With the news that ESPN listed three former Oakland coaches as top candidates for Houston's newly vacated head coach it created a question of if their search could end up affecting the Raiders. One of the top names on their board of candidates is quite possibly the top name on Mark Davis' list of potential replacements for Dennis Allen.
The name of that coach will simultaneously get a chorus of "hell yes" and sighs of "move on already". The name of that coach is of course the revered by many, and yet loathed by some, Jon Gruden. Every year he is rumored to be interested in a return to coaching and this year might be the loudest yet of such claims.
The question that his possible interest in the Texans job brings up is whether that could force the Raiders hand on what they will do with Dennis Allen. There are plenty of reasons to believe that D.A. is safe for another year, but if Mark Davis is still fascinated with Gruden then he might not have the luxury of waiting another year.
Jon Gruden's appreciation of all things Silver and Black is widely known and his interest in returning to his former haunting grounds has long been widely speculated. If given the choice to coach in Oakland again or take over the Texans there is a legitimate probability that he would choose the Raiders, but the Houston job is certainly very enticing with the pieces they have in place.
It will come down to how the Raiders finish the season and how much confidence Reggie McKenzie and Mark Davis have in Dennis Allen. Though the wins haven't come for Allen, he clearly has them competing hard and improving. He has done so while being handicapped by a lack of cap space that will no longer be a hindrance starting next season.
If that is enough to keep his job safe is an unknown at this time. There already are a large amount of fans ready for D.A.'s dismissal right now, if the Raiders stick with Dennis for another year and it fails the unrest felt now will be magnified immensely. Oakland's front office might be willing to risk it, but they also very easily could decide not to.
With Jon Gruden's name being circulated as a very real possibility for the Texans job Dennis Allen better be ready to finish the season well. Mark Davis has long been rumored to have a distinct attraction to adding Gruden, if he sees his chance slipping away he could act swiftly. That makes Dennis Allen's job safety very perilous if the Raiders falter badly down the stretch.