Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones could consider a change of coach if the team does not live up to expectations this season, league sources said, adding that both of his top assistants to head coach Mike McCarthy are attracting serious head coach interest from other teams. And the Cowboys fell short when they lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the wildcard round, 23-17. Several sources who know Jones well suggested that a loss in the wild card round would cause Jones to at least consider the team's direction, while coordinators Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore prepare for several head coach interviews.
Jones has long been a big proponent of Moore's and believed early on in the young coach's ability to form an offensive line, working with quarterbacks and call plays. Dak Prescott has done his best work with Moore at the helm, and Jones is very familiar with the coordinator's behavior and progress, and also sees him internally as a future head coach. Losing Moore would be seen by the Jones family as a significant departure, and although McCarthy has won a Lombardi trophy, he took the job knowing that Jones wanted to keep Moore as coordinator. McCarthy's two-year tenure has also been filled with plenty of ups and downs.
"If this season does not end as Jerry thinks it should, then do not be surprised if Kellen Moore is their next head coach much sooner than later," said a source who knows Jones well. "He does not want to lose him."
Another source close to the owner added: "It's not like there's no precedent for something like this. Remember what they did to keep Jason Garrett. It would not be out of character at all."
Jones made Garrett the highest paid assistant in football to help prevent him from taking the Raven's head coach job, and then promoted him to head coach. Like Garrett, Moore is also a former Cowboys quarterback who was seen as a fast riser in NFL circles. Jones has invested heavily in Prescott and wants to see him produce as a $ 40 million quarterback and sees Moore as essential in that process. Moore, 33, has already interviewed for the Jaguars head coach position, and the Broncos, Dolphins and Vikings will also be talking to him.
Quinn has previous head coaching experience in Atlanta, where he took the Falcons to the Super Bowl before re-emerging in Dallas after his firing of the Falcons. He quickly turned a Cowboys defense that has been awful for years, and in the process, he became one of the most coveted candidates in this hiring cycle. The Jaguars wanted to interview Quinn - that interview has not yet taken place - and the Broncos, Dolphins, Vikings and Bears have also asked to be interviewed.
Losing one of the candidates would be a blow, and losing both, or even fearing losing both, could be devastating and could be the driving force for Jones to react in order to keep one. Sources said the ownership has not in any way indicated to anyone in the organization that they might want to grab a promotion assistant, but there are plenty of people involved in this ongoing 2022 recruitment cycle who expect it after the Cowboys fell home for the 49ers. on Sunday.