Report: Dallas Cowboys Have Spoken With Jon Gruden for Coaching Gig

Until the Dallas Cowboys decide on a new head coach, it will be almost impossible to sort through all the speculation and distinguish between fact and rumor.  Jerry Jones has a seemingly endless money pit, so the job is sure to be attractive to a number of high profile personalities around the game.  One such personality could be Jon Gruden.

We already told you we don’t think Jason Garrett will be a great fit as the Cowboys head coach, and plenty of others — including Terrell Owens — agree with that assessment.  According to John Czarnecki of Fox Sports, the Cowboys may have already contacted Gruden to gauge his interest in coaching in Big D next season.  As we know, Gruden has settled into his position with ESPN’s Monday Night Football nicely and is raking in plenty of cash.  However, Czarnecki’s sources say that Gruden’s friends believe he won’t demand a huge salary — not that Jerry wouldn’t offer him one anyway.

Gruden won a Super Bowl in his first season as the coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs eight years ago.  The Cowboys always seem to bring in diva-type players and eccentric personalities, and Gruden is the type of coach who could handle players like that.  I always thought Wade Phillips was too soft to be successful in Dallas.  I don’t think that would be a problem for Gruden.  We’ll know how the situation is going to pan out soon enough, and Sunday afternoon’s Cowboys-Giants game could be an early indicator of whether or not Garrett can handle the Cowboys’ head coaching position.

Broncos, McDaniels Handle D.J. Williams’ DUI the Right Way

By now you’ve probably heard about Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams being arrested for a DUI on Friday morning — his second in five years.  Considering he’s a repeat offender, Williams will likely be in plenty of trouble with the law as well as the NFL and his team.  On Saturday, the Denver Broncos released a statement informing the public that Williams has been fined as much as the CBA allows, will not start on Sunday, and is no longer a team captain.

Every DUI should be handled the way Josh McDaniels and the Broncos organization are handling the Williams situation.  Denver (2-6) has not had a very successful season thus far, but Williams is an enormous component of their defensive scheme.  He’s a tackling machine and a leader on the field.  Clearly the same can’t be said of him off the field.

Rather than bench Williams for a quarter and take no other action like the Jets did with Braylon Edwards, the Broncos are doing everything they can under the current CBA to punish him.  Stripping a captain of his title mid-season is extremely rare and it’s good to see a coach who isn’t afraid to go there if the player’s behavior warrants it.  Williams’ will likely be more concerned about what the law holds for his future, but I commend the Broncos for cutting him down as much as they can until the situation is sorted out.

Terrell Owens: Jason Garrett the Problem in Dallas, Not Wade Phillips

The T.Ocho Show is just what the world needed — another medium for two loud mouths to speak their minds, as if they had trouble finding one to begin with.  Terrell Owens has already taken the liberty of bashing Donovan McNabb in favor Mike Shanahan on the show.  The latest victim is former Dallas Cowbys offensive coordinator, and now interim head coach, Jason Garrett.

However, this time we have to agree with T.O. for a change.  We already gave you our opinion on Dallas’ red zone and offensive line issues at the beginning of the season.  We also voiced some skepticism about whether or not the Cowboys are better off with Garrett over Wade Phillips.  Anywho, here’s the video of T.O. ripping on Jason Garrett on the T.Ocho Show on Tuesday, courtesy of Zennie62.com:

Better QB: Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco?

Just like Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez, who headlined Sunday’s Lions-Jets game last weekend, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco will always be linked because they were the only quarterbacks picked in the first round of the 2008 draft. Ryan was selected third overall out of Boston College while Flacco was chosen 18th overall from lesser-known Delaware. Don’t get Flacco’s credentials confused either; he initially enrolled at Pitt but transferred after losing out to three-year starter Tyler Palko.

Drafted to a team picking third overall, Matt Ryan had much less help surrounding him than Flacco. The Falcons had just seen Mike Vick get sentenced to prison for leading the dog fighting ring and were asking the rookie to lead the franchise. Ryan combined with Mike Smith and Michael Turner to form a trio of newcomers to the franchise that helped lead them to the playoffs. Atlanta went 11-5 in the regular season before losing to the Cardinals in the playoffs 30-24.

Ryan threw for 3,440 yards with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions his rookie year. The young quarterback got hurt last year but still went 9-5 in his starts, tossing 22 touchdowns and 14 picks while seeing his completion percentage and yardage totals drop off from the previous year. Ryan seemed to perform worse in his second year than his rookie season while Joe Flacco flourished.

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Jenn Sterger Meets With NFL, Could Be Bad News for Brett Favre

Bad news for Brett Favre today regarding the sexual harassment allegations against him, as the NY Post is reporting that Jenn Sterger met with the NFL on Thursday.  Sterger and her lawyer, Joseph Conway, and manager, Phil Reese, sat down with NFL security chief Milt Ahlerich and another league investigator and “cooperated fully by providing them with substantial materials,” according to Reese.

A few weeks back, it sounded like Sterger was open to accepting a payoff from the Favre camp.  Either no agreement was reached, or she changed her mind.  Not longer after that report surfaced, Favre decided to admit to leaving the voicemails on Sterger’s phone but deny sending her any explicit photos.  The intriguing thing about that claim is that Deadspin insists the phone calls, voicemails, and picture messages were all sent from the same phone number.  Guess someone stole Brett’s phone and decided to send inappropriate pictures of himself.

Now, Favre’s future essentially rests on what was discussed in that meeting.  We already know he tried to contact Sterger in a persistent manner, as the voicemails he admitted to leaving prove.  Sterger is the only first-hand source that can out Favre, and if she chose to on Thursday and claimed she felt she was being sexually harassed, the league would have no choice but to reprimand Favre for violating the personal conduct policy.  Unless some sort of agreement was reached on the side and Sterger had nothing but nice things to say about the Vikings’ quarterback, we could see No. 4′s consecutive games played streak could finally come crashing to a halt.

Ron Jaworski: Decision to Bench Donovan McNabb Kind of a Head-Scratcher

If Brett Favre and Randy Moss are two of the bigger stories in the NFL this season, one that appears as if it will not go away is the Donovan McNabb benching by Mike Shanahan. The decision to bench McNabb at the end of the game made little sense, and the explanations for it were even more stupefying. It’s really not even worth attempting to decipher the Shanahanian code anymore; we can reasonably conclude he’s dissatisfied with his quarterback and looking to inspire better play.

Most analysts seem to be in agreement that McNabb’s benching, in favor of Rex Grossman no less, made little sense. ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, a former Eagles quarterback, watched the film from the Redskins-Lions game and remains steadfast that the move was “kind of a head-scratcher.” During his conference call with reporters leading up to the Eagles-Redskins Monday Night Football game, Jaws said:

I’ll still trying to find something that hinted a change was going to be made. Quite honestly, I still can’t find anything. There’s nothing that would lead me to believe that, boy, we’ve got to make a quarterback change. We’re not moving the football. Maybe we need a spark, which is a great phrase that coaches seem to use. But certainly I thought Donovan was doing all he could have done in the situation during the game under the duress he was under. The offensive line wasn’t blocking very well. They weren’t running the ball consistently, and their receivers were struggling to catch the football. So that’s why it’s kind of a head-scratcher that at a critical time in the game …

Incidentally, it was the pressure Jaws described that got to Grossman causing him to fumble and hand Detroit a touchdown. That has been the biggest concern about Washington’s offense all year — they haven’t been able to protect their quarterback. McNabb isn’t exactly immobile, yet he’s been sacked as much as anyone not named Jay Cutler. He seems to always be under pressure and on the run, with little time to let things develop. We questioned Jaws’ analysis of Peyton Manning earlier in the season, but he’s spot on with McNabb and the Redskins.

Rex Ryan Dressed Like Twin Brother Rob Ryan at Jets Press Conference

The Jets and Browns will meet in Cleveland on Sunday, and beyond being a game that will impact the standings like any other, it also features a meeting between the Ryan brothers: Rex is the head coach of the Jets and his twin, Rob, is the defensive coordinator of the Browns.

The Browns have pulled off back-to-back upsets, beating up on the Saints and Patriots. The Jets struggled to overcome the Lions last weekend and are hoping to stay unbeaten on the road. In order to do so, they’ll have to score points on Rob’s vastly improving defense. Rex joked at his press conference Wednesday that he had placed a bounty on his brother’s head. Oh yeah, he also showed up to the news conference dressed up like his bro:

It’s nice to see that the rigors of the NFL won’t get in the way of family bonds, at least for one of the brothers. The good thing for Rob is that Rex’s success in New York has helped raise the “Ryan” profile and make Rob a desirable head coaching candidate. Rob had already been mentioned as a candidate in past years, but as long as his Browns keep playing well, he’ll be a lock for a job this off-season.

Photo Credit: Matt Higgins