Who Will it be Next Season?

With two games remaining in the 2002 regular season, you can hear the clock ticking throughout Valley Ranch. The only question that remains now is, who's going to take over as the Cowboys' head coach next season?

Same story, different week.

After a pathetic performance on the field last weekend in New York, there's really not much Dave Campo can do to save his job.

"We are going to look at this thing at the end of the year before any decisions are made," said owner Jerry Jones. "But this past game wasn't a good step for us. We need to get much better than this, and we need to do it this week."

The only problem is that the Cowboys face one of the top teams in the league Saturday night in the Philadelphia Eagles. "Getting better" couldn't be any more difficult against a team that has absolutely owned Dallas for the last three seasons.

We said at the beginning of the year that the Cowboys would have to finish at least 8-8 in order for this coaching staff to retain their positions next season. With last Sunday's loss in New York, we now know with absolute certainty that won't happen.

To strengthen the notion that Campo is out as the Cowboys head coach, consider that he holds a 15-31 record in almost three full seasons as the headman at Valley Ranch.

Consider also that if the Cowboys do not finish the year with two consecutive victories, Campo would become the fourth coach since 1970 to lose at least 10 games in each of his first three seasons as head coach.

Folks, that's futility at it's finest, and it goes without saying that the search for a new head coach for the Dallas Cowboys is already going on behind the scenes.

The popular name in the coaching carousel is obviously Mike Holmgren, the current general manager and head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

It's no secret that Jerry Jones has coveted Holmgren since his glory days with Brett Favre in Green Bay. The only difference is the Cowboys don't have Brett Favre.

Hell, they don't even have Matt Hasselbeck or Trent Dilfer, the much maligned starting quarterbacks this year in Seattle.

For Holmgren, he'd have to be fired by the Seahawks organization this season, which now looks like a distinct possibility considering that Seattle also sits in cellar of the NFC West at 5-9.

The Dallas Morning News threw the idea out that former Redskins' head coach and current Dolphin offensive coordinator Norv Turner would make the perfect candidate to replace Campo.

"Hardly" is my only response to that. Turner consistently led his Redskins to underachieving results during his short tenure in Washington. A good offensive coordinator he is, a good head coach and evaluator of talent, he's not.

Another name you can be sure that will surface quickly is Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. Stoops is one of the most recognized young coaches in college football right now and his ability to quickly turn around the Sooners' fortunes has caught the eye of a lot people in the NFL.

Whoever the next head coach in Dallas is, he'll be presented with a very unique situation. You see, the Cowboys already have a championship caliber defense and outstanding talent on both sides of the ball.

Add in another draft like what we saw this past April, and good things could be right around the corner for this franchise.

With the young talent that has been added into the mix the last two seasons, it might be feasible to go in the direction of a younger coach- someone that can come in and provide a spark and generate interest.

Who that coach will be won't be determined for at least several more weeks. Stay tuned; the rumor mill is only starting to get warmed up around Valley Ranch.

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