If Marvin Lewis makes a return to the NFL as a head coach next season, he may be a candidate for these five possible openings.
As the Cincinnati Bengals fell to 0-10 on Sunday, and became the first team officially eliminated from the playoffs this year, the work Marvin Lewis did there as head coach seems worthy of highlight.
The Bengals were 0-7 in the playoffs under Lewis, including five straight postseason berths from 2011-15. But making the playoffs that frequently, and his overall regular season record (131-122-3), stands out against the last 30 years of the franchise’s history.
Lewis is currently working under Herm Edwards at Arizona State as a special advisor. But the right opportunity to be a head coach again would surely lead to him leaving that post. It’s only really a matter of what the 61-year old will see as the right opportunity, and when those opportunities will surface.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Lewis is “well positioned” to have numerous opportunities to be a head coach again. Apparently, several front offices view him as a top candidate in a 2020 coaching cycle that is set to prioritize experience.
With some openings obviously coming, and maybe some that are less obvious coming too, here are five NFL head coaching jobs Lewis could land for 2020.
5. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys (6-4) are now one game clear of the Philadelphia Eagles for the lead in the NFC East. Head coach Jason Garrett is in the final year of his contract, in what feels like (at minimum) a playoffs-or-bust season. It’s not a reach to suggest even a first round playoff exit would compel owner Jerry Jones to look for a new head coach, which would of course be framed as a decision to just not give Garrett a new deal.
Lewis surely wouldn’t be phased by Jones’ overriding presence in the Cowboys’ organization, due to the years he spent in Cincinnati working under a difficult owner in Mike Brown (albeit difficult in a different way that Jones is or can be). Lewis automatically carries more credibility than Garrett ever has, and he wouldn’t be a perceived know-his-lane puppet for Jones like Garrett has been.
Of course Lewis’ experience leve,l and the name weight he would carry into the job, could turn Jones away from him and other potential candidates like him. But Dallas lingers as a potential opening looking to 2020, so Lewis stands to be some level of a candidate if Garrett is fired.