Florida’s Dan Mullen was seen as a dark horse among the several candidates mentioned for the Dallas Cowboys’ job in recent weeks.

But during a segment on ESPN’s “First Take,” Chris Mortensen said Mullen would have been the choice if the Cowboys went with a college head coach. Mortensen said owner/general manager Jerry Jones may have given a hint recently when he said the data about college coaches coming into the NFL is not good, and “he’s right about that.”

Speculation about Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley, Baylor’s Matt Rhule or former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer did not “match up with the data he’s seen,” Mortensen said.

Jones ultimately went with an experienced NFL head coach with a track record of success.

“Stephen Jones was definitely involved in this process, but Jerry’s voice was the voice,” Mortensen said. “… Stephen certainly talked through this, but it was Jerry’s decision and Jerry decided he wanted NFL extensive head coach with a track record.”

Mullen about three weeks ago addressed his NFL aspirations, and how he feels about being at Florida.

“I know what I have here, I love being here,” he said. “We’re building a championship program here. At some point in my life, would it be something if I wrote it all down, and sat it down to consider it, then that would happen. But it’s nothing I’d even thought of, I know how it works here. I like it here. I’m kind of the, don’t make it too big, but you’re kind of like, you’re kind of the owner, GM, vice president and head coach. I’ve got a lot of control about how the program works here.”