Cowboys Rumors: Lincoln Riley 'Very High on the Radar' of Jerry, Stephen Jones

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2019

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley speaks during a news conference ahead for the College Football playoffs Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Atlanta. Ryan Day of Ohio State was unable to attend. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys will reportedly look toward the college ranks if and when they fire head coach Jason Garrett.

According to Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones have Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley "very high on the radar" as a potential replacement.  

Garrett's job status has been a constant source of discussion throughout much of his tenure with the Cowboys, which started during the 2010 campaign. He has made the playoffs just three times, has yet to advance past the second round and is staring at an uphill battle to reach the postseason this year with one game remaining.

The 7-8 Cowboys are a game behind the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East following Sunday's head-to-head loss, and Pelissero and Rapoport suggested Garrett could be "on the way out" if they miss the postseason.

Enter Riley, who has made the College Football Playoff in each of his three seasons as the head coach of the Sooners.

He is widely considered one of the best offensive minds in all of college football and directed Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray in back-to-back years. Jalen Hurts was a Heisman Trophy finalist this season, although he fell short of LSU's Joe Burrow.

Dallas' offense has plenty of weapons with running back Ezekiel Elliott, quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper, even if the long-term contract statuses of the latter two are still up in the air.

It wouldn't be a stretch to assume the Cowboys would make immediate offensive strides under Riley if he were their next head coach.