There's an old adage that says "things will get worse before they get better", and right now that's the theme of the Dallas Cowboys season in 2019. It's a team that began the year with a 3-0 record and Super Bowl aspirations, but are now krazy glued to a losing streak that gets longer by the week -- their second three-game slide of the season.

There's plenty of blame to pass around after a 31-24 loss to the Chicago Bears on "Thursday Night Football" that wasn't nearly as close as the padded final score would indicate, but the brunt of it will fall squarely on the shoulders of head coach Jason Garrett, who has been on the hot seat for some time now and has still failed to pull away in statistically the worst division in football. Garrett won't be fired while the team is still in playoff contention though, as I've continuously reported and as owner Jerry Jones made clear on Thursday evening, but the chances he'll return in 2020 are fading fast; and there are already candidates the Cowboys are eyeing as possible replacements.

Whenever/If ever the Cowboys do launch a full scale search for a new head coach, you can count Urban Meyer in as one with a viable chance at landing the gig. 

The former University of Florida and Ohio State University head coach threw his hat into the ring recently when he declared how attractive the Cowboys job would be, and they heard him. Team exec Stephen Jones -- who will likely be Garrett's executioner -- spoke with Meyer recently and the interest in a possible union is now mutual and "very real", per Jane Slater of NFL Network and as confirmed to me by a source with knowledge of the situation. 

The Cowboys fell below .500 after losing to the Bears, so what happens to Jason Garrett? Will Brinson and the Pick Six Podcast Superfriends are here to break everything down. Listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.

Meyer is currently enjoying a second retirement from collegiate football as an analyst for the sport, and could be wooed into the NFL ranks if the Joneses make him an offer. He'll have stiff competition, however, because he's not the [only] frontrunner -- even if he is who received the "first" call.

That designation goes to University of Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, whom owner Jerry Jones continues to covet in a major way. Riley's name has been tied to the Cowboys for multiple seasons now as the team looks to reinvent their culture with a youthful coaching staff, and Riley's resume of success isn't lost on the Cowboys front office. The fact he also resides only an afternoon drive away gives the club easy access to him when the time comes, which will be fairly soon. Expect not only Riley to contend for the position, should he want it, but also another collegiate name dominating headlines recently.

A separate source tells me the Cowboys also have preliminary interest in speaking with Chris Petersen, the University of Washington head coach having recently decided to relinquish his post in unexpected fashion. Petersen cites a need to step away from the game so that he can recharge, and that's a clear indication he isn't done coaching -- prepared to return the moment he feels ready. The interest in him is expected to be as profound as any other candidate, and for reasons that extend beyond his success in turning around the program in Washington. 

Petersen was a longtime head coach at Boise State -- a school the Cowboys routinely pluck talent from -- and was largely responsible for making current Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore into a collegiate legend. Also having played under Petersen at Boise State was All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford, setting the stage for a Blue Blood thread that extends from Petersen's front porch right into the heart of the Cowboys organization.

Expect Moore to nudge the club toward making an expected call to Petersen, with Lawrence and Crawford standing in full support.

Other names will begin to crop up over the next several weeks and months -- some being unfounded speculation while others are truly viable -- but what is known is Meyer, Riley and Petersen have the Cowboys attention in what will be a wide net being cast; and that anything less than deep playoff run will see Garrett ousted to free up the seat at the head of the table. 

From there, only time will tell who sits down to eat.