What Urban Meyer to the University of Texas Could Mean To The Dallas Cowboys; First and 10 NFL Sunday Notebook
1) A Longhorns-Cowboys Connection?
Earlier this week our Mike Fisher wrote a piece about Urban Meyer, who is rumored to be a potential replacement for Tom Herman at the University of Texas. Now, Herman hasn’t been fired yet, but there is a generous rumor mill churning in Austin, including one about Meyer’s wife checking out real estate in the city.
In his piece, Fish noted that Meyer, per sources, was assembling a ‘what-if’ staff should the job open up and he take it. That wouldn’t be surprising. That would be good preparation.
Fish noted that Meyer’s hire could re-energize football in the state. But Meyer also has no tangible ties to the state. When college coaches are hired from out of state, they work hard to find assistant coaches that do have local ties to help with recruiting. Herman and his predecessor at Texas, Charlie Strong, dipped into the high school ranks to do just that.
Now, Strong — and for that matter Herman — doesn’t have Meyer’s considerable reputation nor his ties in the coaching community. Meyer can get basically anyone he wants.
So, how could that impact the Cowboys? The easiest way to determine that is to look at the Cowboys’ coaching bios. Below are the four Cowboys coaches that make the most sense for Meyer to poach, should he want to do so:
Maurice Linguist, cornerbacks: You might not know his name, but Linguist could be Meyer’s No. 1 target if he’s turning his eyes to the Cowboys’ coaching staff. The Mesquite native played at Baylor and had a quick ascent in the college ranks, coaching at Minnesota, Mississippi State, Iowa State, the University of Buffalo, James Madison, Valdosta State, and Baylor. His immediate post before joining the Cowboys in 2020 was at Texas A&M. So he has Texas ties, he was recently in the recruiting game and he has been both a secondary coach and a defensive passing game coordinator. Meyer would love to tap into that.
Doug Nussmeier, quarterbacks: Nussmeier has been with the Cowboys for three years, but he has a considerable college resume as an offensive coordinator at Florida (post-Meyer), Michigan (where he overlapped with Meyer’s time at Ohio State), Alabama, Washington and Fresno State. He has a national championship ring as a coach with Alabama. If any member of the Cowboys’ staff could step out of The Star and into the highly-combustible world of the Texas Longhorns’ offense it’s Nussmeier.
Scott Tolzien, coaching assistant: The former Wisconsin quarterback didn’t overlap with Meyer in the Big Ten, but he carved out a serviceable career as a backup NFL quarterback for several years. He spent one year at Wisconsin as an analyst before joining the Cowboys in 2019. But he might feel the itch to get back into college football and Meyer would be an ideal tutor.
Adam Henry, wide receivers: Henry has been in the NFL for most of his career since 2008. But, he’s a Texas native (Beaumont) with strong ties to south Louisiana (went to McNeese State and coached two years at LSU). That’s valuable currency when it comes to recruiting.
You see my theory and my theme here. Urban obviously has ties everywhere - back at Ohio State, back at Florida, everywhere.
But wouldn't he need some more Texas ties?
Meyer, in my opinion, would be attracted to coaches with college experience and/or recruiting ties to the Texas area. Meyer would be unlikely to target coaches that have ‘name recognition.’ He’s more likely to tap into the coaches above, ones that can do the grunt work for a coach like Meyer, who will be too busy trying to change the culture in Austin.
That is, IF he gets the chance.
The biggest influence for certain, though, if Meyer lands in Austin: It will mark a revitalization of that program. The pairing of the NFL Dallas Cowboys and the NCAA's Texas Longhorns - in the same state, sharing much of the same fan base, all hungry for glory amidst the glitz - would be unlike any other such tandem across the country.
2) Check out the Cowboy Maven Top 60 All-Time Dallas Cowboys
We published our Top 60 Dallas Cowboys of all-time as part of our celebration of the Cowboys’ 60 seasons in Dallas. We presented the Top 60 in groups of five. We hope you enjoyed the series and if you have an opinion, take them to our Cowboy Maven community or hit me up on Twitter at @PostinsPostcard.
If you missed any of the stories in our Top 60, just click on them below.
3) Cowboys Vs. Ravens
Despite the quiet coming from Baltimore Ravens camp as they ready for a Tuesday night visit from the Dallas Cowboys ...
Lamar Jackson is playing.
4) Cowboys Injury Update
Now that we know about Lamar ...
What about Aldon Smith?
He's planning on playing despite his illness. So the next Cowboys health issue: Donovan Wilson will probably play. And Anthony Brown, Fish reports via a source, is trying to ... but the training staff is a bit worried about his rib injury.
5) Dak returns to see the guys
The Cowboys miss Dak Prescott in more ways than one. Well, earlier this week, he paid the guys a visit and Mike Fisher had the update on what Prescott had to say.
Click here to listen to the podcast.
6) Get ready for Tuesday’s game with Baltimore
Need to prep for Tuesday’s game with Baltimore? Check out our primer below.
7) An ‘Organic Tanking’ Update
Each week we will update you on the Cowboys’ 2021 NFL Draft situation, mainly to see if they can improve their stock in any way as the season winds down.
Cowboys record entering this weekend’s action: 3-8.
Current selection (if season ended today): No. 4 (source: tankathon.com/nfl)
Who is ahead of Dallas?: New York Jets (0-11), Jacksonville (1-10), Cincinnati (2-8-1).
Can Dallas catch any of those three teams? The Jets are on an 11-game losing streak (obviously), the Jaguars are on a 10-game losing streak and the Bengals have lost three straight and their starting quarterback. Both the Jets and the Jaguars are in a tanking contest to draft Trevor Lawrence at No. 1, so every loss is precious (which sounds weird, ya know?).
Who is chasing Dallas? The Los Angeles Chargers (3-8) and the Philadelphia Eagles (3-7-1) are the only other two team with three or fewer win in the league. They’re behind Dallas at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. But there’s a bushel of teams that have four wins.
Games to watch this week?: The Jets, the Jaguars and the Bengals face the Raiders, Vikings and Dolphins, respectively. The Chargers host the Patriots and Eagles face the Packers. Those are the games worth watching this week, and the Cowboys will know the results of those games before they play the Ravens.
If you’re a ‘tanker’… You want the Cowboys to lose, of course. Combine that with a Bengals win and that would put the Cowboys a little closer to the No. 3 overall pick. Elsewhere, you want wins from the Chargers and the Eagles to push the two of them for four wins and leave the Cowboys with a little more breathing room.
Why it’s worth watching strength of schedule? The Cowboys have a strength of schedule of .486 entering this week. It’s the worst among the Top 7 picks right now. But the Chargers, who are hot on the Cowboys’ heels at No. 5, saw their strength of schedule drop from .497 last week to .492 this week. It’s not much, but since the strength of schedule is the first tiebreaker in the draft order, watching how the strength of schedule fluctuates from week to week will be important in the event of a tie.
8) Updating Cowboys Draft Needs
Now that we are more than two-thirds of the way through the season, it’s time to update our 2021 Cowboys NFL Draft needs. Now, we can debate the ranking of these needs (and they’re being debated on Twitter). But looking ahead to next season, I find it hard to see any other major needs than the five I’ve included here. And needs are relative now as opposed to the draft in April, after the Cowboys have moved through free agency.
9) Whitt’s End: No Cowboys In Pro Bowl? One MVP Jinx?
Even if you squint, it’s difficult to see a Cowboy making the Pro Bowl. Maybe Amari Cooper, who somehow is Top 15 in catches and yards but has only three touchdowns. Otherwise, it’s Aldon Smith in the mix for Comeback Player of the Year and CeeDee Lamb getting consideration for Offensive Rookie of the Year. (By the way, COVID means no Pro Bowl game — just the voting.)
But, fitting of their dismal performance, this should be only the third season (joining 1986 and 1989) in the franchise’s 51-season history without a representative in the Pro Bowl. (Not counting the eventual replacement alternates.)
To think, in 2007 they sent 13 players.
Plus, Whitt wrote about whether Jerry Jones is really ‘buying’ whether head coach Mike McCarthy is the right guy for the job (something I wrote about earlier this year, too).
10) Tweet Of The Week
I’m with Jimmy on this one.