In Dallas, It’s All Over But The Firing

If you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan, then it can’t get any worse.

Bartender -- line 'em up! It's "Wade Phillips Face"!

A good drinking game — and you probably need to drink if you’re a Dallas fan these days — would be to take a shot every time the cameras pan to a befuddled-looking Wade Phillips on the sidelines after another crappy Dallas play. The upside of the game would be you’re not likely to stay conscious past the first half of any Dallas effort these days.

That certainly would have been the case if you were watching the utter debacle that was the Cowboys shellacking at the hands of the Green Bay Packers last night.  A national audience watched owner Jerry Jones’ squad get outplayed in every way imaginable en route to a 45-7 defeat that represented the 2nd worst road loss in the franchise’s illustrious history.  The Cowboys dropped to 1-7, their worst start since the very beginning of the Jones regime, an 0-8 start in 1989.

Frankly, it wasn’t even that close.  Other than the emergence in recent weeks of rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant, there isn’t anything positive that can be taken out of the situation in Dallas.  The team isn’t playing hard, they’re still making stupid mistakes with astounding regularity on both sides of the ball, and after the claims by Phillips that the team was getting back to basics, they’re actually looking worse and worse with each passing week.  Other than that, though — everything looks great.

This season has been a lost one for Dallas for a while — certainly since Tony Romo went down back on that Monday night against the Giants.  Jerry Jones has never fired a coach in mid-season, but he has to feel the pressure to do so now — the Cowboys have passed from the realm of the inept to the outright embarrassing.  The problem is that firing Phillips isn’t going to change the culture that has been established around the team, a culture that has allowed poor play and sloppy performances to go without penalty.  The problem with the Cowboys begins at the very top, with Jones himself, and that’s why it’s going to be more difficult to change the atmosphere in Dallas.

Jones has always wanted the credit for the success of his team to go to him first and foremost;  that’s why strong-willed personalities like Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells never fit in with the owner, and why a mediocre head coach — but a “yes-man” if there ever was one — in Wade Phillips has remained in the top spot for as long as he has.  Phillips is a nice guy overwhelmed by his situation, and there’s no doubt he will be gone sooner or later — and that he needs to be in order for the Cowboys to regain some level of prominence.

As long as getting credit for his team's success is his primary concern, Jerry Jones is going to continue to be disappointed

However, who Jones eventually hires to replace him will tell a lot about how quickly Dallas will rejoin the NFL elite, and what their eventual ceiling will be.  Strong-willed coaches like Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden have been bandied about by hopeful Cowboy fans as their potential saviors on the sidelines, but it’s hard to see either of them willing to put up with the circus that is having Jones oversee, overrule, and overreach on every decision made from his owner’s box.  If Jones is willing to fade into the background and allow someone who knows what they’re doing to take full command, then Dallas’ future will be much brighter.  But if he goes the Wade Phillips route again, then Cowboys fans need to be prepared for more of the same in the future.

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One Response to “In Dallas, It’s All Over But The Firing”

  1. The Cowboys embarrassed the entire NFL last night.

    Credit to NBC for pointing out players not willing to make tackles and such.

    Wade deserves to be fired many times over. In fact, I can’t think of a single example of a coach that is waaaaay past his due date. The NFL might have to step in, because they can’t have a team giving up on the season in week 8 or 9.

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