Sought Wannstedt to keep juggling Cowboys, offers

January 18, 1993|By Barry Meisel | Barry Meisel,New York Daily News

SAN FRANCISCO -- When he wasn't dissecting game film, meeting to develop a game plan or preparing the NFL's top-ranked defense for the San Francisco 49ers' quick-strike offense last week, Dave Wannstedt was concentrating on the rest of his professional football life.

The Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator met with New York Giants general manager George Young in Dallas about their vacant coaching job. He met with Bears president Mike McCaskey about Chicago's vacancy. He also spoke by telephone with his two main suitors and with Denver general manager John Beake, who also needs a coach.

It was a difficult and complicated week.

"It was," Wannstedt admitted after the Cowboys defeated the 49ers yesterday, 30-20, in the NFC championship game. "This time of year you don't get much sleep. But that's good. If you're not sleeping much this time of year, that's a good sign. You just have to keep your priorities straight. At this point the priorities were winning this game and the Super Bowl."

Every time Wannstedt started talking about how Dallas handled Steve Young's offense, the topic switched back to the inevitable next line of his resume. He spoke to as many media people from New York and Chicago, it seems, than he did with those from Dallas.

"It seems like every time we go out, we reinforce his candidacy," said owner Jerry Jones, who sounded more like Wannstedt's campaign manager when he said the Giants, Bears and Broncos can continue talking to Wannstedt this week. "And that's how it should be."

Wannstedt wouldn't say if he has meetings or calls scheduled this week with Young and/or McCaskey, but it would surprise nobody to learn that both have gotten to the serious stages of the courtship. Wannstedt said he wasn't sure how much he'd be allowed to do.

"Jimmy [Johnson, Cowboys coach] and I are going to discuss it," Wannstedt said. "Now that we're going to the Super Bowl, it's going to be Jimmy's call as far as if there are any talks this week. The time frame, I don't know what it's going to be."

Jones, however, isn't worried about Wannstedt's stretching himself too thin.

"There was never any doubt," Jones said. "It speaks to Dave Wannstedt that he can handle preparing our team and have them ready plus talk about his future."

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