Sports Outside the Beltway

Let the Tony Sparano/Miami Dolphin watch begin

The speculation about Sparano being the Dolphins’ next head football coach began even before the Dallas Cowboys loss to the Giants was final. From the Palm Beach Post-

IRVING, TEXAS — Tony Sparano wasn’t ready to contemplate his future yet.

Those interviews to become head coach of the Dolphins or the Atlanta Falcons or the Baltimore Ravens meant nothing to him Sunday night.

Sparano was hurting too much as a Dallas Cowboy.

The Cowboys’ assistant head coach, minutes after their 21-17 playoff loss to the underdog New York Giants at Texas Stadium, cut a brisk path across the locker room and headed for the door.

“I can’t speak on anything right now” Sparano said, bristling at attempts to learn more about his career plans. “I’m part of the Dallas Cowboys. That’s what I am.

“I mean, I suffered this loss just like they did. I’m not speaking about any of those things.”

Several NFL insiders insist Sparano, who coaches the offensive line and serves as running game coordinator, will become the next Dolphins head coach because of his thick ties with the remodeled front office.

He joined the Cowboys in 2003 as an assistant under Bill Parcells, now the Dolphins football operations chief. Sparano also worked with new Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland, who was the Cowboys’ director of college and pro scouting the past three drafts.

The Dolphins interviewed Sparano on Jan. 5. Despite a report from his hometown paper, the New Haven Register, which cited an anonymous source that claimed Sparano had been offered the job, NFL rules prevented the Dolphins from officially offering him the job until the Cowboys completed their season.

I blogged a week ago about the Register article. Saying at the time-

The job is Sparano’s if he wants it. Miami is just going through the motions in order to fufill the Rooney rule.

I still hold to this view. Parcells and Ireland have indicated all along they want a coach they are familar with. The only coach interviewed so far who meets that criteria is Sparano.

During yesterday’s game, one of the Fox announcers predicted Miami would name Sparano head coach by Tuesday if Dallas lost. My prediction- Friday afternoon 1300 hours. Anyone else care to join in a when Sparano is named Dolphin coach pool?

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Agreed. Parcells has a great working relationship with Sparano and Sparano is under-utilized with the Cowboys. I don’t know if he’s got the personality a head coach needs but Parcells should know that.

The amusing thing is that the Dolphins got Ireland from the Cowboys on the pretense that he’s a true GM, with “final decision authority.” Nobody believes anyone but Parcells is that guy.

Posted by James Joyner | January 15, 2008 | 02:41 pm | Permalink

Parcells is still the man, Sparano is put in the mix to take media pressure off Parcells.

Posted by Educated Bet | January 15, 2008 | 08:46 pm | Permalink

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