published Monday, January 28th, 2013

Wiedmer: Dooley perfect fit for Dallas

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley
Photo by Patrick Smith /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

When you think about it, why wouldn't the Dallas Cowboys want former Tennessee coach Derek Dooley to work with their wide receivers?

Could there be any better preparation for dealing with the immature, undisciplined Cowboys mega-talent Dez Bryant than having previously coached the immature, undisciplined, former Vols mega-talent Da'Rick Rogers?

In fact, who's to say that the Cowboys aren't already considering drafting Rogers, working some trade deal before the Oakland Raiders beat them to it?

This is not to say the Cowboys shouldn't hire Dooley, who was once a very fine possession receiver at Virginia. He may or may not have been qualified to become the Big Orange boss, but he was apparently a capable enough assistant for Nick Saban at LSU that Saint Nick brought him along to Miami when he took over the Dolphins.

Also on that Miami staff was current Dallas head coach Jason Garrett, which seemingly explains why the Dooley family might be returning to Big D, where Derek and wife, Allison, first met when he was a SMU aide.

Even then, Garrett may be hiring Dooley for more reasons than his theoretical ability to deal with divas such as Bryant. Reportedly on at least as hot a seat as Dooley occupied his final season at UT, Garrett might:

A) Want advice from a former attorney such as Double D on how to negotiate the best buyout possible after three years on the job, which is what Garrett will have at the close of the 2013 season, much as Dooley lasted three years at UT.

B) Want a coach who loves to talk about Saban's beloved "process" as much as Dooley did.

C) Want a coach who spent his entire final season hearing he was about to be replaced by Jon Gruden, whom many believe will follow Garrett.

D) Want a coach who actually has a worse record than his 16-16 mark.

Not that anything was official late Sunday night. ESPN claimed the deal to bring Dooley aboard was done, but no release from Dallas owner Jerry Jones, Garrett or Dooley has yet surfaced.

In fact, one of the last statements from Dooley about anything ran on a Twitter account last month that may or may not have actually belonged to the coach.

Read the tweet: "Joined the FFCA (Fired Football Coaches Association) founded by some guy named Gruden. (T-)shirt and visor free of charge."

But assuming ESPN is correct that Dooley really is set to join the cast of the real-life soap opera that is Dallas, there were almost assuredly other contract clauses beyond whether or not Dooley is required to use the official hairspray of the Cowboys.

For instance, given the franchise's subdued colors of silver and blue, what color pants Dooley would wear on game day. Would he go with silver, gray or blue? And if blue, what hue would he choose, since the Cowboys have been known to wear both royal (on white jerseys) and navy?

Also, would his preppy docksiders reappear on his feet? And if he doesn't take the job, were his preferred wardrobe choices the ultimate deal-breakers?

And what about that $5 million that UT was going to pay him not to coach? Shouldn't the Vols get at least a smidgeon of that back if he's on the Dallas sidelines?

Finally, it seems like just yesterday -- or was it last Thursday? -- that ESPNU announced that Dooley was going to be a guest analyst for its coverage of National Signing Day.

The irony in that has kept the Big Orange Nation both grumbling and grinning ever since. But those grins are nothing compared to the devilish smiles that will emerge throughout the Volunteer State if Dooley winds up babysitting both Bryant and Rogers in Big D.

about Mark Wiedmer...

Mark Wiedmer started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press on Valentine’s Day of 1983. At the time, he had to get an advance from his boss to buy a Valentine gift for his wife. Mark was hired as a graphic artist but quickly moved to sports, where he oversaw prep football for a time, won the “Pick’ em” box in 1985 and took over the UTC basketball beat the following year. By 1990, he was ...

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