Dec 22, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett on the field before the game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Top Five NFL Head Coaches On the Hot Seat


No job is safe in the NFL for long, especially the head coach.  Which prominent names are in danger heading into 2014?

Jason Garrett – Dallas Cowboys

Three-straight years of going 8-8 and just missing the playoffs has been pure agony for Dallas Cowboys fans.  Owner Jerry Jones remains confident that head coach Jason Garrett can get the team over the hump but the pressure is only going to mount once the season starts.  There is little doubt another near-miss or an outright bomb in 2014 will cost not only Garrett but several others their jobs.

Dennis Allen – Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders pulled out all the stops for the 2014 season.  GM Reggie McKenzie spent wildly in free agency and put together as good an NFL draft as he could in order to give his coach Dennis Allen the best possible chance to climb out of a hole that has trapped the Raiders for the past 11 seasons.  After back-to-back 4-12 finishes, improvement is required for Allen to save his job.

Mike Tomlin – Pittsburgh Steelers

A late-season surge last season by the Pittsburgh Steelers quieted any talk about the future of head coach Mike Tomlin.  Still, it’s important to note that the team has gone 8-8 in both 2012 and 2013, missing the playoffs both times.  Another finish like that or worse might compel the Steelers brass to think about a change since.

Marvin Lewis – Cincinnati Bengals

Ironically, the opposite problem may be coming true for the Cincinnati Bengals.  They’ve experienced a wealth of regular season success the past three seasons, making the playoffs each time.  The one problem?  They have zero playoff wins to show for it.  In fact head coach Marvin Lewis has zero playoff wins in his entire coaching tenure with the Bengals, which is going into its eleventh year.  Considered by many to be Super Bowl ready, expectations are reaching a peak in Cincinnati.  Lewis better deliver.

Rex Ryan – New York Jets

Going 8-8 with a rookie quarterback is nothing to feel ashamed of.  The rapid way Rex Ryan and new GM John Idzik were able to rebuild the defense and running game for the New York Jets likely saved Ryan his job in 2013.  Now with new weapons for the passing game and more experience for quarterback Geno Smith, the Jets are expected to compete for the NFL playoffs.  Despite the love of his players, Ryan can’t get complacent now.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Cincinnati Bengals Dallas Cowboys New York Jets NFL Oakland Raiders Pittsburgh Steelers

  • JoeDaBeast

    Surprised Tomlin is on this list. He has not had a running game to keep Rothlisberger upright more often.

    • Erik Lambert

      That better change soon because three-straight losing seasons is not acceptable in PIttsburgh.

      • William Cross

        Well, they haven’t had ANY losing seasons in a row yet, so by your logic he has at least 3 more years.

        • Erik Lambert

          Missing the playoffs might as well be losing, William. Ask Cowboy fans.

  • Old Frog

    There’ more going on in Dallas than just the win – loss record. Aside from the unlikely 4-12 season, as long as the players keep playing hard no matter what, I think Garrett and McClay are both safe.

    • Scott.

      I agree whole heartedly, there seems to be a change in philosophy with Jerry and co which means Garrett is safe even after this year. With thier schedule and a likely 7-9 season we will see.

      • Erik Lambert

        Jerry himself said there can be no substitute for winning. I applaud the loyalty to Garrett so far but there comes a time when something has to change. If the talent level has increased but the winning has not, the only recourse left is the coaches.

        • Scott.

          What will be interesting is if Tomlin becomes available.

          • Erik Lambert

            That should be a show.

      • David

        Im sure JJ will try and rationalize keeping JG at any cost. But if he finishes below 500 they need to go in a different direction.

  • [email protected]

    I think that if Jason Garrett doesn’t deliver this year he is history. I for one would like to see John Gruden to come into Dallas and rebuild the Cowboys the way Jimmy Johnson did. But I would like to have Johnson back but that will never happen but one can wish can’t he.

    • ctcowboy1968

      Gruden and JJ relationship would not work. Two very strong personalities. IMO, the Boys have been rebuilding. Jimmy did a massive overhaul. That’s not the case now.

      • Erik Lambert

        Gruden isn’t coming back. He has his ring and is very happy with his Monday Night gig. If anybody was going to replace Garrett I’d say it’s one of those guys in the NFC West, notably Greg Roman or Darrell Bevell.

  • SmartThinking

    You zany sports writer guys! All you think about is what “typical” football franchises run by “real” GM’s would do with their losing head coaches.

    Big Jones has already told you several times over that Garrett is his Pet Cat. Or, in Jerryspeak, “We’ve got too big an investment in Jason to see him win a Super Bowl coaching another team.” (I’ll save parsing the sanity out of that statement for another day.)

    Garrett would have to go 5-11 or worse or, make some really truly bone headed mistake to get big Jones to pull the pin on him after three years. That’s why they brought in Linehan. Watch. Linehan will be stuck to Garrett’s hip this season like white on rice. He won’t let Garrett make any more errors in judgment or bad personnel calls.

    Garrett has fully ingratiated himself into the Jones family. He’s dutifully walked three steps behind his master and suffered the humiliating demotions and constant media hogging by big Jones, pretty much, since he came on board. Do you really think he’s the least bit worried about being fired for losing? I don’t.

    Unless some really, really good SB winning HC comes along and, for whatever reason you can think of that I can’t, says, “Sure, I’ll take your constant BS and meddling and I’ll drive your team for two and a half seasons until you get tired of me, too,” nothing is going to change. And even then, I see Garrett not being fired. Just moved into the front office, where he probably belongs anyway. It’s a cinch he’s too immature at the job to be a real HC on anybody else’s team but the one we support in Bizarroland.

    • Old Frog

      Jason’s long term slow and steady “process” contradicts most fans demands to win now. He is a polar opposite of Pete Carroll who made something like 200 personnel changes his first year – including hiring his own GM. Even that strategy took a few years to bear fruit and it was not his first gig as an HC. Like it or not, I think the Cowboys are stuck (or blessed depending on your point of view) with Garrett for years to come.

      • Erik Lambert

        This certainly is a contradictory Jerry Jones from the one people remember in the 90s. I don’t know what happened but he is certainly more adverse to change than ever which has kept the Cowboys stagnated.

  • regis kampmeyer

    tomlin should have never been hired.it was the ronney rule that forced them to hire him

    • PJ_CA

      SO you’re implying he was hired because he was black and not because he was qualified? Hmm, interesting.

    • Pete Peterson

      Worry about your team you have no clue to what happened in his interview and the ROONEY’s know what they are doing because we are the ONLY team with 6 Lombardi’s!

  • Bill Smith

    Too bad the Owner of the Cowboys won’t fire the GM there..Oh, wait!!

  • PJ_CA

    Tomlin isn’t going anywhere. The Steelers don’t work like that. 3 coaches in the last 40+ years, Knoll stayed on nearly 10 years after his last SB. Cowher was retained despite not winning an SB until his 15th season. One reason I am a Steelers fan, they avoid the yearly coaching merry-go-round, stability is the name of the game in Pitts.

    • Pete Peterson

      Thank You! I’m tired of people writing about our team and putting our coach on the hot seat every year when they know nothing about the history of our team!

  • Greg Hill

    After 11 yrs, the record of Marvin Lewis is 90-85-1 with a playoff record of 0-5. On the surface, this appears that he is unable to get the Bengals to the next level. But one needs to look past the head coach sometimes to see the real problem. The owner Mike Brown who inherited the team from his father is the incompetent one. The Bengals have not won a playoff game since 1991 with Mike Brown as the GM/Owner. Cowboy fans, does this remind you of anyone?