The Tuna Flops
You've heard by now that Bill Parcells has walked. Actually he drove, and out a side gate to avoid comments nonetheless. Yep, the tough guy that always thinks he is so clever and has to have the last word at news conferences snuck out a side gate. Sounds like Chicken of the Sea to me.
And what did he really acheive? He posted a record four games over .500 with two playoff appearances. But in this conference, that is not impressive. This was a mediocre team in the mediocre NFC, the conference where the lower playoff seeds always back their way in to the bracket. If this team played in the AFC during Bill's tenure, they are least four games under .500 with no playoff berths.
I will give him this: other than the offensive line, the Tuna has left behind some talent on this roster for the Cowboys seventh coach to tap into next season. Seems he should have been buying the ingredients and letting someone else cook the soup.
Anyway, let's consider what Bill did in waiting sixteen days to step down. Three assistant coaches are gone, and they are good ones. Mike Zimmer is one of the top d-coordinators in the game. Bruce DeHaven is the top special teams guy. And David Lee was Tony Romo's mentor making him a bigger loss than the head coach.
In addition, a number of candidates are off the board having taking jobs while Billy Boy wondered if he had the energy to coach. Now, we're left to speculate about a bunch of guys whose names weren't mentioned for anyone else's job. And how does the scouting department prepare at the Senior Bowl not knowing who the new coach is and what his philosophy is going to be?
And this is a pivotal hire for Jerry Jones, who was great with his first hire even if we hated him for giving Tom Landry the boot. Since, the hires have been poor. Barry Switzer, Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, and the Tuna have left much to be desired.
And for Jerry, the decision won't be easy. Just consider some of the names. Ron Rivera? He coaches a great defense in Chicago, but can he be the coach? Mike Martz? Again, a great coordinator, but the Rams weren't near as good or as disciplined after Dick Vermeil left. Norv Turner? A great offensive mind with Dallas ties. He's struggled in two head coaching jobs but worked for two of the NFL's worst owners. Bob Stoops? He coaches the enemy right now and there's always questions about making the transition to the pros.
So let's face it. There is no surefire candidate, but Jerry has no excuse with the talent he has. He just needs someone to truly inspire and discipline this team.
And, in some ways this decision was made both a year too late and a year too soon. On one hand, Sean Payton has a job so you can't promote him. And trust me when I tell you I hoped Bill would have quit last offseason opening the door for Payton. Then, you can pretty much count Bill Cowher off the market having just step away from the Steelers to get away from the game for a time.
But who else might you look at?
I was excited to see Tony Dungy get to the Super Bowl, but I thought losing last weekend may have made him want to seek something new, especially with the talent on defense Dallas has. So he's not available.
Pete Carroll gets all the press with his NFL experience and success at USC, but his NFL time and success have never intersected.
I would make a run at Jon Gruden. Chucky is marketable, full of fire, and creative. I'm typically not a fan of coaches running the West Coast offense but his is modified with more downfield routes. And with Tampa aging quicky on defense, he may be looking for the grass on the other side.
Wade Phillips might be worth a look. His run in Buffalo would have been much better if not for Drew Bledsoe and he is known for great defenses.
Besides them, I might try to lure Marvin Lewis or Jack Del Rio out of their current posts to lead the charges of America's team.
I know, that's a lot of head coaches under contract, but these are guys who are known quantities. Combine that with a young, developing team and the sky's the limit.
But my choice would really be simple. You trade all of this year's draft picks to Tennessee for Vince Young, hire Mack Brown, tell him he can no longer answer his players questions for them, and see if the duo can relive the magic of 2005. Of course, then, we're screwed if DeLoss Dodds promotes Greg Davis to head coach.