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Cowboys like Nolan for DC, but Bowles most likely to land job

Indications are that Todd Bowles will be the Dallas Cowboys' next defensive coordinator, but he isn't coach Jason Garrett's first choice.

Mike Nolan is an experienced NFL defensive coordinator, holding the job with the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins.
Mike Nolan is an experienced NFL defensive coordinator, holding the job with the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins. (Tony Avelar/Associated Press)

League sources say Bowles' Miami Dolphins counterpart, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, is the No. 1 target, but he's unlikely to go to Dallas because he's under contract and it's a lateral move.

Bowles, the Dolphins' assistant head coach and secondary coach, interviewed Wednesday for the Cowboys' head-coaching job that went to Garrett. Bowles said then that he was focused on that job, not defensive coordinator.

"We'll see what happens there," said Bowles, who once coached in Dallas. "If that doesn't work out, hopefully something else comes up."

What came up were the defensive coordinator duties, which former Wade Phillips did for two seasons while also serving as head coach. Phillips was fired after a 1-7 start this season.

Bowles was an NFL safety from 1986 to 1993, mostly with the Washington Redskins. He returned to the NFL as a coach in 2000 with the New York Jets and worked for the Cleveland Browns before joining the Cowboys as secondary coach under Bill Parcells.

Bowles remained in Dallas for Phillips' first season, then was part of an exodus of Cowboys personnel who went to the Dolphins in 2008.

Miami's staff just went through a tumultous week, with top team officials interviewing Stanford's Jim Harbaugh for the head-coaching job even though Tony Sparano remained under contract. Harbaugh took the San Francisco 49ers' head-coaching job instead, and the Dolphins tried to make good with Sparano on Saturday by extending his contract through 2013.

Nolan joined the Dolphins last offseason after one season as the Denver Broncos' defensive coordinator. He also ran defenses for the New York Giants (1993-96), Redskins (1997-99), Jets (2000) and Baltimore Ravens (2002-04).

Nolan became the 49ers' head coach in 2005, going 18-37 before he was fired midway through the 2008 season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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