Former Oklahoma Sooners Head Coach Bob Stoops was introduced as the Head Coach and General Manager of the yet to be named Dallas XFL franchise on Thursday. For years, many in Cowboys Nation clamored for the NCAA National Championship winning coach to be a professional head coach in Dallas.
Unfortunately, to some, it's happening for the wrong team.
He's a great football coach at the college level and never seemed all that interested in coaching in the NFL, though I'm sure opportunities were presented to him. On Thursday, he spoke to the media about the opportunity to coach in the reformed and newly envisioned XFL and laid out the reasons why the job was appealing to him.
Bob Stoops breaks down why he chose the XFL over other college programs and the NFL. At first Stoops said he just dismissed the idea of coaching in the rebooted league. Video via KXAS. #Sooners https://t.co/YWK6Scuwhx
When he retired from coaching at the University of Oklahoma, he cited the opportunity to spend more time with his family as well as the desire to preserve his health as reasons he was stepping away. His father died because of a heart attack after a game in which he was experiencing chest pain.
Bob Stoops has maintained a high-profile role with the Oklahoma athletic department as a special assistant to Athletic Director Joe Castiglione. From the interview, it sounds mostly as if Stoops has too much time on his hands.
While many might be excited about the possibility of Stoops potentially donning the Blue and Silver of America's Team, his presence in Dallas will have zero impact on the future of Jason Garrett.
Bob Stoops Wants to Coach, Not Grind
If you've ever coached in any sport, you understand how fun it can be. There is a lot of satisfaction and joy with teaching players a concept and then seeing them execute it on the field. As a leader, there isn't anything much better than seeing your vision executed by the people you're leading.
Bob Stoops misses coaching.
That much is clear in the interview. However, he mentioned the year-round aspect of coaching that is NCAA football and the NFL as well. Stoops wants to have his cake and eat it too, and there isn't much better of a way to do so than to join the XFL, where he'll get to be in charge of a lot of his schedule in the season and in the offseason.
As fans of the NFL, we hear all the time about the daily grind of an NFL coach. Reports of 14 hour days, sleeping in the office, and the year-round schedule make being a coach in the NFL not nearly as glamorous as it might sound. Bob Stoops has put in the grind. He's done the heavy lifting as the head coach of an upper tier program like the University of Oklahoma. He wants to coach, but he wants to have flexibility and a life as well.
With kids in school and playing football themselves, he wants to be able to be a part of their lives more than he was able to be when he was the head coach at OU.
At the level of coaching that Stoops has attained, he could have just about any job in college football that he would want and he'd be a candidate for many NFL coaching jobs as well. At this point in his life, he doesn't want to be committed to a year-round process that asks him to put in 14 hour day for much of that year.
Timing is Everything
Bob Stoops is expected to be starting his XFL career in the Spring of 2020. That would be about a year from now. So, in order for him to be offered and accept the coaching job for the Dallas Cowboys, the Cowboys would likely have to miss the playoffs and Jason Garrett would have to be fired at the end of the season -- I know, I just gave a lot of the anti-Garrett crowd a fantasy that will occupy the rest of their day.
As an observer of the University of Oklahoma and fan, Stoops has always been considered to be a coach with a lot of integrity, despite what you might have read about him after the Joe Mixon incident at OU. He's someone who is loyal, even at the expense of his public perception. After agreeing to coach the Dallas XFL team, he isn't going to go back on that agreement to take a different job. It's just not his style.
If he says he's going to coach in the XFL, that's what he's going to do. The only way that I see him not doing it, is if the XFL doesn't actually take off.
Jason Garrett Isn't Going Anywhere
Probably the most important reason that you won't see Stoops Despite the Dallas Cowboys declining to extend Head Coach Jason Garrett this offseason, the Dallas Cowboys still obviously believe in Garrett as a head coach. If they didn't, they wouldn't keep him around this season either.
Sure, if the 2019 season is a disaster and the Cowboys continue their trend of alternating playoff appearances with missing the playoffs, then Garrett could be shown the door. It's long been chronicled however, that Jerry Jones wants Jason Garrett to be his guy. His Tom Landry so to speak. He and Garrett have had an excellent working relationship during Garrett's tenure and it has led to a restructuring of the way the Dallas Cowboys team build that has garnered them the reputation of being one of the best drafting organizations in the NFL.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
I know that many of you are looking to replace Jason Garrett as the Dallas Cowboys head coach, an I understand why, but Stoops isn't going to be the answer to your head coaching desires. Could he do it. Absolutely. Stoops is one of the five best college coaches of the last 20 years. I have zero doubt that he could join an NFL team and be successful.
It just isn't going to happen for the Dallas Cowboys.
How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys
The 2018 season was a two-part tale for the Dallas Cowboys. The first is the story of a mediocre 3-5 team that couldn't get it going offensively. The second part is about a football team that turned its season around, made the playoffs, got a win in the postseason and ultimately lost to the team that ended up representing the NFC in Super Bowl LIII, the Los Angeles Rams.
Surely, 2018 didn't go as planned. The storylines leading to last season are actually very different from the ones we're hearing today. Let's take a look at a few examples of how the tables have turned for the Dallas Cowboys.
The need for a true WR1
Last season, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys preached the philosophy of not needing a #1 wide receiver. While that could've sound encouraging at the time, once the season began the team was proven wrong. They did need a WR1. Fortunately, this season we won't have to worry about it. This year, Dez Bryant shouldn't be a discussion topic among Cowboys' fans.
Amari Cooper is in the house. And he's been pretty good since he started playing with a Star on his helmet. If we have conversations about the WR position, they will not be about who's the #1 guy. With Michael Gallup showing up late in the season, it probably won't be about who is #2 either.
Back on top of the NFC East
Last year, the Dallas Cowboys were not really the favorites to win the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles had just made history by winning their first Super Bowl ever and it seemed like the Cowboys would have to get a wildcard spot to play in January. Now it's the Cowboys back on top after sweeping the Eagles and turning their once 3-5 season around.
That of course, means a tougher schedule next season. However, it's nice to be back on top of the division. These two teams will surely have an intense race for the division title next season. Maybe we even see them both in the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Sean Lee's uncertain future
I'm pretty sure no one expected Sean Lee to be considered a potential cap casualty for the 2019 season. Even if he was, it would've probably been anticipating an injury or something like that. No one would've imagined that Leighton Vander Esch would be so good to take Sean Lee's job.
The Cowboys' first round rookie truly earned the starting role as the defense's weak linebacker and he should keep it. With Sean Lee set to return to the field, I'm sure we didn't expect him to be a backup by now. We'll have to wait and see if the Cowboys decide to part ways with him. As a fan, it would certainly be painful. But we can't deny it would be a move that makes sense.
It's a crazy franchise on a crazy league. Who knows how things will go from now on, but the Dallas Cowboys certainly look like a promising team heading into the 2019 offseason. Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue to update you with the latest on your favorite NFL team.
Cowboys en Español: Volviendo a la Idea de Earl Thomas
El año pasado, Earl Thomas fue uno de los temas de conversación más frecuentes para los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys. Después de que los Seattle Seahawks no le dieran su deseada extensión de contrato, Thomas se convirtió en un candidato a ser intercambiado de su equipo. Entre los favoritos estaban los Cowboys, quienes tenían una necesidad en su defensiva secundaria. Ahora que la temporada 2018 llegó a su fin, la misma necesidad por un safety de calidad está presente en Dallas.
Sólo que en esta ocasión, Earl Thomas no está bajo contrato con ningún equipo. Su último momento con el uniforme de los Seahawks fue en un carro de lesiones, donde salía lesionado en dirección a su vestidor. Esto mientras se despedía de su equipo con el dedo de en medio extendido hacia sus entrenadores y compañeros. Así concluyó su temporada y su carrera en Seattle.
Ahora, listo para cumplir los 30 años en mayo, Earl Thomas probará la agencia libre cuando comience en marzo. Y sin lugar a dudas, uno de los equipos candidatos a firmarlo serán los Dallas Cowboys. Es un equipo que a pesar de tener una de las mejores defensivas la temporada pasada, se vería muy beneficiada con la llegada de un profundo del calibre de Thomas.
A pesar de su edad y las lesiones, Thomas continúa siendo uno de los mejores en la liga. Su talento es innegable y tendrá toda la disposición de demostrar lo que vale cuando tome el campo la próxima temporada. Cuando llegue el momento, podríamos ver una guerra de ofertas entre varios equipos de la NFL para llevarse al veterano a sus respectivas ciudades.
La pregunta es: ¿estarán los Dallas Cowboys en esa guerra de ofertas?
Los Cowboys tienen espacio en el tope salarial. Sin embargo, este no durará mucho considerando que DeMarcus Lawrence está esperando su merecida y cara extensión después de jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia en 2018. Además, jugadores que aún están bajo contrato también estarán buscando ofertas este offseason.
Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, y Byron Jones están en la lista de quehaceres de la administración. Eso sin mencionar a Cole Beasley, cuyo contrato ya expiró y podría llegar a la agencia libre en marzo.
A pesar de esta complicada situación, los Dallas Cowboys deberían buscar conseguir a Thomas. Siendo sinceros, la defensiva tiene mucho talento y podría mantener su nivel en 2019. Pero hace falta un jugador en la posición de safety para llevar a esta unidad a otro nivel. Un nivel realmente capaz de ganar en postemporada enfrentándose a cualquier tipo de ofensiva. Sin importar que tan explosiva sea. Y además de esto, un jugador que sea capaz de robar el balón y hacer jugadas de impacto constantemente.
Cuando los Cowboys se enfrentaron a Seahawks en temporada regular, Thomas dio un buen ejemplo de esto interceptando en dos ocasiones a la ofensiva de Dak Prescott.
A pasos de un equipo de campeonato, un movimiento agresivo para obtener a Earl Thomas sería algo genial para Dallas. Vimos como los Rams de Los Angeles fueron agresivos al construir su equipo y llegaron hasta el Super Bowl este febrero. Quizá es tiempo de que Jerry Jones y compañía sean igual de agresivos y vayan por ese safety elite que la afición lleva pidiendo desde el offseason del año pasado.
Slot Machine: Amari Cooper in the Slot Could be Even More Dangerous
Amari Cooper was a dangerous man with the Dallas Cowboys after he arrived via trade from the Oakland Raiders last season. He was one of the big reasons why they were able to turn around a season that looked as if it was circling the drain and I don't think anybody would argue the point. But, I think he could be even more dangerous in 2019, especially if Cole Beasley departs via free agency.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you pretty much know the topic of the Cowboys offseason so far has centered around Cole Beasley and his future with the organization. He has been invaluable in Dallas since arriving as an undrafted free agent in 2012, but it's looking more and more as if he could be taking his talents elsewhere in 2019.
With Beasley more than likely moving on, the Cowboys will need to find someone who can replace his production in the passing game, especially in the slot. Everybody assumes Dallas needs to go outside the organization to find that player, but I'm not so sure. I think they already have a wide receiver more than capable of stepping in, and he just so happens to be there first-round draft pick this year.
In case you haven't figured it out already, I'm talking about Wide Receiver Amari Cooper. He has mostly been used as an outside receiver in his professional career, but he does have the skill set and route running ability to be a really dangerous out of the slot. I'm not talking about a full-time move into the slot or anything, just a marginal increase in snaps.
According to Rotounderworld.com, only 12.6% of Amari Cooper's snaps in 2018 were out of the slot. For comparison sake, Cole Beasley's snaps in the slot was 85.9%, the highest of any receiver in the NFL last season. That's a huge difference, not one the Cowboys should try to match with Cooper or any other potential slot WR replacement.
Personally, I'd like to see Cooper's snaps playing out of the slot increased to around 20%. That would put him in Odell Beckham Jr. territory (19.9%), and we all know how difficult he is to cover all over the field. It would likely do the same for Amari Cooper.
I just really like the idea of him having the entire field to work with and the favorable matchup it creates with slot/nickel cornerbacks around the league. Can you imagine opposing defensive coordinators trying to figure out how to contain a player that has the kind of speed and route running ability that Amari Cooper has? They better stock up on Tylenol, because that is a surefire way to get a headache.
This is course is just speculation at this point, especially since we don't know what the Cowboys offense will look like with Kellen Moore taking over the playcalling duties. But if it was me, I'd be doing everything in my power to get the ball in the hands of my best WR, Amari Cooper, and that might mean increasing his snaps out of the slot.
What do you think about using Amari Cooper out of the slot more often in 2019?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Will Cowboys OT La’el Collins Be a 2019 Salary Cap Casualty?
Dallas Cowboys6 days ago
3 Free Agent Targets for the Dallas Cowboys Offense
Player News2 weeks ago
A Lot Had to Happen for Amari Cooper to Join the Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
2019 Player Watch: Cowboys Should Keep an eye on Kyle Rudolph’s Situation
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Will Cowboys S Jeff Heath Be a 2019 Salary Cap Casualty?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Will Cowboys WR Terrance Williams Be a 2019 Salary Cap Casualty?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
5 Pre-draft Moves Cowboys Should Consider Making in Free Agency
Star Blog1 week ago
3 Uncertainties Surrounding The Cowboys Offseason