A couple of high-level media sources have reported that former Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bobby Petrino will garner interest from the NFL ranks as a position coach, and if that were the case, in the purely speculative sense, the Dallas Cowboys may be one of his potential suitors.
Omnipresent Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is a well-known Arkansas booster, having been the co-captain of the 1964 Arkansas national championship squad, and this deep-pocketed money maven has never shied away from his love of the Hawgs. In fact, Jones has been so prominent within that program, that it is believed that he had a very tangible role in Arkansas poaching Bobby Petrino from the Atlanta Falcons in the first place.
Obviously, I don’t know Jones’ specific reaction to Petrino’s recent transgressions and ensuing termination, but it stands to reason that, if Jones had a hand in hiring Petrino in the first place, he could be potentially interested in Petrino to coach in Dallas.
Petrino has NFL experience (13 games as the HC in Atlanta notwithstanding) as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in Jacksonville at the turn of the millenium; however, the Cowboys already have those vacancies filled by Bill Callahan and Wade Wilson. That being said, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see Petrino in an administrative role that still has responsibilities within the offense.
Unlike college, there are no real restrictions to coaching staff sizes in the NFL. The Cowboys currently have 17 coaches of varying and obscure titles, but last season the Minnesota Vikings were listed with 23.
Clearly, Petrino’s strengths as a coach are offensive in nature (not to be confused with his offensive personality), with an emphasis on the passing game, and with the three most likely spots for Petrino to occupy on an NFL staff already taken, Dallas may not be feasible. However, we all know that Jerry Jones has had an affinity for hiring his Arkansas buddies in the past (see Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson.)
So, depending on how chummy Jones plans on continuing to be with Arkansas AD Jeff Long, he could make a play to add Petrino’s unquestioned offensive knowledge to staff. However, if he thought Terrell Owens had a cancerous personality, he better wait til he sees Bobby Petrino in action.
All this is contingent on two things: Whether or not Petrino can find a head coaching gig at the FBS level and whether any NFL franchises are actually interested in the first place. But, if the NFL winds up being Bobby Petrino’s next destination, Dallas would be as good a guess as any.