The Dallas Cowboys ever important coaching search

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 29: Jerry Jones owner of the Dallas Cowboys talks to head coach Jason Garrett before a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 29, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 29: Jerry Jones owner of the Dallas Cowboys talks to head coach Jason Garrett before a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 29, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

After a decade under one man, the Dallas Cowboys are back on the market for a head coach. Here is why this process is ever so important.

In the National Football League, coaching matters. Like, a lot. If you don’t believe me, just ask the Dallas Cowboys.

Always amongst the most talented teams in the league, it has been 25 years since the last time they won the Super Bowl. All it takes to figure out why are the main men on the sidelines since 1995.

Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Wade Phillips, and Jason Garrett have all worn the headset on the sidelines over the past two decades. All of them, except Campo, presided over teams loaded with talent. All of them, except Campo, who never led the Dallas Cowboys to the playoffs, have losing playoff records.

So here are the 2020 Dallas Cowboys, in search of a new head coach after a decade under Jason Garrett. Is Garrett a decent coach? Absolutely. If he happens to get a new job, his teams will be competitive. They just won’t compete for anything of substance besides a possible occasional playoff game.

After wasting the talents of such players like quarterback Tony Romo, tight end Jason Witten, receiver Dez Bryant and defensive end DeMarcus Ware, Garrett is finally done in Dallas. He leaves with a good regular-season record (85-67) and a (yawn) 2-3 playoff record.

Garrett’s legacy in Dallas will be that of a coach who was predominately average. Posting four 8-8 seasons as well two others going 12-4 and then 4-12 the next year, the Dallas Cowboys have been stuck in neutral for almost a decade.

This is precisely why the upcoming head-coaching search is monumentally important. Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys absolutely must nail their next hire.

On Sunday morning, I wrote about some intriguing options as to who could be the ninth head coach in this franchise’s history. A former college savant and two of the league’s premier coordinators made my shortlist.

Whether or not these ideas come into fruition is anyone’s guess. Even if the Dallas Cowboys go elsewhere, I’m more concerned with some of the names being bantered about than being wrong as to who I would prefer.

The first ridiculous option being thrown out by some is Witten. Look, I’m sure that somewhere down the road, he could be a good coach. Allowing his first job, ever, to be the head man of a team who fancies itself as a perennial Super Bowl contender is not the move.

If Witten decides to retire wants to coach next year, I’d be comfortable starting him out as our tight ends coach. Anything higher up the organizational chart, however, is out of the question.

The next ‘big name” that scares me to death is current Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley. At just 36 years old, Riley has just six years of experience at the college level as an offensive coordinator and three as a head coach.

While Oklahoma has an impressive 36-6 record under Riley’s stewardship, it is precisely those six losses that scare me. Riley is just 3-3 in the regular season against teams ranked in the top ten. He is 0-3 in college playoff games. Call me crazy, but that sounds a little too Garrett-esque for my tastes.

Lastly, there have been rumblings that the Cowboys may look at a long-time former NFL head coach. That sounds great until you find out that the name is none other than former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.

Talk about Garrett-esque, Lewis and Garrett and the NFL equivalent to Brennan Huff and Dale Doback. Lewis is the owner of three 8-8 seasons, one shy of Garrett’s four. Like Garrett, he had a playoff year that he followed up with a four-win season. He also never won a playoff game in seven chances.

The harsh truth is that Jason Garrett never deserved the head coaching job in the first place. No one knows how many Johnny Walker Blue’s Jerry Jones was in when the ghosts of his football past, namely Gailey and Sean Payton, appeared in his hazy vision to lead him to Garrett.

No one can explain the immediate promotion from one season as a quarterbacks coach in Miami to a locked-in offensive coordinator in Dallas forced upon Bill Parcells’ successor as the last truly great coach left the organization. Staying with Garrett after three straight 8-8 seasons and no playoff appearances became even more unexplainable.

The past decade has been chock-full of mistakes from the hire itself to the hanging on too long. Even Garrett’s overtly obvious end of the road is being dragged out a few more days for some unknown reason.

What is known is that the next hire absolutely cannot be a mistake. Quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and receiver Amari Cooper do not deserve the same career fate as their predecessors. The loyal fan base does not deserve additional years of futility. There are some really good options out there and some huge dudes.

Next. The top 10 Dallas Cowboys to never win a Super Bowl. dark

Jerry Jones would be wise to look at history and go with a proven winner. His eye for the wunderkinds is shoddy at best. Hopefully, he can put down the scotch whiskey long enough to make the right call.