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Steelers Rumors: Cowboys' Joe Whitt Jr. Among Top Targets to Replace DC Keith Butler

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 27, 2022

AP Photo

Dallas Cowboys secondary coach Joe Whitt Jr., New Orleans Saints secondary coach Kris Richard and New York Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham are among the outside candidates to be the Pittsburgh Steelers' next defensive coordinator.

Gary Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that secondary coach Teryl Austin remains the overwhelming favorite for the position, but head coach Mike Tomlin has been interviewing outside candidates as a contingency plan. 

Keith Butler retired from his post as defensive coordinator Saturday. 

Whitt served as the secondary coach under defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in Dallas this season after following the former Atlanta Falcons head coach after his dismissal. Going to Pittsburgh would be Whitt's fifth job in as many offseasons, as he previously coached for the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns and Falcons before taking up his role with the Cowboys.

Whitt was with the Packers for 11 seasons before his recent nomadic resume.

Richard and Graham face uncertain futures following the departures of their respective head coaches. Sean Payton's resignation in New Orleans leaves staff jobs there up in the air, and Graham seems certain to be let go by the Giants once they hire a new head coach.

Richard joined the Saints in 2021 after previously working in Whitt's current job. He was also the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator from 2015 to 2017.

Graham was Joe Judge's assistant head coach and defensive coordinator the past two seasons in New York. 

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