After a decade of failure, the divorce between head coach Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys is near. Here are some possible scenarios for 2020.
Regardless of the outcomes of two NFC East games today, the Dallas Cowboys will almost certainly have a new head coach in 2020. Both head coach Jason Garrett and the organization seem destined to move on from one another.
The second decade of the new millennium for the Dallas Cowboys would best be defined by failures and missed opportunities. At the helm of it all stood Garrett, almost perfectly average for an organization constantly wanting much more.
At best, the Garrett-led Dallas Cowboys will finish another season with a record of 8-8. With a win over Washington today, it will be the fourth time that happened under the head coach.
In 2014, it seemed like the Cowboys broke through, winning twelve games. The following season, they won just four. The following three seasons saw Dallas win 32 regular-season games but just one playoff game.
All of this should have been enough for the Dallas Cowboys to look elsewhere, however, Garrett was brought back for one more year. It is clear now that the decision to do was a huge mistake.
So, where do the Dallas Cowboys go from here when looking for the ninth coach in the history of the franchise? Here are three of the best, most realistic scenarios that owner Jerry Jones should take highly into consideration.
A blend of old and new
Several current coordinators in the National Football League will earn promotions to the head spot in 2020. The most intriguing of the bunch may just be San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
At just 40 years old, he has a long future ahead of him with an impressive past already in the books. Saleh, much like current Cowboys defensive coordinator Kris Richard, worked in Seattle during the legendary Legion of Boom years.
Whether or not Saleh would keep Richard or double as the head coach and defensive coordinator in Dallas is unknown. What may happen, however, is that Saleh does retain current offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and quarterbacks coach Jon Kitna.
Moore’s future in the league is unknown as his true visions for this offense were likely muted by Garrett. What is known is that Kitna had a huge hand in the advancement of quarterback Dak Prescott this season.
The college option
Several head coaching options exist from those who do their work on the first day of the weekend. Baylor’s Matt Rhule, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley, and Florida’s Dan Mullen are all high-profile names who could get interviews on the NFL level.
If the Dallas Cowboys choose to go this route, they’d be best suited to go after one of the biggest fish in the college sea. Even though he is currently not coaching, the best college option is likely former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.
In 17 years spread out amongst the campuses of Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, and Ohio State, Meyer won 187 games. His bowl/playoff resume shows 12 wins and just three losses with three National Championships. It would be hard to find a more impressive resume for someone currently available.
Meyer could choose to bring former defensive coordinator and University of Texas head coach Charlie Strong in to run the defense. As for the offensive side, Meyer could turn to a trusted protege by bringing in current Florida Gators offensive coordinator Billy Gonzales. Gonzales held that same position at Mississippi State during the time in which their quarterback was none other than Prescott.
Swinging for the fences
This last option would be a huge coup for the Dallas Cowboys. If you want to get back to a winning culture, why not pluck a few branches off the most successful tree in the league.
We all know that the New England Patriots are the new gold standard of the NFL. Bringing in long-time offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as the head man would be a great get for Dallas. McDaniels’ history with quarterbacks in this league would help keep Prescott’s trajectory moving in the right direction.
McDaniels shows his ingenuity often with Patriots, routinely working with few weapons beyond one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game. Giving McDaniels weapons like running back Ezekiel Elliott and receiver Amari Cooper could make this offense truly dangerous.
McDaniels may elect to bring up-and-coming coach Jerod Mayo in as the defensive coordinator. Mayo, currently working as the Patriots linebackers coach, has been instrumental in the success of the Patriots defense in 2019.
Currently, the Patriots defense is first in yards allowed, second against the pass, first in points allowed and tied for first in causing turnovers. Anyone who is a part of such dominance would be a welcome change here in Dallas.
Any of these three options would be an upgrade over the decade long doldrum that has plagued this organization. No one, not even Jerry Jones, knows what Jones is thinking when it comes to the next head man. Hopefully, he happens upon this article and gives it some thought. Whoever the next man is, it is imperative that he makes these talented players better, quickly.