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Gibbs interviews with Cowboys, Turner next

IRVING, Texas (Jan. 27, 2007) -- New Orleans defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs interviewed with the Dallas Cowboys.

Gibbs, a former Cowboys assistant, was the third outside candidate to visit Valley Ranch for an interview since Bill Parcells retired as head coach Jan. 22.

San Francisco offensive coordinator Norv Turner was scheduled to interview Jan. 28. Turner was the Cowboys' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1991-93, when they won back-to-back Super Bowls, and had a 58-82-1 record as head coach in Washington (1994-2000) and Oakland (2004-05).

Gibbs was linebackers coach in Dallas from 2002-05, but went to run the New Orleans defense when Sean Payton left Parcells' staff last year to become the Saints' head coach.

"It was a very comfortable visit, having been here for four years," Gibbs said. "I felt at ease. We covered a lot of topics and I thought it went well."

Before the Cowboys, Gibbs coached on the collegiate level for 22 seasons. Gibbs was on Barry Switzer's staff at Oklahoma from 1975-88, then spent six seasons as the Sooners' head coach after replacing Switzer. Dallas was his first NFL job, after one-year stints as defensive coordinator for Georgia and LSU.

"We talked a little bit about defense, what we'd do if I came here and how I thought we could do some things that might be a little bit different than they did last year," Gibbs said.

Turner was with the Cowboys when they had Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, NFL career rushing leader Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin. In San Francisco, Turner has been tutoring young quarterback Alex Smith, the first overall pick by the 49ers in 2005.

The other outside candidates who have interviewed with Dallas owner and general manager Jerry Jones were San Diego defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and former Cowboys quarterback Jason Garrett, who on Jan. 25 was added to the coaching staff in an unspecified role -- likely as offensive coordinator -- while still being considered a head coach candidate.

Garrett, the backup to Aikman for two Super Bowl titles in Dallas from 1993-99, was quarterbacks coach in Miami the past two seasons -- his only coaching experience. The first year of his 12-season playing career, which also included stops with the New York Giants, Tampa Bay and Miami, was Turner's last season with the Cowboys.

Like Phillips on Jan. 26, Gibbs met with Parcells and Garrett while at Valley Ranch. Gibbs said he spent 1½ hours with Parcells, his former boss.

Phillips was head coach in Denver (1993-94) and Buffalo (1998-2000), and also had stints as interim head coach in New Orleans and Atlanta.

Jones interviewed three of Parcells' assistant coaches Jan. 23: assistant head coach Tony Sparano, receivers coach Todd Haley and secondary coach Todd Bowles, who is a minority coach. Haley became the Arizona Cardinals' offensive coordinator Jan. 25.

Parcells went 34-32 with two playoff losses in four seasons with the Cowboys. His 19-season career included two Super Bowl titles with the Giants, and another Super Bowl appearance with New England.

The NFL in 2002 adopted a rule requiring teams to interview minority candidates for job openings.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2007, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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