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Cowboys give Derek Dooley a chance to coach again

Former Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, who has an impressive 32-41 career record as a college coach, will be back on the sidelines in 2013.

Instead of nepotism, Dooley is calling on his old friend Jason Garrett with the Dallas Cowboys. Dooley will take over for Jimmy Robinson as wide receivers coach. It’s not Dooley’s first stint in the NFL as he coached with Garrett on Nick Saban’s staff with the Miami Dolphins.

Apparently Dooley didn’t have many options as he’s joining a staff whose tenure with the Cowboys is about as tenuous as Dooley’s entire career was in Knoxville. Dooley should feel right at home, though, as he got pretty used to being on the hot seat during his three seasons with Tennessee.

While Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has never been afraid to spend his money to make a splash or attract top talent, he probably didn’t have to offer Dooley much in terms of financial incentives.

Dooley is costing Tennessee $5 million over the next four years and he’s part of a bigger problem with the Vols’ financial picture.

Normally there is some sort of caveat that allows a program to reduce the payout once the coach finds employment, but that’s not clear for Dooley and Tennessee.

Even if Dooley does lose some of that hard-earned Tennessee money it’s easy to see why he would want to work with the talented Dallas receivers. The son of Vince Dooley inherits Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and tight end Jason Witten.

Bryant had a breakout season in his third year in the NFL. He had 92 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns, which gave Tony Romo another serious threat.

If the Cowboys can finally live up to the hype, then Dooley has the potential to parlay this into another shot as a head coach in the future.

Landing in Big D is not a bad fallback or Dooley, who has never really won anywhere he has coached. It also looks like his wife, Allison, will like the new gig as she hails from Fort Worth.

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