Jerry Jones is getting closer to replacing Jason Garrett as head coach of the Cowboys. Urban Meyer wasn’t hired as the head coach at USC. That makes Meyer working for the Cowboys and Jones less of a wild rumor and more of a strong possibility.
Meyer, whom BetOnline.ag made the early favorite (3/1) to be the next coach in Dallas, has drawn “very real interest” from Jones, per well-connected Cowboys reporter Jane Slater of NFL Network.
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
This is no surprise, because Meyer is the best former coach, at any level, available, with his three-national-championships resume. He’s doing well as a college football analyst for Fox Sports.
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Jones went a similar route with Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer back-to-back 30 years ago, and the Cowboys won three Super Bowls. Jones can pay Meyer whatever he wants and doesn’t need to wrangle him from another coaching job.
Meyer wins quickly wherever he goes, and the Cowboys, with their talent, are built to win a championship now. One of his specialties is also special teams, something that needs to be cleaned up big-time in Dallas. His direct connection with his former Ohio State stud running back Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t hurt, either.
Lincoln Riley is already a superstar offensive-minded coach at 36 and has picked up where Bob Stoops left off in Norman. He’s making $6 million, or as much as Garrett gets now, and is in a cushy spot as he churns out College Football Playoff contenders and Heisman Trophy-caliber quarterbacks annually.
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From Jones’ perspective, there’s much less convincing needed with Meyer. He’ll go out of his way to make a return to coaching comfortable, including taking a lot of the pressure of personnel decisions off Meyer. Jones also covets experience, and all other things being equal, Meyer, 55, has the big edge over Riley in that department.
Tony Elliott may not seem as big of a name for the Joneses, but the 40-year-old coordinator would be a way to tap into another championship machine, Dabo Swinney’s Clemson juggernaut.
Before Slater’s report, Meyer seemed like more of an Urban legend for the Cowboys. Now, it’s very real indeed.