Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has been sitting on perhaps the hottest seat in the NFL for weeks, prompting mass speculation as to who owner Jerry Jones will tab to replace him should he choose to do so.
Among viable candidates in the NFL world, some have suggested that Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley and former Ohio State coach turned Fox analyst Urban Meyer could be good fits in Dallas. Meyer, who retired after a tumultuous final season with the Buckeyes in 2018, even said in October that he would “absolutely” listen if the Cowboys reached out to him about the job.
Though Jones has gone the collegiate route before — he plucked Jimmy Johnson from Miami and retired Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer — he doesn’t seem keen on hiring a college coach this time around.
That jump, he said on 105.3 The Fan on Friday, isn’t one done successfully very often.
“College coaches have the lowest, at head coach coming directly into head coach, have the lowest percentage rate of success as opposed to coming from coordinator, as opposed to coming from the NFL, or as opposed to coming from a head coaching job in the NFL,” Jones said on the show, via the Dallas Morning News. “College football has the lowest rate of success. It’s pretty obvious. They have to get acquainted with personnel. College coaches spend Sunday working. It’s one of their biggest work [days of the week]. So, in many cases, they’re not that familiar with the personnel.
“Now, that’s a big deal because there are coaches that understand almost the practice habit of opposing teams. And then, it’s particularly understanding of any input that you want from them regarding personnel. So you pay a price for somebody to get up to date that haven’t spent the prior months or years in the NFL. And then, just the nature of the game, and again, college coaches don’t spend a lot of time watching this game. They work on Sunday, hard. So getting up to snuff, I’m reminded that we won one football game the first year that we came and brought Jimmy in.”
Jones praised Lincoln Riley, Matt Rhule
Despite his doubts about college coaches making the jump to the NFL in general, Jones had nothing but good things to say about both Riley and Baylor coach Matt Rhule.
The two squared off last week in the Big 12 championship game at AT&T Stadium, where the Sooners edged out a 30-23 overtime win to solidify their spot in the College Football Playoff.
“Well, I am impressed with [Riley],” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “But boy, I am impressed with Baylor’s [Matt] Rhule, too. Those are two outstanding coaches at the stadium this weekend. That’s just that. They’ve done great jobs. They’ve positioned their teams. They’re sound in the way they’re approaching the game. That was a great chance to see a couple of great coaches out there.”
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