Adhering to the path that the Redskins blazed a year ago with a sham in-house interview that complied with the letter but not necessarily the spirit of the Rooney Rule, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Monday that he’ll interview receivers coach Ray Sherman for the head-coaching job in Dallas, according to Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com. Jones also will be interviewing another minority candidate, whose name has not yet been disclosed but who apparently is a current member of the coaching staff.
“I’ll do both [interviews],” Jones said. “Not that it’s the rule, but I will do both. It’s just too logical for me, if we’ve got qualified people on our staff, to interview them. And it’s too illogical to say that you’ll leave it at that. There’s qualified people out here that you would want to interview.”
In the event that the “mad as hell” Jones is considering firing the entire coaching staff after the regular-season finale, it makes sense to interview any minority candidates on the payroll now, before they’re fired and less inclined to be cooperative in the hopes of not, you know, being fired.
Really, does anyone think Sherman is a legitimate head-coaching candidate? Under the Peter Principle, Sherman maxed out a decade ago as a mediocre offensive coordinator. He never has been mentioned as a potential head coach.
On one hand, we’re less troubled than we used to be by legitimate head-coaching candidates who happen to be black agreeing to sit for interviews when it appears very unlikely that they’ll be hired. With each additional interview, men like Leslie Frazier can build momentum toward finally realizing their dreams.
But Sherman wouldn’t be hired to coach a UFL team, much less an NFL team. Still, as long as the league permits literal compliance with the Rooney Rule, teams will continue to rely from time to time on satisfying the rule by interviewing a candidate who never would have been a candidate if he were white.
Jason Garrett currently is serving as the Cowboys’ interim head coach. He can’t be hired for the permanent job absent compliance with the Rooney Rule. Once Jones complies with the Rooney Rule, he can hire anyone to fill the job.