Any future head coaches on Cowboys' roster?

IRVING, Texas -- ESPN Insider Ashley Fox had an interesting column today about current or somewhat recent players who could be head coaches in the NFL.

She mentioned Indianapolis Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett, Kansas City defensive linemen Mike DeVito, San Francisco 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin and former quarterback Jeff Garcia.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, since 2000 there have been 117 coaches in the NFL and roughly 25 percent of them played in the league. Only eight current head coaches played in the NFL, including Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

The Cowboys did not have a player on Fox’s list, but it got me to thinking about which current Cowboys could become head coaches in the NFL.

One of the reasons why I don’t think a lot of the star players go into coaching is they have already made a ton of money. I know Jerry Jones has said Tony Romo told him he would love to be an offensive coordinator when he’s done playing. Sorry, I can’t see that happening. Star players don’t need to grind out the hours for a paycheck and work their way up the ladder, so to speak. But for this mini-list, I didn’t take that into consideration.

Jason Witten

I can’t start the list with anybody other than Witten. He knows his position but he knows every other position the field. He knows the pulse of a locker room. He knows when to say nothing. He knows when to say everything.

Besides quarterback, the toughest position to play on offense is tight end. Why? The tight end has to know the ins and outs of the running game. They have to know the ins and outs of the passing game. They know the ins and outs of the protections.

Receivers and running backs have talked about how Witten has served as a teacher for them in terms of blitz reads and adjustments.

Orlando Scandrick

For a lot of the same reasons why Witten would be a candidate, Scandrick is a candidate. He is a smart player. He understands route concepts. He understands leverage. He knows how to play inside. He knows how to play outside.

He also knows how to work a room. He isn’t afraid to voice an opinion when things aren’t going well. The coach has to have a presence to him, and Scandrick has had a presence about him since he walked through the doors as a fifth-round pick in 2008.

Danny McCray

Maybe this is my ode to Baltimore’s John Harbaugh. He made his bones as a special teams’ coach for years before the Ravens hired him.

McCray, who re-joined the Cowboys this year as a free agent, has been a top special teamer since he came to the Cowboys in 2010. He has also played spot duty as a safety, but has made it in the league as a special teamer. On special teams, he has mixed with offensive and defensive players, so he knows the dynamics on both sides of the ball.

McCray is mostly quiet, but so was Todd Bowles as an assistant with the Cowboys and he’s now the head coach of the New York Jets.

Sean Lee

He’s already done the job for a year at Penn State when he missed the season with a knee injury. Coaches need to know what everybody’s responsibility is. Lee is that guy as a player. He knows what he has to do, but he also knows what the cornerback, safety and defensive end have to do as well.

By studying offenses so much, Lee knows enough about that side of the ball to get by.

He would be a taskmaster. He wouldn’t take any loafing, despite having been in the players’ shoes. The time he has missed with injuries in his first five seasons has allowed him to take a cerebral approach to the game before most players his age.