It was reported by Ed Warder that Jason Garrett will not be retained as head coach. The Cowboys will now conduct interviews to find the next leader of the team. Here are 5 potential head coaching candidates for the Dallas Cowboys. (Odds are from oddsshark.com)
1. Urban Meyer +400
One of the biggest names being rumored for the Cowboys’ job is Urban Meyer. Meyer has been one of the best college football coaches of his era with a 187-32 record. He won three championships, two with Florida and one with Ohio State. While he has mastered the college game, Meyer has never coached in the pros.
Hiring Meyer would be a risk, as no one can accurately predict how a college coach’s style translates to the NFL level. Meyer has had health issues and trouble dealing with stress. This past year he has been out of the game and working with Fox Sports. If the Cowboys believe Meyer can get the most out this team, he may even be a more likely candidate than McDaniels.
2. Lincoln Riley +600
The rumors of the Cowboys wanting Riley to be their next head coach have been around for a while now. Riley has made three straight appearances in the College Football Playoff with Oklahoma. He has a 36-6 record and has coached two of the last three Heisman Trophy winners.
Riley hasn’t shown his hand on whether he wants to leave Oklahoma for the NFL too much, which could be a problem. The Cowboys would love to have his offensive mind, as they have a solid offensive unit that could do even better with his services.
3. Josh McDaniels +300
McDaniels has not only been a head coach before, he has been a solid candidate to be hired again over the last few years. He even accepted the job with the Colts before backing out. In his time as head coach of the Broncos, he went 11-17 over two seasons with the team.
The Cowboys could lure McDaniels to Dallas, but he could be holding out for the Patriots’ job whenever Bill Bellichick retires. Jerry Jones will want to convince the best of the best to take the job though. Whether Jones will take the Patriots’ offensive woes this season or McDaniels’ time in Denver seriously is up in the air.
4. Robert Salah +500
Salah is currently the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers. In the NFL, he also has experience with the Houston Texans, the Seattle Seahawks and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 49ers qualified for the playoffs this season and have a first-round bye, which is a lot of thanks to their defense. San Francisco ranks eighth in the league at 19.4 points allowed per game.
One thing that could give the Cowboys’ pause about hiring Salah is that he has been a defensive coordinator for just three seasons. Last season, the 49ers ranked near the bottom of the league in points allowed per game. His coaching this year has been good, but it may not be good enough to land him the job in Dallas.
5. Sean Payton +600
Every time the Cowboys’ head coaching job looks like it could be coming open, Sean Payton’s name comes up. He is one of the best coaches in the game and was an assistant with the Cowboys from 2003-2005. If Jones had his way Payton would already be in Dallas.
The problem is that Payton has built a great team in New Orleans. The only thing that may make him consider leaving (other than money) would be that Drew Brees’ career is almost over. He should be the top candidate, but his happiness with his current job moves him down the list.