Former Bengals coach Marvin Lewis received numerous head coaching overtures a year ago and is also under consideration for several head coaching opportunities in 2021, league sources said.
Lewis reached the playoffs five straight years with the Bengals -- something unheard of for that franchise -- and has spent the past two years on the Arizona State staff, but remains open to a return to the NFL in the right spot. Lewis was among the longest-tenured coaches in the NFL at the time he left the Bengals after the 2018 season, is very well respected around the league and is a former member of the league's competition committee.
The Cowboys were among the teams who gauged his interest last year, sources said. Lewis is held in high regard by many of the men who are well positioned to land general manager jobs next month and his ability to win in Cincinnati, despite a very limited budget and under an untraditional structure with owner Mike Brown effectively the general manager. His deep experience as a to defensive coordinator and ability to build a staff are also qualities that will work in his favor in an upcoming hiring cycle that is devoid of many candidates who are considered a lock to land jobs.
Spending two years immersed in the college game, at a time when NFL teams are borrowing liberally from NCAA teams for concepts and play designs with the pro game trending toward more shotgun and spread formations, also adds to Lewis' appeal. Numerous teams have indicated an interest in speaking to Lewis, and there will undoubtedly be a number of teams who make a coaching change when the season concludes.