The Next Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys Will Be ...

Mystery date: Will he be a stud or a dud?

Planned on posting this at sunrise, but my Parcells Party ran later than expected. And by "later than expected", I mean 3 � tuna sandwiches, two bottles of bubbly and 2:37 a.m.

Before moving on to coaching candidates, though, it dawned on me (granted it was 10 a.m., but work with me here) that Dallas' Only Daily employs a bunch of lap dogs, only now lifting lift their legs in Parcells' direction before they start sniffing around for a new master. Today -- after Parcells has quit, how convenient -- the paper finally reveals that Parcells often referred to Terrell Owens as "Your Highness" in staff meetings and that defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer was limited to simple vanilla schemes because Parcells couldn't comprehend Neapolitan. Great, but late, info. Of course, had those revelations made it in print while the King was still in power, then his loyal lap dogs might not have gotten called by name at circle-jerk press briefings. Wag the dog, indeed.

As for rumored candidates, some odds:

Charlie Weis, 21,000,000-1: Notre Dame coach is an offensive guru, but also has a $21 million buyout clause in his contract. Ouch.

Jimmy Johnson, 1,000,000,000-1: Cool as it would be, it ain't gonna happen.

Jeff Fisher, 999,999-1: Nope. Not this year, anyway.

Bill Cowher, 250-1: Jerry would have to pay $8 million and give up multiple draft picks to lure the former Steelers coach out of his one-year hiatus.

Jim Caldwell, 100-1: Colts offensive coordinator has taught, er, learned from Peyton Manning, but to Cowboys fans his sex appeal is on par with dryer lint.

Ron Rivera, 50-1: Bears defensive coordinator is a hot commodity, but Cowboys can't talk to him until February 5. Plus, he's married to the 4-3 scheme and Jerry last season labeled the switch to a 3-4 alignment an "organizational decision."

Les Miles, 30-1: Former Cowboys tight ends coach has led LSU to a 22-4 record and two major bowl victories in two seasons. Familiarity always a plus to Jerry.

Wade Phillips, 25-1: Master of the 3-4 defense and has been a modest winner in previous head coaching stints at Buffalo and Denver. But, man, could we get over the fact that Bum's son looks more like an equipment man than a genius man?

Pete Carroll, 20-1: Has NFL experience, college success and name cachet. Problem: In Dallas he wouldn't have the services of either Matt Leinart or Reggie Bush.

Mike Martz, 15-1: Mastermind behind the Rams' Super Bowl offense also forged a relationship with Jerry while the two served on the NFL's Competition Committee. And don't think Jones isn't still stinging from watching Martz's Lions hang 39 points on Dallas on New Year's Eve.

Bob Stoops, 10-1: He's long held "what if ..." discussions with Jerry, and could be had for about $5 million, same as Parcells. If nothing else, he could revitalize Roy Williams. And grabbing an ol' OU coach has worked before. Or has it?

Norv Turner, 5-1: Nobody in the game develops young quarterbacks better. See: San Francisco's Alex Smith. Norv brings familiarity. He'd reintroduce and reintegrate past Cowboys players into the current culture. Best of all for Jerry, he'd sell tickets.

Jerry Jones, 1-1: You know it's going to happen sooner or later. Why not now? I'm kidding. I think. --Richie Whitt

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams