Who Will Jerry Jones Hire As Next Dallas Cowboys Coach?
Ezekiel Elliott Played For Urban Meyer Before
ESPN Commentators Predict Firing of Cowboys Head Coach
One of the hottest topics on ESPN the past few weeks has been the expected firing of Dallas Cowboys head football coach Jason Garrett. Now in his tenth year at the helm of "America's Team", he has failed to win a Super Bowl. Perhaps even worse he's never led the team to qualify to play in the ultimate game.
As the team's current losing streak continues, the discussion becomes even hotter. It's as certain as a Nostradamus prophecy that Garrett will be fired. Steven A. Smith and Max Kellerman on ESPN's popular show First Take talk as if it's not a matter of "if he will be fired", but "when he will be fired." The discussion has moved on to who Garret's replacement will be.
Troy Aikman Criticizes Jason Garrett
Even former Cowboy Troy Aikman has criticized his friend Jason Garrett in recent weeks. As a commentator for Fox Sports, he referred to the fact the Cowboys defense doesn't make any changes to confuse opposing quarterbacks. He said, "It must be nice for inexperienced quarterbacks to not have to adjust to changes in the Dallas defense." In another loss, Aikman seccond guessed Garrett's decision to go for a touchdown instead of kicking a certain field goal. When Aikman talks, Jones listens.
Aikman, who won the last three Super Bowls for the Cowboys in the early 1990s, has been selected to the NFL Hall of Fame. His opinion is respected.
Will Cain Criticizes Jason Garrett
Popular ESPN host Will Cain has also criticized Garrett. In one particular show he said, "The Cowboys need a head coach who does more than just hold up one or two fingers after a touchdown." He was referring to the fact a head coach in the NFL always instructs his team to go for either one or two extra points after they score a touchdown. The gist of Cain's remark seem to be that Garrret doesn't do enough. On another occasion, Garrett was referrred to as the "ginger clapper." He is often seen clapping his hands after good and bad plays alike.
Why Is Garrett Still Coach After Decade?
One question is why is Garrett still around after a decade? Even Jerry Jones commented this week that no other head coach has ever stayed with the same team for ten years without winning a Super Bowl. Others have speculated Jones simply likes the coach and enjoys having him as a friend. Others have said Jones doesn't feel threatened by Garrrett who doesn't steal the spotlight from his boss.
Jerry Jones Praises Two College Coaches
While Jones has made it clear he is looking at other coaches if Garrett doesn't win a Super Bowl this year, he hasn't yet specified an heir apparent. He did praise two college coaches after the recent Big 12 championship game in his stadium.
Jones was asked during a radio interview on station 105.3 The Fan, if he enjoyed seeing Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma get "a win at AT&T Stadium last weekend?"
Jones replied, "I'm impressed with him. But boy, I'm impressed with Baylor's coach too. Those were two outstanding coaches at the stadium this weekend...They've done great jobs....That was a great chance to see a couple great coaches out there."
However, Jones went on to say that just because they are great college coaches doesn't mean they'll have thee same success in the NFL.
Matt Rhule and Lincoln Riley Top Candidates?
The fact Jones dropped the names of Baylor coach Matt Rhule and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley seemed to indicate the two college mentors are definitely on Jones radar. Rhule turned the Baylor program around from a 1-11 record two years ago to 11-2 this year and a berth in the Sugar Bowl. Should Baylor fans be nervous? Maybe.
Jones plucked former Miami coach Jimmy Johnson from the collegiate ranks. It was Johnson who was the architect of the Cowboy teams who won two Super Bowls in the early 1990s. Jones and Johnson parted ways after the second Super Bowl win. Jones then turned to yet another college coach Barry Switzer who came in and won a third Super Bowl with the team Johnson built in 1994.
So Jones does have a history of recruiting coaches from the collegiate ranks.
Should Baylor Fans Be Worried?
Should Baylor fans fear losing the Big 12 Coach of the Year? Matt Rhule has repeatedly said he has "unfinished business at Baylor." He also said he believes Baylor might be a championship team next year. They barely lost to OU in the Big12 championship game in overtime recently. From New York, Rhule surprised many people when he took the Baylor job in the first place.
Fresh off a rebuilding job at Temple, many thought he would take the Oregon job. He also has experience as an NFL assistant coach with the New York Giants. Reports are he is well-respected among NFL insiders.
Looking forward to more years of possible winning football, Baylor fans would be heartbroken if Rhule left for the NFL. Rhule, who was a member of a Nazarene church before moving to Waco, seems at home in a Christian university.
Whether or not that will keep him in Waco when teams come callling with big money offers remains to be seen. So far, Rhule's comments he and his family are content where they are now.
His wife seems to have a major influence over him, so her input shouldn't be overlooked. It was she who recommended he take a detour on their trip a few yeaers ago to apply for an assistant's job at Temple in Philadelphia. He took her advice and dropped in on the Temple head coach unannounced. The ccoach was at first staartled, but so impressed, he hired Rhule.
Should Oklahoma fans be worrried?
Oklahoma fans probably have reason to worry about losing their coach Lincoln Riley. An offensive wizard, he has led the Sooners to three straight college playoff appearances. Jones has referred to Riley in glowing terms before. Riley has never said he wouldn't take the Dallas job if offered. A former assistant under former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, Riley is a proponent of the Air Raid offense which is explosive. If Riley's team were to win a national championship, it would only make him more appeaaling to other teams inncluding Jones.
Is Urban Meyer The Frontrunner?
Since former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has publicly stated he would love to coach a team as talented as the Cowboys, he may be Jones choice. Currently working as a television sports analyst, Meyer has a resume to die for. He won two national championships at Florida before winning a third at Ohio State.
TV personality Dan Patrick said recently a source told him Meyer indicated he'd be interested in the Cowboys job. Four current Cowboys played for Meyer at Ohio State. Running back Ezekiel Elliott starrred on Meyer's 2014 Ohio State national championship team.
When asked in October if he'd consider the Cowboys' job, Meyer said, "Absolutely,"
according to USA Today.
In an interview with Colin Cowherd on Fox, he referred to the Cowboys as, "That's the New York Yankees. That's the one. Great city. They got Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott. You got a loaded team.....To me, that's the one job in professional football that you say, 'I got to go do that."
Although Jones said he has not met with Meyer, he didn't rule out the former Buckeye mentor as a possibility.
The Top Seven College Candidates By Sporting News
Sporting News assumes like everyone else in the sports world, that Garrett is history in Dallas. So they ranked the seven college coaches most likely to have his job soon. That list includes l. Urban Meyer 2. Lincoln Riley 3.Jim Harbaugh 4. Nick Saban 5. Dabo Swinney 6. Chip Kelly 7. Bob Stoops
Top NFL Candidates
The Sporting News tabbed Sean Payton, Peyton Manning, Bill Cowher and Mike McCarthy as the top NFL candidates. Since Payton is under contract with New Orleans until 2022, this one is a longshot. Jones did once love Payton as his offensive co-ordinator, so he might want to buy the Saint out of his contract. With Drew Brees still playing well, Payton might not want to leave the Crescent City.
Urban Meyer With Joel Klatt On Fox Sports
Jason Garrett Future
Jones recently said Garrett can save his job by winning the Super Bowl. The Cowboys are currently 6-7 with three games remaining against the Rams, Eagles and Redskins. If they were to beat Philadelphia and Washington they would win the weak NFC East which doesn't have a single team with a winning record. They would then enter the playoffs and have to win their way into the Super Bowl. With a three-game losing streak, not many people are betting their life savings on Garrett saving his job.
Roger Staubach won two Super Bowls for the Cowboys under Coach Tom Landry while Aikman won three more in the early 90s. At that time the Cowboys were considered one of the NFL's dynasties. Once dubbed "America's Team" by then General Manager Tex Schramm, Dallas is in danger of losing that title.
Whoever Jones hires as the next head coach will determine whether the team returns to the ranks of the elite or continues to wallow in mediocrity or worse. His best success has been with college coaches in the past includiing Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. All the pro coaches he's hired since have failed in the quest for another Super Bowl win.
Would Johnson consider a return to the sidelines to salvage the team? Not likely. He seems happy at Fox Sports.
The oddsmakers favor Urban Meyer as the next man up to save the team's reputation. How soon will that happen? Probably a day after the Super Bowl.
All Garrett has to do is win that game to save his job.
Cowboys Help Garrett By Blowing Out Los Angeles Rams
The Dallas Cowboys destroyed the Los Angeles Rams Sunday afternoon to help the cause of their head coach. The victory improved their record to 7-7 and sets up a showdown with Philadelphia next Sunday for the NFC East championship.
A victory next week would allow the Cowboys to enter the playoffs and possibly save Garrett's job. Jones has said on various occasions Garrett must get the team to the Super Bowl or deep into the playoffs if he wants a contract extension beyond this year.
Jones has always been a hands on owner since he bought the Cowboys. In the early days he would leave he owner's box and prowl the sidelines with Coach Jimmy Johnson in the fourth quarter of games. In those halcyon days, Troy Aikman guided the Cowboys to three Super Bowl wins. Jones has made it known he has a deep desire to garner a fourth ring. Will the Cowboys play with the same intensity next week? If they do, they might actually turn the season around and safe Garrett's job.
The drama will only intensify in the week ahead as Garrett, Jones and the 'Boys trek to chilly Philly.