he wasn't really cowering, geez, he knew he was outmatched yea but, don't stretch it people.
iruka is a school teacher more like a among the people that help make decisions not the defending type like kakashior yamato
A few simple assumptions can lead you to that conclusion of how Neji became a Jounin. An ability to lead a group definitely improves your chances of becoming a Jounin.
Ummm ppl...iruka is jounin in the anime, he doesn't teach anymore, he chills with tsunade
this is slightly off-topic, but still in relation to chuunins and such. Did anyone else realize that Shino was a Chuunin already during the chuunin exams? I reread the early manga a few weeks ago and when he confronted Kankuro when Sasuke was chasing Gaara, he stated that he was a chuunin of the hidden leaf and that he would not underestimate his opponent. Why would he have been in the chuunin exams if he were already a chuunin? Unless if was because his whole team had to enter inorder to participate and he was just tagging along so that Kiba and hinata could attemp chuunin.
He's a Chuunin...he's doesn't go any further than that because he wants to teach...becoming a Jounin would stop him from doing that.
I'm not sure that Shino was named as a Chuunin during the chase of Gaara's team...but I do know that Sasuke was. Genma Shiranui, the proctor of that stage of the exam, told Sasuke he was at Chuunin level and ordered him to give chase to Gaara and company.
Chapter 115 page 14
we weill never know why iruka is still a chuunin and neji a jonin because we havent seen eithers abilitys enough