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Mailbag: Could Recent Hires Lead To A Change At HC?


With the hiring of Monte Kiffin as DC and the pressure being applied to Jason Garrett, it appears Jerry Jones is setting the conditions for a run at Jon Gruden either this year or next. What are your thoughts?

Nick: I can see where it looks that way. I can't argue with that because Gruden's name has been mentioned before. Lovie Smith is also familiar with this staff. But remember this, once Rob Ryan took over as head coach, you could've said this is also setting up to be an Eric Mangini staff too because of all the Cleveland guys. These assistants are going to recommend guys they know and have worked with. It doesn't mean they're trying to recreate the Bucs team from 10 years ago.

Rowan: With Gruden and Lovie Smith both out of coaching positions currently, if things turn south quickly next season, I wouldn't be surprised to see either of those names popping up as possible head coaching candidates before season's end. I believe he wants Jason Garrett to succeed, but more and more of the staff is beginning to look like that 1996 Tampa Bay squad Kiffin assembled, which included Smith as a position coach. Until those two get work elsewhere, the questions will continue.


Do you see the Cowboys drafting a running back who isn't high profile, but someone who started and carried the ball enough to prove his durability?

Nick: Not a bad idea. Get a guy who is tough and can take a pounding with a  lot of carries. I like it. I think we get enamored with the Thunder & Lightning tandems and look for backs who complement each other, but that's not always the best thing when you have an injury. Get some guys who are qualified to start because with this crew, it's likely he'll have to at some point.

Rowan: I wouldn't be surprised at all if that's something they do in the mid to late rounds. The Cowboys need a guy they can trust behind DeMarco Murray. He hasn't demonstrated he can stay healthy for 16 games, and until he does, the Cowboys need a backup running back capable of taking on a full workload. The Redskins worked magic finding Alfred Morris late in the draft. They don't need a player of his caliber, but talent can be found among running backs in late rounds.

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