Big D's next coach? Who knows?



If owner Jerry Jones is willing to give up control, he could land a big name.
IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Jerry Jones once said any of 500 coaches could have won a Super Bowl with the talent he'd assembled for the Dallas Cowboys.
Since uttering that memorable line, he's gone through Barry Switzer, Chan Gailey, Dave Campo and Bill Parcells.
That leaves 496 candidates to choose from this time around.
Jones was thrown into another coaching search when Parcells retired Monday. While the team's owner-general manager has long maintained he wanted Parcells back, Jones surely already has a list of candidates in mind.
Who is on it remains guesswork. Anyone is possible, with Jones confident in the drawing powers of his wallet and the mystique of the Cowboys.
"Winning is the name of the game," Jones said in a statement Monday. "We have made progress on that front in the recent past and we will continue to build on that progress with the belief that we have to do better."
Jones is antsy because the Cowboys haven't won a playoff game since 1996 -- and because they're moving into a 1 billion, 100,000-seat stadium in 2009. That's pressure enough to make sure he gets it right.
Key issue
A key issue will be control, primarily how much Jones needs. Of the five coaches he's hired, only Parcells and Jimmy Johnson had loud voices in personnel decisions.
If Jones is willing to keep sharing, he could go after a big name, like Southern California's Pete Carroll. Another intriguing option is Bill Cowher, who left the Steelers for time off but might be willing to return for enough money and power.
But if Jones is itching to call the shots again, he'll have to go with someone just happy to have the job. That could be a college coach -- even a top commodity like Oklahoma's Bob Stoops or LSU's Les Miles, a Dallas assistant from 1998-2000 -- or an up-and-coming NFL assistant, like Chicago defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.
Jones' previous coaching searches don't provide much insight because the circumstances were so different.
He started with a pair of old pals in Johnson and Switzer. Then he went with Gailey and Campo, obscure coordinators willing to work cheap and let Jones call the shots. After that, Jones' reputation was shot, but he lucked out when Parcells said he was interested.
Dallas went 34-32 under Parcells, losing two playoff games. That sure beats 15-33 under Campo -- but it wasn't as good as Gailey. He won a division title and made the playoffs in both of his seasons, plus gave Jones the payday of hosting a wild card game.
It's hard to say how the Parcells experiment affected Jones' approach. In his statement, Jones said it showed his "willingness to embrace a different philosophy and approach toward winning" and added that it reinforced his "willingness to be flexible."
How much remains to be seen.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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