UPDATE – 5pm EST – All things point to Jerry Jones replacing Wade Phillips after the game in Houston on Sunday. I have had a few other people come forward to me within NFL circles and they are more than ever of the same belief that Jerry knows how bad he would look if his team didn’t make the playoffs because he waited to pull the plug on Phillips. He is preparing for it as we speak. His belief is a new coach and not just any coach would make the difference in winning what you deem a game that you should win, rather than losing like they did on Sunday against Chicago. The belief is that Phillips is good for another screw up and he already has one too many under his watch. In a tight division you can’t give away games and Jerry seems to finally see that Phillips isn’t the man to lead them to the promised land. If you keep Phillips on until the end of the year, you risk losing what could have been a great season. What it boils down to now is that Jerry wants a long term solution and will do whatever it takes to make his team be a favourite once again in the NFC. When you look at the rest of the Cowboys’ schedule there are about 4 games in which Dallas should definitely get the win. Then come the games in which talent and coaching should prevail, which is what Jerry is really struggling over, knowing full well what has already happened this season. If you subtract Phillips from the picture and bring in a proven winner as head coach, Dallas wins at least 10 games and gets into the playoffs. If you stay status quo, this team struggles to make the playoffs or even plays .500 ball. Take a look at the next 14 games and you will see what I am speaking about when breaking down the schedule. I encourage all readers to do that in the comment section. I will be back tomorrow to post any other pertinent info to the story. But here is quote from Jimmy Johnson today to make you all wonder a little more about the coaching staff.
This is what Jimmy Johnson had to say.
“I’ve been talking to Troy [Aikman] about this,” Johnson said by phone, “and when I see the penalties, the assignment mistakes and just the undisciplined nature of the Cowboys, it’s hard not to yell. That stuff goes back to the coaching, whether it was once me, or someone else.
There is one thing about football. If a team is sloppy on Sunday, it almost without exception means the team was sloppy all week in practice. And there is no excuse for that. I know Wade agrees with me on this, but there’s just too much sloppiness with this football team.”
UPDATE – 7pm EST – One of my original two sources on this story has stated that Jerry Jones wants a long term solution for his HC and is really working the phones about getting this done. Believe it or not, the name of Jimmy Johnson has been mentioned to me before but not until getting confirmation at dinner tonight. I now believe Johnson could actually be among one of the three former head coaches that Jones seriously wants roaming the Dallas sidelines. Who would you take – Johnson, Billick or Cowher?
UPDATE – 2pm EST – Jon Gruden has a clause in his MNF contract that won’t allow him to leave his analyst position to take the Cowboys HC position if Phillips was fired. As well, Tony Dungy has gone on record as saying he won’t coach this year.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows the NFL that Dallas Cowboys’ head coach Wade Phillips is on a short leash. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has gone on the record saying that the 0-2 start is “quite a setback” for the organization.
Word now comes from two great sources close to the organization that Jones is guaging interest from a few former NFL head coaches currently working on TV networks. CBS in-studio analyst Bill Cowher is Jones’ number one choice to replace Phillips. His second choice is NFL Network/Fox analyst Brian Billick. Both Cowher and Billick have Super Bowl rings, something Jones really wants to have when it comes to who will be leading his struggling team.
Many feel the players have tuned out Phillips and last Friday was a clear example of how this situation continues to snowball. Phillips got into details on Monday about Friday’s practice. “Do I think it could be better? Sure,” Phillips said. “Do I think we had a bad practice Friday? Yes, we told them that in the meeting. We went back over it and said, ‘Hey, we didn’t practice well enough.’” How does the same thing occur that has happened over the past two years under Phillips’ watch? Enough is enough and now is the time for Jones to pull the plug on him. It’s plain to see that the team has no identity and have tuned out Phillips.
I am told that if the Cowboys lose to the Houston Texans on Sunday that Jones won’t hesitate in firing Phillips. Two other possible candidates that have surfaced are Marty Schottenheimer and Steve Mariucci. Schottenheimer who last patrolled the sidelines for San Diego back in 2006-07, was fired by the Chargers in February of 2007. His 5-13 playoff record is definitely not appealing. While Mariucci has a 3-4 playoff record, he hasn’t coached since the 2005 season after a three year stint in Detroit.
Regardless, of what happens in Houston this Sunday, Jones needs to fire Phillips if he hopes to have his team in the playoffs come January. I for one truly believe one of the 4 names I have mentioned will be wearing that Star on their hat come early next week.
More to come as the week unfolds. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.
About the Author
Written by Kevin Lee
Kevin has had an extensive career as a sports writer and radio show host for almost 10 years. Kevin has covered the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA College Football and Basketball. From covering the BCS Championship Game to the Final Four and the Stanley Cup Finals, he has done it all. He has been featured on numerous sports radio stations in Canada and the United States and often a weekly guest on numerous XM and Sirius Satellite radio shows. He has also had his work featured on FoxSports.com.