Eight NFL head coaches were fired at the end of the 2012 regular season.
Jon Gruden was rumored be a candidate for multiple openings, but each position has been filled. However, Gruden’s name is once again at the center of speculation.
The latest rumors have Gruden in line to become the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Jason Garrett is still under contract as the Cowboys head coach, and there have been no reports that his firing is imminent. However, recent hires by the organization have led some to question whether or not Gruden is on his way to Dallas.
Three coaches that were once a part of Gruden’s staff have been hired to coach under Garrett. Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, defensive line coach Rod Marinelli and special teams coach Rich Bisaccia will be with Dallas for the 2013 season. All three worked under Gruden when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, a source claims that the idea of Gruden coaching Dallas next year is “ridiculous.” Werder's comments don't rule out that the Cowboys are still interested in Gruden, and may look to hire him in the future.
Gruden has been working as an analyst for ESPN since 2009, and did not want to join any of the teams that were searching for a head coach at the end of the regular season. ESPN's Ron Jaworski claims that there are a few teams that could entice Gruden to rejoin the sidelines.
"He's had numerous meetings that he's told teams he's not interested in certain jobs," Jaworski told a Philadelphia radio station. "There are jobs he's interested in, but no one at those teams has reached out to him, or they may even have a coach in place."
Jaworski worked alongside Gruden in the "Monday Night Football" booth. Jaworski did not indicate whether or not the Cowboys were one of the jobs that Gruden might be interested in.
It appears that Garrett will start the 2013 season as Dallas’s head coach, but the pressure is on for him to succeed. In both seasons as the Cowboys head man, the team has finished with an 8-8 record and in third place in the NFC East. Owner Jerry Jones has expressed his displeasure with the team’s performance of late, and could make a change if Dallas fails to make the playoffs for a fourth straight year.
The combination of Garrett and quarterback Tony Romo has not led to postseason success. If 2013 is more of the same, there’s a chance Gruden could get a shot to turn Dallas around in 2014.