Jerry Jones finally made the move many frustrated Cowboys fans were waiting for, reportedly letting go of coach Jason Garrett after 10 seasons (and six long days) in that capacity for the team. Although Jones resisted parting ways with Garrett during Dallas' down season in 2019, he had little choice than to make the decision to pat ways with Garrett after the team failed to return
Jerry Jones finally made the move many frustrated Cowboys fans were waiting for, reportedly letting go of coach Jason Garrett after 10 seasons (and six long days) in that capacity for the team.
Although Jones resisted parting ways with Garrett during Dallas' down season in 2019, he had little choice than to make the decision to pat ways with Garrett after the team failed to return
Garrett was retained for so long because Jones respected him so much as the Cowboys' smart former backup QB. But despite a 85-67 regular-season record, inconsistency and playoff disappointment, with Dallas falling well short of more Super Bowl glory, forced Jones' hand.
Dallas is focused on candidates with extensive NFL head coaching experience and a track records of success, sources told @mortreport. This profile would eliminate NFL coordinators with little or no HC experience, and the much-speculated college coaches. https://t.co/dBKRdiiJzL
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 6, 2020
Because it's the Cowboys, few coaching job openings can carry the same cachet in American team sports. Jones has the money, means and influence to go after just about anyone he wants from either the pro or college football ranks.
We already broke down the big board of all the wild possible replacement options from every arena based on the initial betting props. But here's narrowing down that list to the 10 best candidates to help the Cowboys win big again. The list starts with three big fish Jones can reel in with the right deal.
Cowboys coaching candidates
Former Ohio State head coach
Meyer, 55, is doing well as a commentator for Fox Sports, but his ability to turn talented programs into mighty champions, even at a different level, is appealing to Jones. He can bring out the best of their offense, defensive and, just as important to Jones, special teams.
If Jones can give up a little personnel control, it could work with Meyer, throwing back to the best of the Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer vibes.
Oklahoma head coach
Riley, 36, just ended another season of College Football Playoff frustration with the Sooners. He has kept them an offensive machine, taking over for Bob Stoops and churning out NFL-caliber quarterbacks in Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray (the past No. 1 overall picks) and Jalen Hurts.
It's no secret Riley has been casually courted by the Jones family and is close to them. There might be a sense that he is close to his ceiling in Norman and also that his schematic and motivational skills will translate well to the NFL. He could end up being a bigger legend in Dallas.
Michigan head coach
Harbaugh, 56, still has to coach the Wolverines against Alabama in the Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day, but there should be more buzz about him returning to the NFL with the Cowboys providing an attractive, win-now opening. If Meyer and Riley don't end up working for Jones, don't forget about Harbaugh. There's a track record of him creating a powerhouse with the 49ers and taking them to the Super Bowl.
Harbaugh would restore some needed mental and physical toughness, the right kind of jolt for the Cowboys.
Defensive coordinator, Colts
Eberflus, 47, was the Cowboys' linebackers coach from 2011-17 before landing in Indianapolis to work for first Josh McDaniels and then Frank Reich. He has gotten the most out of the Colts' mix of young and veteran talent with a good blend of scheming and motivation.
He has the chops to handle an entire team in a return to Dallas.
Defensive coordinator, 49ers
Saleh, 40, will be a hot candidate for everyone given his outstanding work in San Francisco this season. He is the kind of fiery leader every team would like influencing veteran players and youngsters alike.
He has great experience with both Kyle Shanahan and Pete Carroll.
Offensive coordinator, Chiefs
Bieniemy, 50, deserves to be as high as he is on most lists. The Andy Reid pipeline has led to good head-coaching gigs for Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy of late. Bieniemy has done great work with Patrick Mahomes, and with extended experience under Reid, he is ready to operate an entire team.
The Cowboys should see what he would mean for Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
Offensive coordinator, Ravens
Roman, 47, has been interviewed for jobs before, when he was working wonders for Harbaugh and the 49ers. His stock has spiked again by turning Lamar Jackson into the NFL MVP in Baltimore.
He also would play to the strengths of Prescott and Elliott, balancing an aggressive passing game with an effective, run-heavy approach.
Offensive coordinator, Patriots
McDaniels, 43, still is looking for his second head-coaching job, now 10 years after his brief time with the Broncos. The Colts' situation didn't pan out for many reasons, but the Cowboys job has the potential to be a strong post-Patriots destination.
Again, this is tied to the Cowboys' biggest strengths surrounding Prescott and Elliott. If the Cowboys plan to live up to expectations, it would start with their scoring explosiveness.
Defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator, Cowboys
Richard, 40, should be reheated as a top candidate. His greatest work was done with Pete Carroll and the Seahawks' defense, overseeing The Legion of Boom secondary.
He is a rising motivator and player-friendly position coach whom Jones should consider his best in-house candidate.
Offensive coordinator, Cowboys
Moore is only 31, but he has shown his acumen as the play-caller in Dallas this season. There's a sense that Garrett's offensive background in conservatism might be holding the Cowboys back from their potential, which in turn would ease their defensive burden.
Don't sleep on Jones on rolling with his wunderkind. There's no question about Moore being liked by the players.