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SOURCE: Sparano offered and accepts head coaching job (updated)

**UPDATE**: ESPN's Chris Mortensen now reports that . Mortsensen says that, besides being against the Rooney Rule, something like this is againt league rules because an offer like this can't be made until the candidate's season is over.

Mortensen also said this report could be a trick by the Dolphins to scare off the Ravens from going hard after Sparano. Hmmm...

Meanwhile, the Palm Beach Post reports that a serious darkhorse candidate in this search is former Ravens DC Rex Ryan. This is according to an "NFL source" that spoke with the Post.

And the plot thickens...[end update]

According to the New Haven Register, Tony Sparano has been offered the Dolphins' head coaching job and will accept the offer at the conclusion of the Cowboys' season.  The  New Haven Register cites an unnamed source.  Here's part of the article:

New Haven native Tony Sparano has been offered the head coaching position by the Miami Dolphins and will accept it at the conclusion of the Dallas Cowboys' season, according to a source.

The 46-year-old Sparano, who graduated from Lee High and the University of New Haven, is the assistant head coach for the Cowboys.

He was hired at Dallas in 2003 by Bill Parcells, who promoted Sparano to assistant head coach. He was the offensive line coach, running game coordinator and play caller in 2006.

Parcells was hired as the Dolphins executive vice president of football operations Dec. 20. He has already hired Jeff Ireland from the Cowboys to become Miami's general manager.

The Dolphins were 1-15 this season under first-year coach Cam Cameron, who was fired on Thursday.

Sparano also interviewed Saturday with the Baltimore Ravens and interviewed Friday with the Atlanta Falcons.

Of course, Dolphins' spokesman Harvey Greene denied the report, claiming that it is "100 percent false. In fact, we have a number of interviews scheduled in the next few days." But we really shouldn't be too shocked that the Dolphins are denying this report.  The Dolphins have only interviewed Sparano and nobody else.  They are scheduled to meet with Vikings' defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on Monday.  And until they do, the Dolphins are not complying with the Rooney Rule.  Therefore, don't expect any official statement from Dolphin officials at least until next week.

Some may also wonder why a New Haven, CT paper would report this before any other news outlet, like a south Florida paper.  But Sparano has ties to the New Haven area.  He grew up in the area, went to the University of New Haven, and even coached there as both an assistant coach and as head coach.  So it's very likely this "source" is a close friend or family member who tipped off the writer of the article, Dave Solomon.

So, again, we'll take the wait and see approach.  But if this report is accurate, I'm sure it wouldn't surprise anyone.

By the way, a hat tip to "W NY Fins Fan" for posting the article in the diaries section to alert me of this NH Register report.