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.