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The latest on the Cowboys coaching search

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Here's some of the latest chatter, pieced together from several articles.

Over at the San Antonio Express-News, Buck Harvey paints a picture of possible friction between Norv Turner and Jerry Jones over the years, and that Turner's unexpected demands may have sidetracked the process for the moment.

As has been reported, Turner wants control over his staff and control over Terrell Owens. He wants, as other reports say, Rivera to be his defensive coordinator.

Control over the staff - maybe, control over Terrell - ha, are you insane? No one controls Owens. Not even Jerry, well, OK Jerry does, cause he writes the checks.

I've heard several variations on the "Norv wants control" theme over the past day or two. But Harvey says Norv is getting a little payback on Jerry, now that it seems Jerry really wants him. On the first go around, Harvey says Jones ignored Turner.


But Turner felt unappreciated. He would say in private that Jones ignored him and took him for granted. He won't even talk to me, Turner would say.

[snip]

When Turner tried to pry more money out of Jones after the first Super Bowl, Turner got only a token raise.

"First chance," [Turner] would say with some profanity laced in, "I'm getting out of here."


There's other stuff in there, too.

Mac Engel talks about Rivera and how he wants to be a head coach, but he might take a nice pay raise instead and be the Cowboys defensive coordinator.

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera's first choice is to be an NFL head coach. But he wouldn't reject a raise.

One NFL source said Rivera would not rule it out - [a lateral move to defensive coordinator], but that he hopes to remain a candidate in the head coaching search. His contract with the Bears expires after the Super Bowl. The Bears have a short period of exclusive negotiating rights before Rivera becomes "free agent."

One issue that causes confusion about Rivera is his preference for 4-3 defenses going up against Jones' statement about remaining a 3-4 team this year. Engel addresses that:

Rivera coached the 4-3; but he did say the day Parcells retired that he feels he could coach the scheme, and that one defense isn't drastically different than the other.

I posted something on it, too, here.

Back to the Turner interview where he wanted Rivera as his coordinator, this Mac Engel article makes it sound like it was a problem because Dallas has someone else in mind.

One stone Turner apparently didn't leave un-turned was a defensive name to give Jones during their interview Sunday. Sources said the Cowboys pitched promoting secondary coach Todd Bowles to the defensive coordinator position.

Turner, however, has ties to Rivera. Rivera wanted to hire Turner as his offensive coordinator had he been offered the head coach position in Green Bay in 2006.

So was Todd Bowles a stumbling block, at least until Jerry could meet Rivera and interview him?

Not according to this DMN article:

During an eight-hour interview Sunday, Turner presented several different plans regarding how he would handle the defense.

One plan included Rivera as the defensive coordinator, if he was made available by the Bears. Another had secondary coach Todd Bowles as the coordinator. Turner expressed to Jones that he has no problem with Bowles as the defensive coordinator.


It's enough to make your head spin. Here's my quick-and-dirty guess as to what's going on. Garry Gibbs, Tony Sparano and Todd Bowles are out as head coach candidates. Jason Garrett is probably out, too. Wade Phillips has a chance, but the longer they get way from his interview, the more opportunity Jerry has to latch onto someone else. Mike Singletary is intriguing, but Jerry isn't totally sold yet and wants to think about it for a few days. He still wants Norv Turner to be the guy, but isn't sure that he wants to give up control on certain issues, so he needs to think about that one, too. But he is intrigued by Ron Rivera being the defensive coordinator, so he wants to interview him after the Super Bowl.

If you were having trouble keeping up with who we do have on our coaching staff, Nick Eatman provides the answer.

The Cowboys decided to retain [Tony] Sparano, the assistant head coach/running game coordinator who also coaches the offensive line. In fact, the Cowboys denied Cleveland permission to meet with Sparano about a possible offensive line position. Last year, the Cowboys also denied the Saints a chance to interview Sparano when Sean Payton was named New Orleans' head coach.

On defense, the Cowboys still have Bowles, defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers, linebackers coach Paul Pasqualoni and inside linebackers coach Vincent Brown under contract.

And they have Jason Garrett.