By now we all know that the Dallas Cowboys are in the midst of massive turmoil. Head coach Wade Phillips was canned after a stellar 1-7 start that followed three years of disappointment. So assuming that interim head coach Jason Garrett isn’t the long-term solution, who will be next in the Big D?
Several big names will certainly be tossed around: Tony Dungy, Herm Edwards, John Fox, Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher will definitely have their names attached to this opening.
Edwards hasn’t won big anywhere, so Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will avoid him.
I don’t see Cowher coming out of retirement to work for someone like Jones who would be constantly tinkering and looking over his shoulder.
Tony Dungy doesn’t seem like his personality would jive with Jones’ either.
John Fox would sell his family on the black market to get the Dallas job. But again, he hasn’t been successful recently, so would Jones really go after him? Doubtful.
Jon Gruden seems the most logical fit from this list. If he wants back in to coaching, this would be a prestigious, big-money gig and his credentials would probably keep Jones off his back for a while.
The second-tier list contains a bunch of guys looking to move up in the world to their first head coaching gigs. I personally don’t think Jones would even consider someone without head coaching experience to run the Cowboys right now. He wants to make a splash and go big.
The names on that list would certainly include Rob Ryan (Rex Ryan’s brother and the current defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns), Perry Fewell (defensive coordinator for the New York Giants) and Leslie Frazier (defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings).
One place Jones may go to make a splash is the college ranks.
From what we hear, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops was THIS close to taking the Notre Dame job last year and has grown tired of the over-sized expectations in Soonerland. Stoops may want another challenge and the Cowboys would certainly be that.
Another possibility could be Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh is an NFL guy and no one has ever said he’s married to Stanford. He will certainly look for another job at some point and with his quarterback Andrew Luck likely headed to the NFL Draft this year and a senior-laden squad in Palo Alto, this may be the offseason Harbaugh looks to make a jump.
Obviously lots can change between now and the end of the season. Maybe Jason Garrett shows himself to be a capable head coach. Then again, maybe not. It might be time for Jones to just scrap the whole thing and start over.