NFL

Riley & McCarthy among Cowboys contenders after Garrett firing

By Sports Desk January 06, 2020

The Jason Garrett era finally came to an end in Dallas on Sunday, as the Cowboys parted company with their head coach after nine full seasons together.

Garrett, who initially took over on an interim basis in 2010, led the Cowboys to three playoff appearances, but paid the price for a mediocre 8-8 season in which Dallas failed to live up to expectations.

Owner Jerry Jones has already begun the search to find the new man to try harness the potential of a supremely talented roster, with Mike McCarthy and Marvin Lewis reportedly interviewed by the Cowboys.

Here we look at the likely contenders to replace Garrett, as the Cowboys plot a long-awaited return to the glory days of the early 1990s.

Lincoln Riley

The bookmakers' favourite, Riley is regarded as one of the brightest young coaching minds in the college game. Riley has led the Oklahoma Sooners to three consecutive College Football Playoff appearances, while his ability to get the best out of quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray saw them selected first overall in successive drafts.

Riley had similar success with Jalen Hurts in 2019 and his potential impact on Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense is likely to appeal greatly to Jones, whose challenge would be convincing the 36-year-old to leave one of the premier jobs in college football.

Josh McDaniels

Still receiving significant interest despite going back on his handshake agreement with the Indianapolis Colts last year, former Denver Broncos head coach McDaniels appears destined to receive a second chance in a top job. The New England Patriots offensive coordinator will surely be keen to prove he can succeed without Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The Cowboys have the talent to help him do so.

Mike McCarthy

Highly sought after following a year out of the game, McCarthy has significant experience and a Super Bowl title to his name from his spell with the Green Bay Packers. McCarthy is said to have spent his time away reinventing himself and improving his knowledge of analytics. The Cowboys were seemingly very impressed with McCarthy 2.0, as he reportedly stayed an extra day in Dallas after his interview.

Urban Meyer

Meyer has never coached at NFL level but has the big-name cachet Jones will likely crave having won three National Championships during a decorated spell as a college coach. He left Ohio State for health reasons after a 2018 season marred by scandal but has reportedly said he is interested in making the jump to the pros with Dallas. Given his history of success at every college team he coached, that interest should be mutual.

Marvin Lewis

The Cincinnati Bengals were a consistent contender during Lewis' 16-season tenure, and consistency is exactly what the Cowboys need. The blot on Lewis copybook is his playoff record, with the Bengals 0-7 in the postseason under his stewardship. That may affect his standing with a Cowboys franchise that has seen only four playoff victories since their last Super Bowl triumph in the 1995 season.

Other potential candidates

Matt Rhule is a popular name in this hiring cycle following the turnaround he has inspired at Baylor and a move from college to the pros seems likely at some point.

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has no head coaching experience but his energy and the success he has overseen could win over a franchise. Florida head coach Dan Mullen is a long-shot candidate, having coached Prescott at Mississippi State.

Related items

  • On this day in sport: Baseball strike ends, Lara leads Windies to victory On this day in sport: Baseball strike ends, Lara leads Windies to victory

    The longest strike in baseball history came to an end on this day in 1995.

    A walkout that lasted for 232 days concluded on March 31, 25 years ago.

    That is not the only significant sporting moment to unfold on this date.

    Let's take a look back on this day in history...

     

    1995 – MLB strike ends

    The strike started in August of the previous year following wrangling over pay, with the rest of the season cancelled as a result.

    That meant, for the first time since 1904, the World Series was not played.

    It was on this day in 1995 that MLB commissioner Bud Selig announced an agreement had been reached to end the dispute.

    1997 – Captain Lara leads Windies to victory

    The legendary Brian Lara fist captained West Indies in a 1997 Test match against India.

    It was a thriller, with the hosts securing victory in Bridgetown after India failed to chase down 120.

    Lara top-scored for his team in the second innings, contributing 45 runs, while he also claimed a catch off the dangerous Sachin Tendulkar as the tourists were skittled for 81.

    2001 – Schumacher brothers' Canadian GP one-two

    The 2001 Canadian Grand Prix proved to be a special occasion in the Schumacher household.

    Brothers Ralf and Michael enjoyed a respective one-two finish, sharing the podium with Mika Hakkinen.

    Ferrari star Michael went on to win the title with 123 points, 58 clear of nearest rival David Coulthard.

  • Slater: Standards don't change for Patriots after Brady exit Slater: Standards don't change for Patriots after Brady exit

    New England Patriots wide receiver Matthew Slater insisted the standards remain the same for the storied NFL franchise, despite the loss of Tom Brady.

    Brady swapped the Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers via free agency, after winning six Super Bowl titles in Foxborough.

    The exit of the legendary quarterback following a glorious two-decade run in New England leaves an obvious void, but Slater backed his team to step up.

    "I don't think the goals change at all. The standard doesn't change at all. The pillars that we stand upon, they don't change at all," the 34-year-old told reporters on a conference call on Monday.

    "If you go into the season with a defeatist mindset, then you can't expect to be successful. We have a great opportunity. We have a lot of good football players. We have a tremendous coaching staff. ... We have to go into the season expecting more from ourselves than anyone outside the building expects from us.

    "We have to go in with the same drive, the same focus, the same determination. If we don't, you shouldn't even step foot in the building, because we're already going to be beat."

    On Brady's departure, Slater – a three-time Super Bowl champion – added: "When you talk about Tom and everything he's meant to this organisation, and our team, a lot of our identity over the last 20 years has been centred around him. Any time you transition away from a player like that, it's a tall task.

    "You have to find a way to deal with that personally and process it. I think as a team, obviously, we're going to have to process that Tom is gone. Do it in a healthy way, and be able to move on.

    "We're going to have to be able to find a new identity for ourselves. I think part of that identity is going to be built upon things we've always stood for and will continue to stand for as long as this organisation is led by the people it's led by. That's going to be selflessness, hard work, doing what's best for the football team, serving one another, not having any level of expectation that things are going to be handed to us."

  • Drew Brees' rattlesnake encounter leaves Sean Payton wanting more social distancing Drew Brees' rattlesnake encounter leaves Sean Payton wanting more social distancing

    Drew Brees might not have to dodge defensive linemen and free blitzers any time soon, but Sean Payton would rather he steered clear of rattlesnakes too.

    Veteran quarterback Brees recently agreed a new two-year deal to return to the New Orleans Saints, who have suffered playoff heartache in three successive seasons under Payton.

    However, the quarterback-and-head-coach duo appear primed for another run at a Super Bowl next season having delivered the franchise's first Lombardi Trophy a decade ago.

    Yet given the importance of Brees - the NFL's all-time leader for passing yardage, pass completions and touchdowns thrown, Saints fans would rather he avoided any potential dangers this offseason.

    The 41-year-old uploaded a picture of a rattlesnake onto his Instagram account alongside the caption: "The baby rattlesnakes were out today... Saw them on the late afternoon walk with the dogs."

    At a time when people the world over are being encouraged to remain at home and limit their social interactions, the thought of Brees having a close shave with a snake prompted his head coach Payton to offer some advice.

    In a reply to Brees on Twitter, Payton wrote: "Let's find a different route. Ok?" 

    Payton was the first person in the NFL known to have tested positive for coronavirus when it was revealed he had COVID-19 on March 19.

    Less than a week later he said he had been "cleared" of the illness and was "doing well".

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.