If you can’t beat ‘em, hire ‘em.
That might just be the approach that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is considering after watching his team get beaten – and badly outcoached – in a 13-9 loss to the Patriots last Sunday evening at Gillette Stadium.
According Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is one of Jones’ top two candidates to replace current coach Jason Garrett, whose contract runs out at the end of this season which most expect will be his last in Dallas. Freeman says that former Ohio State and Florida coach Urban Meyer is also a top option.
He also describes a possible Meyer hire in Dallas as “a Jones kind of hire” but also “a risky choice.”
McDaniels is seen as a more stable selection. He’s now in his ninth season of his second stint as an assistant under Bill Belichick in New England where he worked his way up the NFL coaching ranks from 2001-08. McDaniels got his first NFL head coaching job in 2009 with the Broncos, which lasted less than two seasons. He also reached a deal to become the Colts head coach two years ago, before backing out of the agreement at the last minute to remain in New England.
“McDaniels would be different, safer in a lot of ways,” Bleacher Report writes. “He's a longtime Patriots assistant, and coaching under Bill Belichick (not to mention coaching Tom Brady) brings a universe of clout. Plus, he's been a head coach in the league before, so he knows the drill to an extent.Beyond Meyer and McDaniels, Bleacher Report notes that Saints’ head coach Sean Payton, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh could also be options in Dallas.
As the NFL season winds down and the Patriots pursue another Super Bowl run, this won’t likely be the last report linking McDaniels to any potential head coaching vacancies. Even with the Colts circus on his resume, his work leading the New England offense makes him an annual candidate for job openings across the NFL.