Question of the day: Who would you have coach the Dallas Cowboys next season? [Updated]
Writers from around the Tribune Co. weigh in on the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to leave a comment of your own.
Keith Groller, The Morning Call
Just for comic effect, I’d probably want Bill Cowher coaching the Cowboys because I’d like to be in the room the first time Jerry Jones tells Cowher what to do. Can’t you just see Cowher pounding the table, curling his lips into that famous frown and snarling back: “Dammit Jerry, that’s not how we’re going to do things here!”
Even funnier might be the twists and turns Jon Gruden’s “Chucky” face would take when Jones intrudes on one of his team meetings.
Remembering how Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells worked out, Jones probably won’t go that route. He still considers himself a Super Bowl champion coach and will stay with someone he thinks he can manipulate.
That’s probably someone such as Jason Garrett, especially if the Cowboys pull themselves together enough to split the rest of their games.
[Updated at 11:35 a.m.:
With Wade Phillips as coach, Cowboys fans were left to ponder the otherwise unthinkable: Does the brown paper bag go under or over the 10-gallon hat? That puts Jason Garrett in a very difficult spot because a significant portion of that fan base looks at him as part of the problem and not part of the solution.
That said, if the Cowboys win five of their final eight games, I’d keep Garrett as coach for at least another season to give him a fair chance to implement his plan. If the team continues on its downward spiral, Jerry Jones should make a play for a proven NFL coach like Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden, or wait to see if Carolina cuts ties with John Fox, who isn’t successful right now but is still widely respected as a coach.
I think there’s a good chance the Cowboys stay with Garrett, and Gruden winds up in San Francisco (as long as the 49ers are willing to pay the $5 million per year he’ll command), where he started his NFL career as a quality-control coach.]
Dom Amore, Hartford Courant
The Cowboys players, though they haven’t earned it, have unusual power at the moment. Play hard for Jason Garrett, and he will be their coach in 2011. Continue to block and tackle like they’re trying to save on their laundry bill, and Garrett will be an interim coach.
I’d name Garrett the coach through 2011 or 2012 right now, so the players know they’re the ones on trial the next eight games.
There’s no sense in arguing about how or whether Jerry Jones should change. He owns the team, he built the palace in which it plays and the future coach is going to have to work within his parameters.
Hiring a big name, a Bill Cowher, is not going to work; it worked only marginally with Bill Parcells. A high-profile college coach would know the incoming college talent, but that only helps if he runs the draft. A coordinator from somewhere else wouldn’t have the track record to buy himself needed time in Dallas.
Garrett fits the bill nicely right now. He has been involved with the Cowboys a long time, and knows what to expect. For a first-time head coach, Garrett has unique credibility in Dallas. And he might just know how to win in Jerry Jones’ world.]
[Updated at 2:54 p.m.
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
The perfect coach for Jerry Jones was Jimmy Johnson, and he’s not coming back to Dallas. Jones likely will be lured by other big names in the TV business, though. Bill Cowher and Jones don’t appear to be a good match. Tony Dungy and Jerry Jones definitely would not be a good match. And all indications are that Jon Gruden wants to remain in broadcasting.
Brian Billick, however, is an interesting suggestion. His Super Bowl ring could open the door with Jones. Billick’s experience working for men like Bill Walsh, Denny Green and Ozzie Newsome has left him well-educated, and his influence is all over the NFL in the form of coaches who have worked for him, such as Mike Smith, Rex Ryan, Jack Del Rio, Mike Singletary, Marvin Lewis and Mike Nolan.]
Top photo: Bill Cowher in 2002. Credit: Pierre DuCharme / Reuters
Bottom photo: Jason Garrett. Credit: Tim Sharp / Reuters