame Mike Nolan anymore.