Now that the Cowboys no longer control their own destiny after yet another late-season debacle against a division rival, it seems all but certain Jason Garrett will finally not return next season as head coach. Jerry Jones is the ultimate wild card so you never know what he'll do, but here are five candidates we could see as being the next man to helm the sidelines for the Dallas Cowboys. Note: This is a variation of a list we published a few weeks ago when it became clear Garrett's job was in serious jeopardy.
Lincoln Riley - Quite frankly, this should be Riley's job to turn down. He has Oklahoma on the outskirts of making the CFB Playoff, and is the type of young innovative offensive mind that NFL franchises are going gaga over. Riley's record in three seasons with the Sooners is 35-5. He would be the best choice to optimize an offense built around Dak Prescott (if he re-signs or is franchised) and Ezekiel Elliott.
Urban Meyer - A few weeks ago, Jane Slater of NFL Media tweeted that "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." She also listed Riley and Clemson OC Tony Elliott as potential candidates. Meyer has made his bones as a college coach, obviously, but it was with former college coaches in Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer that Jones won Super Bowls.
Meyer does have some rough spots, but has benefitted from Ohio State playing phenomenally this season after he left a wreckage behind at Florida, and from being stunningly likable on FOX TV. If there's anyone willing to tolerate some of Meyer's rough edges in the name of winning, it's Jerry Jones.
Matt Rhule - Yep, another college coach, but Rhule is going to be named in consideration for every open job in the NFL and all of the plum ones in college. He turned around Baylor from the absolute ashes. They were 1-11 in his first season there in 2017, and this season they're 11-1 with a shot to make the CFB Playoffs if they win and Georgia and Utah lose. It doesn't seem accidental that Jerry Jones recently paid Rhule a compliment.
Greg Roman - The Ravens' offensive coordinator could very well get mentioned for a lot of openings. What he has done with presumptive MVP Lamar Jackson, and what he previously did with Colin Kaepernick, should be a template for everyone who is working with a mobile quarterback to copy.
Eric Bieniemy - Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have weathered all the concern about the quarterback's dislocated knee, the Kansas City offensive coordinator should be a candidate for open NFL jobs when the dust settles this offseason. The Andy Reid coaching tree has proven fruitful in the past -- Doug Pederson won a Super Bowl, Matt Nagy was Coach of the Year last year and for the time being the Bears appear resuscitated -- and it would be wise for Jerry Jones to consider going in this direction.