Cowboys Coaching Rumors: Meyer talks Riley as Garrett on 'hot seat' in 'The Big Stage' of Dallas

Mike Fisher

ARLINGTON - It's usually in private when coaches label a chance to coach the Dallas Cowboys as "The Big Stage.'' But Urban Meyer is doing so publicly, in comments that tangle together his thoughts and the futures of both Lincoln Riley and Jason Garrett.

"That's the one,'' Meyer told Colin Cowherd. "That's the New York Yankees, that's the Dallas Cowboys, that's the one. ... That's the one job in professional football that you kinda say, 'I gotta go do that.'''

Meyer retired from coaching at the end of 2018 after seven seasons with Ohio State and is constantly a subject of speculation regarding a return to the profession. His comments, in a sense, may be designed to throw his hat into the ring should Dallas part with present coach Jason Garrett, who is in the last year of his contract and, as I have often reported, likely needs a "premium performance'' from this year's team to remain employed here in 2020. (Tonight's visit from the Philadelphia Eagles might go a long way in determining how "premium'' this year's Cowboys will be.)

Meyer's comments, though, were actually part of a response to a question that wasn't about Meyer, but rather about Riley, the University of Oklahoma coach who speculation has tied to Dallas. The facts are that Riley and Cowboys COO Stephen Jones have a friendship, and obviously he's going to be a hot name for any NFL opening.

Would Riley jump from the Sooners to the NFL? No one has that answer. Meyer's point is that the Cowboys are the one spot in the NFL that is the most alluring.

"Pure speculation, because I know (Riley), but I don't know him like that, but that's the one," Meyer said. "That's the New York Yankees, that's the Dallas Cowboys, that's the one. Great city, you got Dak Prescott, you got Zeke Elliott, you got a loaded team.

"I can't speak for (Riley), obviously - I hate to even speculate - because I don't know him; that's really not fair. But to me, that's the one job in professional football that you kind of say, 'I gotta go do that.'"

Cowherd then asked Meyer if he would be interested in talking with the Cowboys.

"Absolutely. Absolutely," he said. "That one? Yes."

It's rare that a coach would talk about a job when there isn't actually an opening; that's considered bad form. But here, doing so may speak to Garrett's existence on the hot seat. And for certain it speaks to the Dallas Cowboys' existence as The Big Stage.

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