He was once the pride of the Aggie's defense. The leader of the wrecking crew and one of the most decorated defensive players in college football history. He quite possibly is Texas A&M's most celebrated and famous player.
After seven years as an All-Pro middle linebacker for the Cowboys, Dat Nguyen has spent the last three years as an assistant linebacker's coach under Wade Phillips in Dallas.
After the recent devestating loss to the Giants, a coaching shakeup could be likely in Big D. That could leave Nguyen looking for a new coaching opportunity and could leave A&M with a big chance to bring back one of its most favored sons to its dimming program.
Nguyen last left the Aggies as the MVP of their Big 12 Championship team in 1998. He took with him with Consensus All-American Honors, the Lombardi and Bednarik awards and came within two votes of taking the Butkus. Nguyen's All-Pro NFL career far outshone that of eventual 98' Butkus winner Chris Claibourne.
After retiring from injuries in 2006, Nguyen who was famous for his knowledge of the game and leadership, became an assistant coach in Dallas where he has served for the past three years.
As a player, Nguyen was renowned for his intricate knowledge of offensive schemes. He once famously alerted his Cowboy defense of an impending "Shovel" pass during a Monday night game vs. the Eagles before the ball was even snapped. Former Dallas Coach Bill Parcells once said of Nguyen " That is one football playing dude, he could have played on any of my teams." That was quite a statement from a man who once coached the great Lawrence Taylor and the New York Giants to a Super Bowl Championship.
With the Aggies going a cold 6-6 this year, with three losses by over 30 points, the Aggies could be looking to upgrade their defensive coaching staff. With the addition of Nguyen the Aggies would bring back one of their most popular Hall of Famers, a brilliant defensive mind and a former NFL All-Pro with huge recruiting credibility all in one swoop.
The Aggies could use the opportunity to groom Nguyen as a future Defensive Coordinator or even Head Coach of the program. Nguyen is currently a favorite of Dallas owner Jerry Jones, but if Wade is forced out after this season, the new coach will invariably want to bring his own people in to fill in the assistant coaches positions.
As a Texas native, Nguyen knows Texas state football like few others having been an Texas All-State High School player, a All-American College legend at A&M and an All-Pro for the Cowboys in the NFL. With three years of NFL coaching experience under his belt Nguyen is a perfect candidate for the job. The Aggies would be in a unique position to turn this season disappointment into a big sign of encouragement with if they are able to bring Nguyen back to Kyle Field.