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Will the Bears Lose Rivera to the Cowboys?

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 7, 2007 5:00PM

With the Super Bowl over, the talk has already turned to the Bears future, in 2007 and beyond. Of course, there's heated debate over whether to stick with Rex or look elsewhere for the answer at QB.

2007_02_sports_ron_rivera.jpgThe composition of the Bears' coaching staff is also up in the air at the moment. Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera spent Tuesday in Dallas, interviewing for their head coaching vacancy. His name had come up in regards to a number of the openings in recent weeks, but the Bears playoff run kept him too busy to interview. The Cowboys, however, decided to wait until after to the Super Bowl to ensure they could interview all the candidates they wanted to. "Just the fact that Mr. Jones waited until now, that bodes well for me," Rivera told reporters on Tuesday in Dallas.

While he officially interviewed for the head coaching job that Dallas had permission from the Bears to discuss with him, they were also interviewing him for their defensive coordinator job as well. The speculation for weeks has been that Dallas would hire Norv Turner as their head coach, as a short term solution before newly hired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett assumed the top job in a year or two.

Clearly, in such a scenario Rivera would be neither the top guy nor the heir apparent. So would he forsake the Bears to take the same job in Dallas? It depends on whether the Bears are willing to open up the purse strings and pay their coaches what they're worth. That scares us -- especially since some coordinators on non-playoff teams are currently making more than Bears head coach Lovie Smith!

Even Lovie is butting heads with the Bears ownership over a new deal. The lowest paid head coach in the NFL -- even young guys with no head coaching experience and questionable resumes are making double what Lovie's making. He's heading into the final year of a deal that saw him win 11 games with Kyle Orton as his QB, and then he took the Bears to their first Super Bowl in 21 years. That deserves at least Top 5 money. This is not a time for Bears management to act in their foolishly stingy way with money.

Image via AP Photo/Jeff Roberson