LAS VEGAS – By God, they are going to continue to report that “Bill Belichick is about to get hired as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys” forever, are they not?
“Belichick’s strong relationship with Jerry Jones could loom large,” writes ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler in what amounts to a Saturday gossip column from here in Las Vegas at the Super Bowl.
As we have written often before and during this NFL Coaching Carousel process, Belichick labored to plant seeds with the media that created the impression that he is a “hot candidate.”
But there were eight openings. And “the greatest coach in NFL history” did not get one of the jobs.
The Dallas job was never open, as incumbent Mike McCarthy is being retained – albeit without a contract extension … a completely understandable non-move by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones given the Cowboys’ playoff failure, which came in the form of a blowout home loss to the underdog Packers.
That makes McCarthy a contractual lame duck for 2024 … which fair or not means it’s open season on speculation about a “what-if” replacement in 2025.
So speculation isn’t the weird part of this. No, the oddball stuff has long come in the form of this idea that Jones and Belichick are best buddies – “a strong relationship,” as Fowler writes, which he surely feels justified in doing because Jones himself recently insisted that the Jones/Belichick marriage would be a match.
“I know him personally and I like him,” Jones said. “There’s no doubt in my mind we could work together. None. None.”
They do “know each other.” But Fowler and others are wrong to suggest that Belichick and Jones have any notably close “relationship.”
And one more oddball item: As the national media scurries to sew together its patchwork logic in suggested a Belichick tie to Dallas, Fowler creates a brand new angle, highlighting Belichick’s status as a “history buff.”
“Belichick is a history buff who could prioritize historic franchises next cycle,” Fowler writes. “Why is that important? Think about the jobs that could potentially open, which include the Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears. All of those are NFL flagships with rich history.”
We’re not arguing the “history buff” thing; Belichick as a football historian is a sporting treasure, something he comes by naturally as the son of legendary scout Steve Belichick, who had a library of four hundred books on football. He’s also a historian in general, with endeavors that include serving as the narrator of PBS’ World War II documentary D-Day: Over Normandy.
But we have no idea how that has anything to do with which team might hire the 71-year-old legend who ended his triumphant 24-season reign in New England with four straight subpar seasons.
If Belichick wanted to “prioritize a historic franchise,” why didn’t he do so this year? Why did he instead covet the Falcons and Chargers jobs?