It has not been that long ago that there was speculation that Jason Garrett would be one of those NFL head coaches who would be headed to the guillotine on the bloody Monday that inevitably follows the seventeenth week of the professional football season. A trio of consecutive 8-8 seasons will do that to the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, or almost any other franchise. Mediocre does not cut it.
Two division titles in the last three years and finishing with the best record in the conference brings a level of security to a coaching staff. It also opens the door of opportunity. Speculation turns from ‘who is getting fired’ to ‘who is getting lured away’. Such is the nature of the beast. The red-headed genius who patrols the sidelines in Dallas has made the boss a happy man and he will reap the benefits of his efforts, but so will those who helped him
The Dallas Cowboys could be impacted by the coaching carousel as it once again spins. Scott Linehan could be high on the list of those who are searching for a new head coach. Someone may also want to take a run at Rod Marinelli, although he seems likely to be most content to stay where he is. There are also position coaches who may draw interest for coordinator positions in other cities. Matt Eberflus would be high on my list if I were looking to hire a first-time defensive coordinator.
Several coaches will have options because of the success they have experienced this season, and that is not a bad thing. The opportunity to move to the next level can be a selling point for the team. It would hurt to lose a Linehan or an Eberflus, but the advancement can draw the next generation of coaches to Garrett’s staff. A position coach who is ready to become a coordinator will be drawn to an opportunity that has the potential for him to not only run one side of the ball, but may eventually put him in a position to have a team of his own.
And while we’re at it, keep any eye on Will McClay. The Cowboys assistant player personnel director could be a hot candidate for any open GM positions. With Jerry Jones the GM in Dallas, even though McClay has a lot of power, he just might want to branch out on his own. That could be huge for the Cowboys going forward.
There will most likely be changes over the next month or so. That is life on an NFL staff. This time around those changes will be because of a positive rather than a negative. As it always does, the revolving door that is a coach’s life will continue to turn and the Cowboys success will simply cause it to spin a little more easily in Dallas.