|Derek Dooley might become the new Cowboys wide receivers coach -- but he's not one yet. (US Presswire)|
Hey, remember when Derek Dooley landed on his feet by becoming the new Dallas Cowboys wide receivers coach? It was just last Saturday when reports claimed the dismissed Tennessee head coach had already been hired to join Jason Garrett's staff, reports that were quickly backed up by the Associated Press, which cited a report welcoming Dooley on the Cowboys' own website.
Now it's Wednesday, and the move still hasn't been made official. Why? According to the parties involved, it's because there's no move to make official in the first place.
"It's not official unless it is a press release from our office," Cowboys spokesperson Rich Dalrymple told the Knoxville News-Sentinel on Tuesday, disavowing the story published on -- and eventually removed from -- his own team's website.
"We only send out a press release when we are told a contract has been finalized and signed," Dalrymple said. "We don't get into the speculative stuff."
For his part, Dooley's last public comments came Monday, when he told Knoxville radio host Jimmy Hyams that the reports were untrue and that "neither party has made a decision."
This might explain why the original DallasCowboys.com story, titled "Dooley Expected to Become New Receivers Coach" per the News-Sentinel, was replaced by one headlined "WR Coach Among Positions Still Not Filled by Cowboys."
"The team has indeed interviewed several candidates, including former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley, who had reportedly agreed to take the job," the new story read. "But as of Sunday morning, the Cowboys are still exploring all options."
Another wrinkle to the story is that the Cowboys' receivers coaching position isn't technically vacant; Jimmy Robinson is still on the team payroll and still holds that title, but Jerry Jones was noncomittal when asked about his future. Garrett and Dooley coached alongside each other on Nick Saban's Miami Dolphins staff, and there doesn't seem to be much doubt that both Dooley and the Cowboys have some level of mutual interest. (The team site reported that Dooley interviewed with Garrett at the Senior Bowl.)
So it remains highly possible -- and maybe even likely -- that Dooley still heads to Big D. But his bags might not exactly be packed just yet.