In Honor Of Jeff Saturday, Which Ex-Cowboys Players Would Make The Best Head Coaches?

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If one former Dallas Cowboys player had to come back and coach the team, who would be the best option?

The Indianapolis Colts made headlines yesterday for firing HC Frank Reich after a 3-5-1 start to the season. Somehow, relieving Reich of his duties wasn’t the biggest news to come out of Indianapolis.

The Colts were expected to make either Gus Bradley or John Fox the interim head coach since each have coached NFL teams before. 

But owner Jim Irsay threw a curveball by naming former Colts offensive lineman Jeff Saturday it’s interim HC. Keep in mind, the only coaching experience Saturday has came for Hebron Christian Academy, a high school in Georgia.

Luckily, the Cowboys are trending in the opposite direction of the Colts. But if Mike McCarthy were to lose his job and Jerry Jones opted to make an old player the interim HC, who would be best suited for the job?

Deion Sanders: The top choice

Unlike Saturday, Sanders actually has high-level coaching experience. In only his second season as Jackson State’s (FCS) head coach, Sanders has gotten the program national recognition.

Last season, JSU won the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship. This season, they’re off to a 6-0 start and even hosted ESPN’s College Gameday, becoming only the fourth HBCU to host the broadcast.

Sanders’ name is now in the mix for HC openings at bigger schools like Auburn and Arizona State.

Given Neon Deion’s success, he would be the most suitable candidate to lead the Cowboys.

Michael Irvin: Either a successful hire or a dumpster fire

Irvin would be more like a Saturday-esque hire given his lack of coaching experience. But what The Playmaker lacks in coaching know-how, he’d make up for in pregame speeches.

If you’ve ever seen Irvin’s appearances on ESPN, it’s clear he never lost his competitive fire. He and Stephen A. Smith regularly have spirited debates about the Cowboys. So there’s no doubt an Irvin-led Cowboys team would run out of the tunnel jacked up to take on the opponent.

Irvin would be the ultimate player’s coach. But when it comes down to game planning and building a roster, who knows what would happen.

Troy Aikman: So crazy it just might work

Considering QBs are tasked with running a team’s offense, maybe this wouldn’t be such a wild hire. Plus, Aikman went on The Doomsday Podcast in 2019 and had this to say when asked if he’d ever want to coach:

“Would that be something I think I’d be interested in? The answer is yes. And I’d take it a step further: I think it’d be something I’d be very good at.”

Aikman is also a Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl champion, so he should be familiar with the blueprint of a successful franchise.

If Dallas were to take the route of hiring an ex-player with no coaching experience, Aikman would be the top choice.