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Cowboys Rumors: Urban Meyer Interested in HC Job; Might Be 'Too Toxic' for CFB

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 11, 2019

Former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer watches during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game between Ohio State and Wisconsin, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Urban Meyer may be coming out of retirement.

Dan Patrick reported on Wednesday's episode of the Dan Patrick Show that Meyer has expressed interest in coaching the Dallas Cowboys

Dan Patrick Show @dpshow

A source close to Dan told him Urban Meyer is now interested in the Cowboys job because Meyer may be “too toxic” to go back to college football https://t.co/ymCECoLzIO

Meyer has been linked in reports to Dallas prior to Wednesday:

Jane Slater @SlaterNFL

Jerry Jones says Jason Garrett will remain the coach but I can confirm a very real interest in Urban Meyer. In fact, I'm told Stephen Jones spoke with him recently. Lincoln Riley remains a strong candidate & file this name as a possibility Clemson OC Tony Elliott per sources.

The 55-year-old also said on The Herd With Colin Cowherd in October that he would "absolutely" be interested in the Cowboys (h/t Sports Illustrated). 

Meyer most recently coached at Ohio State and retired following the 2018-19 season. At the time, he told ESPN's Dan Murphy and Adam Rittenberg, "I believe I will not coach again."

However, that statement might only apply to coaching college football.

During Meyer's final season at Ohio State, Stadium's Brett McMurphy reported that he was aware then-assistant coach Zach Smith's wife had said Smith physically and emotionally abused her in 2015 but Meyer did not report the allegations. 

Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1, 2018, and further made headlines for how he handled questioning at Big Ten Media Day on Aug. 3. "I got a text late last night something happened in 2015," he said, in part (h/t Cleveland.com). "And there was nothing. Once again, there's nothing—once again, I don't know who creates a story like that."

Meyer addressed his comments with a lengthy Twitter post:

Urban Meyer @CoachUrbanMeyer

https://t.co/wrlRi9jtZz

The university suspended Meyer on Aug. 22 for the first three games of the season following an investigation.

Overall at Ohio State, Meyer went 83-9 across seven seasons. He led the Buckeyes to the 2014-15 College Football Playoff Championship as well as three other bowl wins.

Meyer, then the head coach of the Florida Gators, had previously temporarily retired from coaching in 2009 due to health concerns before landing at Ohio State in 2012. So, it's not surprising that Meyer has again left the door open for a possible return to the sideline.

"I'm not there at the moment," Meyer told Cleveland.com's Doug Lesmerises for a story published in September. "Like you said, next year can I say that? We'll talk again next year and we'll see."

Any interest from Meyer doesn't matter so long as Jason Garrett remains the Cowboys' head coach, but Garrett's seat has gotten increasingly warmer throughout this season. 

Meyer's success as a coach would be tempting for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who is desperate for the franchise's first Super Bowl title since the 1995-96 campaign. As Dallas has stumbled to 6-7 this season, signs have continually pointed to Garrett losing his job. 

On Dec. 3, Jones was noncommittal to Jones beyond this season while speaking with 105.3 The Fan (h/t USA Today):

"You can say a guy that’s been coaching 10 years should have a Super Bowl. Do you want to list the thousands of coaches that don't have their Super Bowl or equivalent who have been coaching 10 years? And do you want the list how many number there are who have multiple Super Bowls and have been coaching 10 years? My point is it’s a high, high bar. But there are qualified people. Jason really is one of them.

"In my opinion, Jason Garrett will be coaching in the NFL next year."

Garrett has headed the Cowboys since 2010, going 83-66 but winning only two playoff games.