Shaquille O’Neal Pleads With Jerry Jones to Hire Deion Sanders to Coach the Dallas Cowboys: ‘Deion Will Hold Those Players Accountable’

Shaquille O’Neal, a noted fan of the Dallas Cowboys, thinks he can solve the franchise’s woes with a more than notable change at the top of the org chart.

Shaq is clearly not a fan of current head coach Mike McCarthy, but The Big Diesel has his eyes on a replacement who would undoubtedly move the needle. Shaq wants Jerry Jones to give Prime Time a call. He wants Deon Sanders to be the next head coach of the Cowboys.

Shaquille O’Neal Wants Jerry Jones to Hire Deon Sanders to coach the Dallas Cowboys

Shaquille O’Neal and Deion Sanders, Dallas Cowboys
(L-R) Noted Dallas Cowboys fan Shaquille O’Neal and Cowboys legend Deion Sanders | Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images; Steve Jennings/Getty Images for Pepsi

There’s a lot to vent about if you’re a fan of the Cowboys. The pain of Dallas’ Wild Card loss at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers stung deep for regular joes working 9-5 and global icons alike.

Shaq, who falls in the latter category, decided to voice his frustration in a way that’s typical to many fans, and that’s by calling for change at the top. Shaq has a significant following and perhaps even some sway, unlike many fans, so the sports world takes notice when he speaks.

Whether or not Jones will take notice from his perch atop the Cowboys’ organization remains to be seen, but The Big Aristotle called out to him by name on a recent episode of his podcast.

“I’m putting this out right now. Deion Sanders is the next head coach for the Cowboys. Jerry Jones, this message is from Shaquille O’Neal Incorporated, Deion Sanders for the next coach of Cowboys,” O’Neal said via Sports Illustrated.

“You want to get Dallas back rocking? Bring Deion to the fold. Deion will hold those players accountable. Deion Sanders for the next Cowboys coach. Put it out. Tweet it, d******. TikTok it. Instagram it. OnlyFans it. Put it out.”

Would Prime Time even make sense for the Cowboys?

Deion Sanders, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys
Jackson State Tigers head coach Deion Sanders watches the run of play during the Orange Blossom Classic game | Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jones is a businessman first and foremost, so one would think that the initial idea of canning McCarthy and hiring Sanders would be appealing.

That would be like trading in a Salsbury steak for Prime Rib. No offense meant to McCarthy, but he’s a rather milquetoast head coach. If he had a nickname, it certainly wouldn’t be Prime Time. It would be more like…Bed Time?

He’s an old-school nose the grindstone coach, and there’s certainly a place for that in the NFL. But in Dallas? The Big D? There’s a reason Sanders fit in so well when he was wearing the star, and that’s because Dallas and Prime Time go together like Texas toast and barbecue.

Jones could create some hype around the Cowboys and he’d sell plenty of tickets and merchandise, but would it make sense in the quest for another Super Bowl?

On the one hand, Sanders does know a thing or two about bringing a Lombardi home to Dallas. He was a big part of the 1995 Dallas squad that won the Super Bowl. That was 27 years ago. The Cowboys haven’t won it since, let alone made the NFC Championship game.

On the other hand, while Sanders has done an incredible job as head coach at Jackson State, leading the Tigers to an 11-2 record in 2021, he doesn’t have any other coaching experience under his belt.

A jump from the Southwestern Atheltic Conference to the NFL could be pretty tough, even for an NFL legend like Sanders.

What Shaq really wants: Discipline in Dallas

Shaq can use his celebrity to drum up the Prime Time hype all he wants, but if you read between the lines, it becomes clear that he thinks the real problem in Dallas is discipline.

That’s excellent analysis from the legendary center because it is spot on.

On paper, the 2021 team looked like a squad that could compete for a Super Bowl. The offense was No. 1 in the league statistically, and the defense turned the ball over more than any other unit league-wide. The talent was there. From CeeDee Lamb to Micah Parsons. From Dak Prescott to Trevon Diggs. The coaching was there too, kind of. Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore are getting head coaching opportunities this offseason because of what they did as coordinators for the Cowboys. McCarthy? Well, the jury is still out on him.

What wasn’t there? Discipline.

The Cowboys constantly hurt themselves by playing undisciplined football. For instance, they were penalized 14 times in the Wild Card loss, which was a microcosm of the entire season. They led the league in penalties committed with 127. That’s 7.4 penalties per game. For context, the Green Bay Packers committed only 69 total penalties in 2021.

Discipline was an issue all season for Dallas, and it was made worse by the fact that the Cowboys weren’t shy to complain about the refs. That’s never a good look, especially after losses, but even McCarthy wasn’t above complaining.

The head coach sets the tone of a locker room. The head coach creates the culture, and ultimately, a team is a reflection of the head coach.

The Cowboys had incredible talent but failed to live up to expectations. They had everything in place to make a deep run through the playoffs and even win a Super Bowl, but they couldn’t get out of their own way.

Ultimately, that falls on McCarthy, which is why he’s on such a hot seat this offseason. That’s why, when reading between the lines, Shaq wants to see him replaced with Sanders.

“Deion will hold those players accountable” is the phrase to key on.

From the mouth of The Big Aristotle himself, the Cowboys need discipline, and he clearly doesn’t believe McCarthy is the one who can instill that trait.

Stats courtesy of ESPN and Pro Football Reference. Contract information via Sportrac.

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