It’s becoming more and more clear that the Cowboys will be looking for a new coach. It’s unclear where they’ll be looking for the potential replacement for Jason Garrett.
On Friday, owner and G.M. Jerry Jones dropped a hint regarding the universe of candidates.
“College coaches coming directly into [NFL] head coach have the lowest percentage rate of success as opposed to coming from coordinators,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “You pay a price for somebody to get up to date.”
Jerry may not be inclined to pay that price, because Jerry wants to win now. Thus, faced with the choice between a college coach and a coach currently in the NFL, Jones seems to be inclined to pluck someone from the NFL ranks.
His statement also could be motivated by feedback he’s gotten through back channels regarding whether college coaches in whom he might be interested are interested in the job. Every year, teams find out in advance of actually hiring a coach (and firing their current one) those who are, and aren’t, inclined to take the job. It’s entirely possible that Jones has learned that Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley doesn’t want the job at this time, for example.
Besides, Jerry’s statement (if supported by statistics) doesn’t really mesh with his own experience. College-only coach Barry Switzer (who had been out of coaching for five years when hired by Jones) won a Super Bowl in his second year coaching the Cowboys, and college-only coach Jimmy Johnson won two in a row starting with his fourth year in the NFL, turning around a 1-15 roster along the way.
So this may not be about what Jerry wants; it may be about what he can get. Or, more accurately, what he can’t get. And maybe he can’t get his first choice in the college ranks, so now he’ll move on to his first choice in the professional ranks.