Gosselin: ‘I’d be disappointed if Jerry Jones didn’t at least talk to (Jim) Harbaugh’ about head coaching job
The Dallas Morning News NFL columnist Rick Gosselin answered your questions in a Thursday morning chat. Here are some highlights.
On who should be the Cowboys head coach next season:
Gosselin: Garrett makes financial success for Jerry. What I like about (Jeff) Fisher is he’s been one of the most successful coaches in the NFL without a Hall of Fame quarterback. He’s won with Kerry Collins, Vince Young, Neil O’Donnell and even Billy Volek. Steve McNair was a Pro Bowl quarterback — but I wouldn’t put him in the same class with Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Steve Young and those types. Good, not great. And I really like Harbaugh. The term quarterback “guru” is thrown too casually in the NFL. Brian Billick and Jon Gruden were labeled as “gurus” but they never developed a young quarterback. They won with established, veteran quarterbacks. Harbaugh has developed a young quarterback for all eyes to see — Andrew Luck. He wasn’t the bluest of chips coming out of high school but Harbaugh’s tutelage has transformed him into the first overall pick of an NFL draft. Eighty percent of NFL success is the quarterback in today’s game. You need someone who can identify a young quarterback and develop him. Harbaugh has done that. I think he will be on the short list of just about every NFL team looking for a head coach this offseason. Coaches who can develop quarterbacks are gold to an NFL franchise. There are so few of them. I’d be disappointed if Jerry Jones didn’t at least talk to Harbaugh. But there figures to be a line, maybe a long one.
On Jason Garrett being the coach of the Cowboys next year:
Gosselin: Jerry wants him to be the next and future coach. I think there’s probably a 75 percent chance that he’s back. But I do think he needs to win some games in December. If he goes 4-4 as interim coach, that would be tough to sell to the public. I also think Jerry Jones will keep his eye on the stadium. If the crowds start to dwindle, that would indicate a lack of public faith in this team and this coach. Jerry built this stadium to seat 100,000. He needs to fill it eight Sundays in the fall to make it work. Never underestimate the economics in all of JJ’s business and football decisions.
On if Mike Zimmer would be a good fit to come back and coach the Cowboys:
Gosselin: Given the collapse of the Bengals and their defense this season, I think that would be a tough sell for Jerry. Zimmer is a good coach. He’s been successful at Dallas, Atlanta and Cincinnati. But if Jerry moves off Garrett, I think he hires a big name. As much as I like Mike as a coach, his name would not be big enough to fill 100,000 seats.
On if the Cowboys will make the playoffs this year at 8-8:
Gosselin: No. The only way an 8-8 record makes the playoffs in the NFC is by winning the NFC West with that record. There are seven teams with seven victories already this season. There are only six playoff spots. Five if you give assign one of the spots to the NFC West champion — Seattle and St. Louis are both currently tied for the top at 5-6. There would have to be some monumental collapses for the Cowboys to play on into January. Jerry wouldn’t be the only owner looking for a head coach if that happened.