A head coaching change seems inevitable in Dallas after Sunday's 17-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, leaving the Cowboys in danger of missing the postseason, and a high-profile option could be on the table.
On Monday's First Take, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said that Urban Meyer is "interested" in the Dallas Cowboys head coaching job and that team owner Jerry Jones is "considering it" but in no way has made up his mind on the matter.
Barring the Cowboys somehow winning the NFC East—still a possibility if they beat Washington in Week 17 and the Eagles lose to the New York Giants—Jason Garrett's time in Dallas is almost assuredly over. Frankly, it may be over even if the Cowboys make the playoffs unless they go on a deep run. It's hard to imagine Jones being thrilled with an 8-8 season and an early playoff exit given the talent on the roster.
In his 10 seasons in Dallas, Garrett has posted an 84-67 record, reaching the postseason just three times, with only two playoff wins. That has left him on the hot seat this season, a chair that would appear to be on fire at this point.
Replacing him with Meyer would certainly be a splashy move. The longtime college coach has no NFL experience but in stints at Bowling Green, Florida and Ohio State held a 187-32 record and three national championships (two with the Gators, one with the Buckeyes).
It also wouldn't be a major surprise if Jones pursued such a high-profile option. Meyer is currently the favorite to earn the gig at 3-1 odds, per Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News, topping New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (4-1), San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh (5-1), Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley (5-1), New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton (6-1) and Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh (12-1).
"Jimmy Haslam has a very strong bond with Meyer, the sources said, and the two have long been confidants. Meyer has often shared inside information on his Ohio State players with the owner in the past—with the owner privileged to player reports and potential red flags that most if not all teams close to that program were not aware of. It was not uncommon at all for the men to be in conversation and act as a sounding board for one another, and Meyer has a unique cache in Ohio based on his successful stint with the Buckeyes."
Meyer was also seen at Washington's game against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, though he was there as Terry McLaurin's guest. The former Ohio State wideout and current Washington rookie said the appearance had "nothing to do with his coaching status," per Scott Allen of the Washington Post.
Maybe, maybe not. But Meyer's name sure is coming up a lot of late and in relation to NFL teams that may be looking at coaching changes this offseason. Count the Cowboys among them after Sunday's disappointing loss.