The absence of Bill Belichick on an NFL sideline next fall may surprise people. That is the reality for the legendary head coach though, as the 2024 season will be the first without Belichick on an NFL coaching staff since 1974.

Belichick finds himself unemployed for the first time in 28 years, but sources say he is not ready to end his coaching career for good. After landing two head coaching interviews with the Atlanta Falcons this offseason, the 72-year-old has his sights on one of three potential jobs for the 2025 season.

Some of Belichick's confidants told ESPN he would be interested in coaching a trio of NFC East teams: the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants.

There is inherent risk in hiring Belichick, given his age alone, and that was one of the factors that ultimately led the Falcons to pass on him despite hitting it off with owner Arthur Blank. It's always fun to play the hypotheticals though and Belichick's circle gives us something to work with here.

How would the six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach fit in with the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants in 2025? Let's examine each case.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys seem the most logical landing spot for Belichick next year out of the three teams mentioned above. It was highly speculated that current head coach Mike McCarthy would be fired following Dallas' blowout playoff loss in January. Owner Jerry Jones shut down those rumors and decided to let McCarthy coach the final year of his contract.

Despite their lack of postseason success over the last three decades, the Cowboys have a championship mindset year in and year out. If Dallas fails to reach the NFC Championship Game next season, the franchise will likely move on from McCarthy.

Would Jones then see Belichick as the man who can bring the Cowboys back to glory? From a personal standpoint, the two have been friends for years. Another friend of Belichick's said the future Hall of Fame coach might only coach again if it's under Jones.

“I don't think Bill Belichick will ever be a head coach again in the National Football League,” the friend said, per ESPN. “Unless it's [for] Jerry Jones.”

The Cowboys boast one of the NFL's most talented rosters but for one reason or another have failed to find playoff wins. Dallas has a 5-13 playoff record since winning Super Bowl 30 and has not reached an NFC Championship Game since that same season in 1995.

Belichick on paper is the right coach to lead a talented bunch to postseason triumphs. Jones isn’t always open to change and he'd probably have to find another head coach within the next five years to succeed Belichick. That alone might turn Dallas away from hiring him.

Philadelphia Eagles

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick at MetLife Stadium.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to the Cowboys, the Eagles were rumored to be contemplating their head coaching position following the 2023 season. Philadelphia was a Super Bowl contender three quarters into the season, but a late collapse saw them limp into the playoffs where they were beaten handily by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Owner Jeffery Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman kept their faith in head coach Nick Sirianni and he'll lead the Eagles for a fourth season in 2024. Philadelphia did reportedly entertain the thought of Bill Belichick wandering the home sideline at Lincoln Financial Field this offseason.

Roseman told ESPN that he talked to Belichick after he departed the Patriots, but there was no mention of working for the Eagles. Lurie also pondered the thought with those close to him but never seriously considered the move.

The Eagles have a roster that can compete for championships and like the Cowboys they expect to do so over at least the next three seasons. Philadelphia likes the way its front office is structured and although Belichick was and is willing to give up his duties outside of coaching, he might still try to have a say in matters that aren’t consistent with the way the Eagles have done things.

Philadelphia's executives respect Belichick, but he doesn’t seem to be the fit the Eagles will be looking for if they move on from Sirianni.

New York Giants

What a fitting end to a storied career if Bill Belichick became the head coach of the Giants. Belichick made a name for himself during his 12-year stint with the team before he got his first head coaching gig in 1991, helping the Giants win two Super Bowls under Bill Parcells as a defensive coordinator.

Unlike their NFC East rivals, the Giants are in a state of mediocrity coming off their ninth losing season in the last 11. New York is entering year three of the Brian Daboll era and is confident he can right the ship for the middling franchise.

Would another losing season change the front office's mind? That remains to be seen, but hiring Belichick doesn’t seem right for a franchise that won’t compete for a championship soon.

Bringing in Belichick would drum up some revenue for the Giants and maybe they win an extra game or two with his coaching philosophy over Daboll's. It's peculiar that Belichick would be interested in coming to New York considering one of the main reasons he'd want another head coaching job is to break Don Shula's record for most wins.

The Giants aren’t exactly built to win as currently constructed. How much could that change over the next 17 months when the 2025 season kicks off?