Four years ago, we repeatedly were hearing rumors that Nick Saban had enough of the NFL after less than two years as coach of the Dolphins, and that he wanted to get back to the college game. Eventually, he was tied to Alabama. Even though he repeatedly, and famously, denied the rumors, he eventually became the Alabama coach.
Now, there are persistent rumors that he could be headed back to the NFL, to coach the Cowboys. The rumors appear to be unfounded, for several reasons.
First, Saban left the NFL because he couldn’t control an NFL team the way he can control a college team. A master recruiter, Saban needs only to identify the best players, convince them to come to Tuscaloosa, and then turn them loose on the opposition. At the NFL level, the talent pool is much flatter, making it harder for a control freak to get his coaching freak on.
Second, and as one source with knowledge of the dynamics observed, there’s no way that Saban and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would be able to coexist. Each man wants to do it his own way, which would set the stage for too many disagreements and friction points.
Third, and most importantly from Jones’ perspective, Saban didn’t exactly thrive as an NFL head coach, among other things picking Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees.
So if/when Saban says he’s not going to be the Dallas coach, he likely will be telling the truth. For a change.