Shaquille O'Neal Says Cowboys Should Hire Deion Sanders to Replace HC Mike McCarthy

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2022

Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders walks the field during an NCAA football game against Louisiana Monroe on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Monroe, La. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
AP Photo/Matthew Hinton

Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal has a somewhat unconventional choice for who should be the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

Speaking on his The Big Podcast With Shaq (h/t TMZ Sports), O'Neal offered the following advice to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones:

"I'm putting this out right now. Deion Sanders is the next head coach for the Cowboys. Jerry Jones, this message is from Shaquille O'Neal Incorporated, Deion Sanders for the next coach to Cowboys.

"You want the Dallas back rocking. Bring Deion to the fold. Deion will hold those players accountable. Deion Sanders for the next Cowboys coach. Put it out, tweet it, dammit. TikTok it, Instagram it, OnlyFans it, put it out."

The Cowboys are coming off a 12-5 season that saw them win the NFC East, but things ended in disappointment for them once again, as they fell 23-17 to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Wild Card Round of the playoffs. The Cowboys have not advanced past the divisional round of the playoffs since the 1995 season.

Given that defeat, there is some question whether Mike McCarthy will be back in 2022 for a third season as head coach of the Cowboys.

While addressing the media last week, Jones declined to endorse McCarthy as the head coach moving forward.

If Jones does fire McCarthy, Sanders would be an intriguing candidate given his ties to the Cowboys organization.

Sanders is a Pro Football Hall of Famer who is considered one of the greatest cornerbacks in NFL history. He spent five seasons with the Cowboys, helping lead them to their most recent Super Bowl win in 1995.

More recently, Sanders has gotten into coaching, and he is currently the head coach of FCS college football program Jackson State.

While Jackson State is Sanders' first college job, he spent four years as a high school head coach previously.

After leading Jackson State to a 4-3 record in his first season, the Tigers took a huge leap forward in 2021, going 11-2. They have also landed some big-name recruits, beating out top-flight FBS programs in the process.

Sanders has quickly turned things around at Jackson State, and it is fair to wonder if he could do something similar in Dallas despite having no FBS or NFL coaching experience.

For now, the name to watch as a potential replacement for McCarthy seems to be New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who was the Cowboys' assistant head coach from 2003 to 2005.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Payton has yet to commit to coaching the Saints in 2022, meaning the door could be open for him to make the leap to Dallas.