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LaDainian Tomlinson says the Dallas Cowboys' next coach should be …

Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Football

If Jerry Jones wants advice from a fellow Hall of Famer about who should be the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, LaDainian Tomlinson is happy to provide it. And Tomlinson has someone in mind who would fit in perfectly.

"One guy I do believe that could make it work is Ron Rivera," Tomlinson told the Star-Telegram on Thursday. "He was our defensive coordinator when I was in San Diego. The guy has excellent leadership skills. He's a leader of men. He's a great coach. I think he would fit well in Dallas."

Tomlinson, the former TCU great and current NFL Network analyst, knows there will be plenty of candidates outside of Rivera. Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has expressed interest and there's other rising college coaches to be considered such as Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley and Baylor's Matt Rhule.

But, if it were Tomlinson, he would go with a coach with NFL experience such as Rivera. Plus, Tomlinson isn't sure that Meyer would be the most compatible with Jones.

"This team is already ready to win. They have the talent," Tomlinson said. "It's hard to bring in a young, inexperienced coach that has never coached on the NFL level and expect him to get these grown men, who are ready to win now, all on the same page -- implement his own style and all those kinds of things. That's difficult for me to come to grips with.

"I think an experienced coach, even if he hasn't coached at the NFL level, a guy like Urban Meyer that has coached a long time, that has coached a lot of pro players. I think that's a great fit, but I think Urban is going to want more control. He's not going to want Jerry on the radio speaking out about the team, so I don't know if that will work."

 

That's why Tomlinson vouched for Rivera, the longtime Carolina Panthers coach who was fired earlier this month. Rivera went 76-63-1 in his nine seasons with the Panthers, including a trip to Super Bowl 50 in 2015.

He took over the Panthers after being the Chargers defensive coordinator from 2008-10, working with Tomlinson his first two seasons.

Of course, the Cowboys aren't in the market for a head coach yet.

Jason Garrett still holds that title, although his contract expires after this season and he's widely expected to be let go barring a fairy-tale finish that sees the Cowboys make a deep run in the playoffs.

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