The NFL football world watched Monday night as the Chicago Bears systematically dismantled the Dallas Cowboys in front of a national audience. Dallas owner Jerry Jones has to be growing tired of his team underachieving on the field. They looked like a power house in the regular season opener against the New York Giants and then were simply overwhelmed in Seattle against the Seahawks. If the Cowboys fail to reach the playoffs this season, it’s very possible that the honeymoon with head coach Jason Garrett could be coming to an end. Could Jon Gruden become the next Dallas Cowboys head coach?
Since being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and heading into the broadcast booth for ESPN, Gruden has been rumored to nearly every coaching vacancy in the league. ESPN signed him to a contract extension last offseason, but broadcasters can get out of those contracts to return to the sidelines.
Gruden has stated that he’d like to return to coaching. I can understand that, he’s a very passionate and competitive coach. His current gig isn’t too bad though. No more need to get up at 3 a.m. every morning as he did as the coach of the Buccaneers. You don’t have to formulate a game plan for opposing teams each week, you just have to be careful not to drop a F-bomb on air. (I thought he was very close two Mondays ago at the end of the Packers-Seahawks game)
Jerry Jones is craving for the Cowboys to become relevant once again in Super Bowl discussions. His last two coaches have failed to get the Cowboys close. Look for the next hire to be a splash hire.
Gruden will want to return to a team that has some weapons and is close to advancing to the playoffs and making a Super Bowl run. Gruden would likely prefer a team in a big market, Dallas fits the bill on both requirements.
Jones has never steered away from strong personalities in the past. He hired Jimmie Johnson. He’s hired Bill Parcells. Yes, a relationship between Jones and Gruden could be volatile, but in the end, both parties have just one goal in mind, winning another Super Bowl.
Another Super Bowl winning head coach is also out of the coaching ranks, Bill Cowher. However, it’s possible that his coaching window is starting to close. He’s now been out of coaching since 2006. Cowher has not been as adamant about wanting to return to coaching as Gruden.
There is a strong possibility that Mike Holmgren will be replaced in his current Cleveland Browns front office job. Holmgren will turn 65 in June of 2013 and he’s not been active as a head coach since 2008. You might think that Holmgren might want to acquire a chair on a television set and join the broadcast ranks at this point in his career.
There is a very good chance the Cowboys miss the playoffs once again this year. The offensive line has questions. Tony Romo is coming off his second five interception performance on Monday Night Football. Gruden is in a position of strength, making a multi-million dollar salary from ESPN. Jerry Jones is going to have to open his checkbook and likely will have to cede some of his personnel decision making to Gruden. It’s possible that Gruden could become the highest paid head coach in the league under Jones. Jerry is desperate. He stated this past offseason that he believes the window might be closing on his current team.
Jon might to make sure his cell phone is fully charged on New Year’s Eve, he just might be getting a call from somewhere in Texas as the calender flips into 2013.