Dallas Cowboys Head Coaching Search: Possible Candidates for the Opening

Old AccountSenior Writer IDecember 26, 2010

Dallas Cowboys Head Coaching Search: Possible Candidates for the Opening

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 21:  Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys leads his team against the Detroit Lions late in the fourth quarter at Cowboys Stadium on November 21, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  The Cowboys beat the Lions 35-19.  (Photo by Tom
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    The Dallas Cowboys' 2010 season is nearing its end, and with the offseason approaching, the speculation will begin to rise regarding the team's next head coach.

    Yes, we know that this job is Jason Garrett's job to lose. However, don't ever guarantee anything when it comes to Jerry Jones. Jones is willing to offer a lot of money to bring in whoever he wants to coach this team.

    With a lot of former coaches interested in getting back into football, Jerry Jones could make the decision to go with a veteran playcaller over an offensive coordinator like Jason Garrett.

    Here are some possible candidates for the Dallas Cowboys' head coaching job.

    Matt Miselis is an NFL Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com.

    Follow me on twitter: twitter.com/MattMiselis.

Jon Gruden

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    TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 28: Coach Jon Gruden of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers directs play against the Oakland Raiders at Raymond James Stadium on December 28, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Former head coach Jon Gruden has been involved in plenty of speculation when it comes to coaching vacancies this offseason.

    If the Cowboys job is open, he will be interested and Jerry Jones should have interest in him.

    Gruden knows how to run a tight ship, as his disciplinary-type style helped him in his tenures in Oakland and Tampa Bay.

    The biggest question is Jerry Jones himself. Jones has a lot of power when it comes to decision-making, and would have to be willing to decrease his role as general manager if he wants Gruden to come on board.

Bill Cowher

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    PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 5: Head coach Bill Cowher of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during the game against the Denver Broncos on November 5, 2006 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Another high-profile coach likely to return to the game is Bill Cowher. In recent weeks he has mentioned a wish list of where jobs may open up, which includes the New York Giants.

    However, if the job is open to someone other than Jason Garrett, Cowher will have to take a look. Just like Gruden, his style of coaching fit in quite well with the Steelers as they were among the top franchises in the NFL during his tenure.

    Just like Gruden, it could come down to Jerry Jones' ability to step down in many key positions in the front office, as Cowher wants to have authority as head coach of a franchise.

Jimmy Johnson

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    25 Nov 1999:  Head coach Jimmy Johnson  of the Miami Dolphins looks at the scoreboard during the game against the Dallas Cowboys  at the Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. The Cowboys defeated the Dolphins 20-3. Mandatory Credit: Ronald Martinez  /Allsport
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Every time there is an opening with the Dallas Cowboys position, Jimmy Johnson's name is always tossed around.

    Why should it be different this time around? Johnson had success his first time around as the coach of the Cowboys and has a good connection with Jerry Jones.

    Jones may feel it is time to bring back a coach who knows how to succeed under Jones and knows the expectations the position brings.

Brian Billick

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    BALTIMORE - DECEMBER 30:  Head coach Brian Billick of the Baltimore Ravens watches the action during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium December 30, 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Brian Billick has been out of the NFL for three seasons now after being fired by the Baltimore Ravens at the end of the 2007 season.

    Billick may return to the sidelines this year; can the Cowboys job be in his future?

    He currently has one Super Bowl, and could finally live up to the hype of being an offensive genius with the weapons in Dallas.

    Billick may also be able to bring some defensive schemes from his old days in Baltimore, which have produced great defenses for the past decade.

Jim Harbaugh

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    PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Stanford Cardinal reacts after Delano Howell #26 of the Stanford Cardinal made an interception on a pass intended for Joe Halahuni #87 of the Oregon State Beavers at Stanford Stadium on November
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Jim Harbaugh is the hottest college coach when it comes to possibly making the jump to the pro level. His brother John is already a head coach of the Ravens, and Jim apparently has intentions of becoming a NFL head coach some day.

    Could being the coach of the Cowboys be in his future? Harbaugh is running a football team at Stanford, preparing top talent for the NFL.

    Harbaugh has the authority and respect of controlling an NFL locker room. Jerry Jones may want to keep his authority he currently has, and a young coach such as Harbaugh may allow him to do that.

Jason Garrett

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    ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 19:  Interim head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys during a game against the Washington Redskins at Cowboys Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    At this point in time, Jason Garrett is the leading candidate to become the next permanent head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

    He has been on the staff for quite a few years now, and is doing a solid job in his job as interim head coach despite not having his Pro Bowl quarterback in Tony Romo.

    However, the Cowboys have been struggling a bit as of late, which could possibly be his downfall.

    If he does not get the job at Dallas, it is most likely he'll be a head coach somewhere in 2011.

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