BEREA - How convenient it is for outgoing Browns president Mike Holmgren that the next game on the schedule is Sunday in Dallas.
If a report that surfaced Friday by Jason La Canfora of "CBSSports.com" is accurate, Holmgren could be the Cowboys next head coach. The report on CBS' "NFL Today" show indicated that Holmgren has a "serious interest" in coaching the Cowboys if current coach Jason Garrett is fired. The Cowboys have struggled to a 4-5 record this season and are 17-16 since Garrett was named interim coach at the halfway point of the 2010 season.
The report indicated that sources close to Holmgren said that he's attracted to the Cowboys' post "given the competitiveness of the roster, the skill players present and his long relationship with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones."
Holmgren, who was named president of the Browns in January of 2010, will end his affiliation with the organization at the end of this season or perhaps sooner. He told reporters covering the Browns on Monday that he's had no contact with the Cowboys.
"I want to make this very clear," Holmgren said. "The last time I talked to anybody about my future is when I talked to you guys (Browns' reporters). I haven't talked to a single soul.
"The second thing is I honestly don't know what the future holds or what I want to do. Thirdly, I've always been bothered by the speculation during the season when coaches are trying to work and are fighting crazy for their jobs. I would never do that to anybody. I have tremendous respect for Jason Garrett."
Holmgren's tenure with the Browns became numbered when former owner Randy Lerner announced plans to sell the team to James Haslam in July. The deal was finalized in mid-October, which signaled the arrival of Joe Banner as president.
Holmgren has remained around the team in a consultant-like way. He'd like to stay until the end of the season.
"As long as I feel like I'm contributing a little bit and helping some of the players and the coaches, yeah (I'll stay)," Holmgren said. "If I'm not helping that could change."
Browns coach Pat Shurmur doesn't need any distractions as he prepares for the Cowboys coming off a bye. It's doubtful it will be an issue.
"I don't think it's a distraction to us," Shurmur said. "As far as I know the Cowboys have a coach, so I don't know where that came from."
Cornerback Joe Haden laughed when asked if the Holmgren rumor could develop into a distraction.
"There's nothing that could distract us," Haden said. "We've been through it all. If anything we just want to go hard and win now. Nothing else matters because we've been through it all, seriously."
Holmgren, who will turn 65 next June, said at the October press conference that he hasn't ruled out a return to coaching. He hasn't coached since ending a seven-year stint with the Seattle Seahawks in 2008. Prior to that Holmgren took the Green Bay Packers to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances in the 1996 and '97 seasons, winning in the '96 season.
"That (being a coach) is what he was for a long time," Shurmur said. "That's a good question for him."
Holmgren isn't letting on.