With just one week remaining in the regular season, much of the NFL world has already started looking toward the 2020 offseason. Only 12 teams are going to make the playoffs, and of the 20 that do not, several are going to experience significant changes over the next few months.
One of the teams potentially in store for change is the Dallas Cowboys. A week ago, Dallas was in first place in the NFC East and in position to make the playoffs. After losing to the Philadelphia Eagles, though, they now need a win and an Eagles loss to get into the postseason.
Even if the Cowboys do sneak in, however, head coach Jason Garrett is likely out. According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, the only way he's going to keep his job is if the Cowboys somehow reach the NFC Championship Game:
Given the position Dallas is in, reaching the title game is unlikely. So, with Garrett likely out, the questions turn to owner Jerry Jones' search for a new head coach.
Former Florida and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is a popular name among media members, and ESPN's Stephen A. Smith recently said on First Take that the three-time national champion is "interested" in the Dallas job.
According to Brit Hume of Fox News, however, Meyer isn't interested in taking any job in 2020.
"I think I'm done coaching," Meyer said in mid-December, per Hume.
If Meyer really isn't interested in taking an NFL job, the Cowboys may not be the only disappointed franchise. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora believes that the Cleveland Browns could be interested in Meyer if they decide to move on from head coach Freddie Kitchens. La Canfora cited Meyer's relationship with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.
"Jimmy Haslam is as close to Urban Meyer as he is with the Mannings," a source said, per La Canfora.
According to La Canfora, Meyer may also be more interested in pursuing an NFL job than he has let on publicly.
"Though Meyer, working as a college football analyst, later came out and said he is not interested in returning to coaching, that is not the signal that has been privately sent to teams, according to multiple sources," La Canfora wrote.
Like the Cowboys, the Browns have been a major disappointment this season—which is why Kitchens could be out of a job. Quarterback Baker Mayfield has seemed to regress under Kitchens' guidance, and the acquisition of star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. hasn't netted Cleveland an elite passing attack.
Because Beckham hasn't worked out, there has also been speculation on his future in Cleveland. According to Rapoport, however, general manager John Dorsey has privately told Beckham that he won't be traded in the offseason.
And while the Browns will be looking to bounce back in 2020, so too will the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh is still alive but needs help to get in the postseason. It's fair to wonder where the team could be with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger under center. The future Hall of Famer was lost for the season after just two starts because of an elbow injury.
The good news is that Pittsburgh may find out what this team is capable of with Roethlisberger next season. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the Steelers believe that the veteran quarterback will make a full recovery:
The Steelers have most of their key players under contract in 2020—Bud Dupree is the most notable pending free agent—so the roster around Roethlisberger should be similar to the one making a playoff bid without him.