PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 5: Pittsburgh Steelers' Coach Bill Cowher announces his retirement during a press conference at the Pittsburgh Steelers' headquarters on January 5, 2007 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Every week from now on, we’ll profile potential replacements for Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, should he be fired by the end of the season. After all, just because the Cowboys are on top of the world right NOW doesn’t mean it can’t all come crashing down. In fact, Wade has the plans for it ready as we speak! Today, it’s Bill Cowher!
Name: William Laird Cowher.
Career Record: 140-90-1
Nicknames: Cowher Power. The Chin. Spitty McGee.
Credentials: Super Bowl champion. In 15 years as the Steelers head coach, Cowher had a grand total of three losing seasons (Here’s a fun stat: The four coaches we’ve profiled here – Cowher. Gruden, Shanahan, and Schottenheimer – had a combined 10 losing seasons in 60 years of coaching. It’s the best class of free agent coaches in NFL history, and we haven’t even mentioned Mike Holmgren yet). He took Pittsburgh to the playoffs ten times and won eight division titles. He even reached the AFC title game once with Kordell freakin’ Stewart as his quarterback.
Cowher is also the most entertaining coach to hear mic’d up during games. He yells. He spits. He hugs. He slaps butts. It’s like watching a Labrador coach a team. Cowher is a great motivator and is highly underrated in his ability to hire a great staff underneath him. Folks like Ken Whisenhunt, Dick LeBeau, Russ Grimm, and countless others have served under Cowher, and his Steelers teams were always well coached, often getting far more out of their talent than other teams.
Weaknesses: Not many. Cowher kicked the choker label when he won a championship in 2005. Of all the big name coaching candidates out there, Cowher is the one who has won a title most recently, and the one who lacks a glaring characteristic to pick on. Marty chokes in the playoffs. Shanny can’t win without Elway. Gruden can’t settle on a QB. Cowher comes with none of that baggage. Although he does suck as an analyst for CBS, so he doesn’t have that going for him.
Odds Of Being Named The Next Cowboys Coach: 100/1. Cowher is mentioned constantly as John Fox’s replacement in Carolina. His family owns a home there, and the Panthers are likely to end their season well out of first in the NFC South. Carolina would also give Cowher the power he probably wants. And that’s one of the reasons you won’t see him on the Cowboys sideline in 2010. Cowher wants, and merits, full authority over all football operations, and there’s no chance the Double J gives that to him. Two years away from the game prove that Cowher isn’t exactly motivated by making money, so just throwing $10 million at him isn’t likely to do the trick.
Do You Want Him?: Only you know for sure. Let us know in the comments.