Options abound for Cowboys in coaching search

Written by Chris Kolb

Topics: Dallas Cowboys

Now that Jerry Jones has finally pulled the plug on this disastrous season in Dallas, firing head coach Wade Phillips and replacing him temporarily with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, speculation has begun to mount with regard to who Jones will bring in next to run his team.

ESPN’s John Clayton did a nice job of breaking down a few of the top candidates earlier today, putting current ESPN Monday Night Football commentator Jon Gruden at the top of his list.

Gruden has plenty of experience, having coached both the Raiders and the Buccaneers deep into the playoffs and to the Super Bowl, but Clayton feels he may decide to stay in the broadcast booth for a job that won’t be as high profile, and I agree.

That said, there’s little doubt that Jones would go for Gruden if he indicates he’s willing to make a return to the sideline next fall, and the fit is definitely there given Gruden’s outstanding offensive acumen. That leads me to believe that Jones will pull out all the stops in an effort to get him into the fold. It will likely cost a pretty penny, but money’s never been an issue for Jones before and I doubt it will be in this case either.

A secondary option that makes sense in my mind is Panthers head coach John Fox, who’s in the final year of his contract in Carolina and is undoubtedly on his way out the door. Hiring a guy that another team didn’t want is atypical of Jones’ style, but his desire to focus on the basics of coaching and not on the front office controls will fit in well with what Jones does in Dallas.

The third choice in the mix for my money is Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who’s demonstrated on countless occasions that he’s capable of taking the next step up into the head coaching ranks. That said, given Brad Childress‘ abject failure this season with a team predicted to make a deep playoff run, Frazier will likely bide his time this off-season before making a move, as Childress will almost certainly be fired if Minnesota continues to falter down the stretch, and Frazier’s the most appealing candidate in house to replace him.

The darkhorse candidate that not many people are talking about is former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, who has put off leaving the TV studio with CBS for some time now, but is expected to explore the possibilities this off-season.

Finding common ground with Jones could be tough, but the talent level, facilities, and no expense spared approach has to be appealing to Cowher, as he could step in immediately and win with this team.

In the end though, Cowher is more likely to be a serious candidate for the Panthers position that’s almost certain to be open this off-season, as he’s made his home in North Carolina for some time now and would prefer to stay close to home in his next job.

What do you think? Vote in the poll below and speak your mind!

Who should the Cowboys hire as their next head coach?
Jon Gruden
Leslie Frazier
John Fox
Bill Cowher

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  2. End drawing near for Childress, Vikings
  3. Denver steps back from commitment to McDaniels
  4. Broncos mercifully end McDaniels era in Denver
  5. Opportunity at the U piquing Gruden’s interest?
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