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Washington head coach Chris Petersen stepping down, coached Cowboys OC Kellen Moore at Boise State

Rumor mill for the Cowboys coaching job is hitting overdrive.

New Mexico v Boise State Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

A gigantic bomb was dropped on the world of college football on Monday afternoon when it was announced that University of Washington coach Chris Petersen will be stepping down following his team’s bowl game. This is huge.

Why is this huge, you ask? The Dallas Cowboys could very well be in the market for a new head coach when this season is over and Petersen is a candidate that happens to make a lot of sense.

If you’re unfamiliar with him, Petersen really made himself known while serving as the head coach at Boise State. Yes, the Boise State that the Dallas Cowboys love. What’s more is that Petersen happened to coach current Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore while at Boise, if the Cowboys do make a regime change one hypothetical possibility is that they pair their current OC with a new head coach that he knows quite well and mirrors in terms of offensive style. From the University of Washington’s release on Petersen:

“It has been a privilege and a professional dream fulfilled to be part of this world-class institution,” Petersen said. “I will forever be grateful, honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to coach our fine young men on Montlake for these past six seasons. I thank each of them, as well as our coaches and administrative staff for the incredible commitment they’ve made to Husky football during my tenure. The football program and Husky Athletics across the board will continue to prosper – and do it the right way – with Jen Cohen’s leadership and the University administration’s commitment to excellence. I’ll be a Husky for life, but now is the right time for me to step away from my head coaching duties, and recharge.”

Petersen steps down with a career record of 146-38, compiled during his eight seasons at Boise State and six years at UW. His career winning percentage of .793 ranks second among active coaches with at least five years of FBS experience. He reached 100 career wins (in 2014) faster than all but four coaches in major college history, doing so in just 117 games.

In his six seasons at Washington, Petersen led the Huskies to two Pac-12 Championships (2016 and 2018), the 2016 College Football Playoffs, and three consecutive New Years Six bowl games. The Huskies won 39 games from 2015 through 2018 – most ever by the UW in a four-year stretch. If the Huskies win their bowl game this year, it will be the program’s 40th victory over the four seasons from 2016 to 2019, setting a new record.

For what it’s worth, this release states that Petersen is stepping into an advisory role with the University of Washington. It’s hard to know what his future is at this point, but that is what’s being widely reported.

Petersen could be planning on taking 2020 to step back, but if the Cowboys are looking for a new head coach at the end of the season you can bet your bottom dollar that he will be in the running (at least in their minds). It just so happens that he’ll be available to coach.

Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.


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