Things continue to go South for the Dallas Cowboys as they've now dropped their third straight game, falling to 6-7 after another disappointing loss. The 31-24 final score might lead one to believe it was a much closer contest, but this game was pretty much out of hand in the early stages of the third quarter. The failure on Thursday night is just one more example of the Dallas Cowboys failing to perform.
Per Jane Slater of NFL Network, Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones has been exploring potential coaching candidates and spoke with former Ohio State University Head Coach Urban Meyer.
Jerry Jones says Jason Garrett will remain the coach but I can confirm a very real interest in Urban Meyer. In fact, I'm told Stephen Jones spoke with him recently. Lincoln Riley remains a strong candidate & file this name as a possibility Clemson OC Tony Elliott per sources.
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) December 6, 2019
Urban Meyer has been linked to the Dallas Cowboys for a few weeks now after mentioning that he'd be interested in the Cowboys coaching job when talking about Lincoln Riley being linked to the Cowboys. Jones speaking with the former National Championship winning coach could have nothing to do with the future of the Cowboys coaching position, but the timing of the report amidst the Cowboys three-game losing streak gives it much more validity.
Whichever way the Cowboys decide to go in the offseason, it's evident that unless the Cowboys are able to win a Super Bowl, they'll be moving on from Jason Garrett. Even though the Cowboys still have the inside track to winning the NFC East and making the playoffs, this team has underachieved all year and a coaching move seems inevitable.
The Cowboys will have a lot of interesting names to look at when the offseason rolls around. The Cowboys will have to decide what they're looking for in a head coach. Retread names like John Fox and Jack Del Rio will come up. So will a name like recently fired Ron Rivera. Urban Meyer and Lincoln Riley are the hot college names along with the potential of Chris Petersen who has ties to Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore.
Lincoln Riley is the hottest college football name in the country after the Oklahoma Sooners have made the College Football Playoff in each of his first two seasons at the helm. The Sooners' offense has posted historic numbers each year with three different quarterbacks. Those first two quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, each won the Heisman Trophy and were the first overall pick in their respective draft class. This year's quarterback, Jalen Hurts, has been excellent and will likely be a Heisman Finalist as well. If there's one area of concern with Riley is that this is only his third season as the head coach, though that experience comes at one of the highest-profile Universities in college football.
Compare that to Urban Meyer who has 17 seasons under his belt as a head football coach. In those 17 seasons at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, and Ohio State, Meyer had only five seasons with three or more losses, two of which were at Bowling Green. Meyer's worked with quarterbacks that weren't always considered the best passers in Tim Tebow, Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett, or Braxton Miller, but his offenses always figured out how to put up a ton of points.
It seems odd that the Cowboys would be talking with other potential head-coaching candidates, but they've done this before when it became painfully clear that a coaching change was on the horizon.
In 2002, with the Cowboys were in the midst of their third straight 5-11 season under Dave Campo, Jerry Jones met with Bill Parcells at least twice in December. Not long after the season concluded, the Cowboys named Parcells their head coach.
Could they be getting a head start with Urban Meyer?
The Dallas Cowboys have a young nucleus of a football team with a lot of talent, but it's become clear that a change at the top is necessary. They're underperforming and struggling to execute fundamental things on both sides of the football. Because the Cowboys won't need a complete roster rebuild to take a step forward in 2020, they'll take their time and do their due diligence in selecting their next head coach.