Jim Tomsula, 51, is the new defensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Tomsula is from Homestead, Pennsylvania and has been coaching football since 1989.
Tomsula began his coaching career as the strength and conditioning coach at Catawba college in 1989. That would be the first of two stints at his alma mater. During his second stint, he was the defensive line coach as well as the strength and conditioning coach from 1997-2005. Tomsula was inducted into the Catawba College Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 for his role in winning four South Atlantic Conference Championships.
Between those two stints, he went to Woodland Hills HS (1990) to be the defensive line coach and was an assistant coach at Charleston Southern (1992-1995).
He spent several years in NFL Europe as defensive line coach and defensive coordinator.
Since 2006, Tomsula has been coaching for an NFL team every year except the 2016 season after he was fired by the San Francisco 49ers after going 5-11 as head coach. During his time as head coach, he added social media breaks for players during meetings, shorter and easier practices and more days off. That resulted in one of the worst offenses in 49ers history.
He spent the last three seasons as defensive line coach of the Washington Redskins.
While speaking with the media on Thursday, Tomsula cited his relationship with Mike McCarthy as the biggest reason for him being the Cowboys.
He was asked about his familiarity with Cowboys defensive players and he said at this point, he does not have an in depth feel for the players but did come away impressed from a 10 minute conversation he had with Demarcus Lawrence. They didn’t talk football, but about his family, his wife and kids.
Under the former defensive coaching staff, the Cowboys had a defensive line rotation. Tomsula has a different view. He will only play players who can play. In San Fran, he told his defensive linemen, “if you tap your helmet, I’m turning my head.”
Tomsula said that “pursuit” is the biggest thing he wants his defense to focus on and turnovers will come with that. He also stressed the importance of team and being able to trust one another on and off the field.
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