49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

January 28, 2009
Delving into Manusky's Big D dinner

Question: Hey Matt, First great job on the blog, I read it everyday. It has recently been reported that DC Greg Manusky has had dinner with Cowboys coach Wade Phillips and owner Jerry Jones. It also brings up the possibility that coach Manusky is a candidate to become the next DC for the Cowboys. Is there any truth to that rumor since coach Manusky was retained by coach Singletary and is still under contract with the 49ers?
Chris, Honolulu

Answer: This story reminds me of a line from "The Usual Suspects" when a group of cops arrive to arrest Kevin Pollack's character, Hockney, in a garage.

Cop: I can put you in Queens on the night of the hijacking.
Hockney: Really? I live in Queens. Did you put that together yourself, Einstein? Got a team of monkeys working around the clock on this?

In other words, the evidence linking Manusky to Big D seems rather circumstantial. Because this story hit the Bay Area message boards yesterday, it made it seem like the dinner meeting happened recently in Dallas. No, it happened on Jan. 19 at the Senior Bowl. Lemme let you in on a secret about the Senior Bowl: The coaches don't go down to Mobile, Ala. every year to scout prospects like everyone thinks. They go down there to network, to hobnob and to re-live the good old days. It's like one giant frat reunion. The fact that Manusky went to dinner with Phillips isn't surprising considering that Phillips was Manusky's mentor in San Diego. And the fact that Jones was there, too, isn't surprising considering that Jones and Phillips were attached at the hip that week. Hell, I sat next to them at the weigh-in, and no one's linking me to the Cowboys' GM job. (Note to Mr. Jones: I would make an awesome GM).

The bottom line, as Chris alluded, is that Manusky is under contract in San Francisco, meaning the 49ers can block any sort of lateral move. The only way Manusky could leave without the 49ers' blessing is if it were for a HC position. And I doubt Phillips would be involved in such a meeting. ... That being said, Manusky is definitely considered an up-and-comer in coaching circles. He's smart. He's charismatic. He relates well to players. It wouldn't surprise anyone at 4949 Centennial if his name comes up in relation to HC openings in the future. And it wouldn't be surprising, given Manusky's relationship with Phillips, if the Cowboys made a run at Manusky when his contract expires. Perhaps Mike Singletary should be grooming successors for both OC and DC ...

-- Matt


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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