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Wade Phillips Needs To Be Put Out of His Misery

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Sorry Wade, it’s over. It’s not you, it’s… well, no, it IS you.

From all accounts, Wade Phillips is one of the nicest, most genuine men on Earth. Unfortunately, that doesn’t win football games, and that doesn’t make up for astoundingly numerous poor coaching decisions and a team that consistently looks unprepared for the game. Wade’s time has been up since the 2007 season screeched to a halt in the form of losing in the playoffs to the Giants after having secured home field advantage throughout. Somehow, inexplicably, Phillips has been able to hold on to one of the toughest coaching jobs in professional sports, with one of the toughest, most proud owners watching from above in his new billion-dollar palacial stadium.

He survived the 2008 disaster. Needing a win in one of the last two games to make the playoffs, the Cowboys laid an egg in week 16 losing 33-24. In more embarrassing fashion, they were annihilated by the Eagles in week 17, 44-6.

He survived last years late season collapse, where the team looked unprepared, unfit, and uninterested, which ultimately led to their escort from the playoffs at the hands of the Vikings.

This season started off with Super Bowl aspirations. Despite that, Phillips has even survived this season’s 1-7 start, but the time has undoubtedly come to make a move. Wade Phillips is a defeated man. Anyone that watched yesterday’s debacle can see that first-hand. If the last two drives of the game didn’t tell the story, nothing will.  The Cowboys were down 45-7 early in the 4th quarter, surely they weren’t going to come back and win the game, but the Cowboys’ decision to run a pass play that netted -2 yards, followed up with 2 runs and a punt showed that he was a man who has lost control of his faculties. Shots of him on the sideline were almost painful to viewers. He looked like a man who was told he had a terminal illness, and then the doctor kissed his wife, and kicked his dog.

The Cowboys followed up that “I quit” drive with the final drive of the game. The drive was a 13 play drive that mixed short passes with even shorter runs and looked like something out of the first quarter. At this point, it looked like Phillips knew that even he, the coach seemingly made of Teflon, was coaching his last drive. He made a moderate attempt to score, but in the end, the drive ended in a sack and much like the coach’s previous 4 NFL head coaching jobs, with unmet expectations.

Jerry Jones is on record as saying that much of the blame for this year falls squarely on his own shoulders, and that it doesn’t make sense to pull the plug halfway into a season that is already lost.  That was before yesterday, and his comments after the game were telling. He sounded like Mel Gibson in Mad Max, or Mel Gibson in Ransom, or just Mel Gibson on a normal day walking around the neighborhood.

Jones decisively remarked after the game: “There are a lot of people here who are certainly going to suffer and suffer consequences. I’m talking about within the team, players, coaches, who have got careers. This is certainly a setback.” Whether or not, Phillips will be fired isn’t a question, but rather when will it happen.  If Jones sticks to his word in this case, it won’t be today, and all indications are that Phillips will keep his job, but Jerry owes it to Wade to cut the cord. It’s been painfully obvious since early on that Wade wasn’t the right man for the job, and the past four seasons have driven that point home. The NFL is a tough league, and even the best teams can be defeated by teams with inferior talent, but watching an unprepared, uninspired Cowboy team routinely get beaten by teams with not only inferior talent, but with basic scheme is embarrassing.  In yesterday’s game, the Packers ran the exact same blitz technique using Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson the entire night. Not only couldn’t the Cowboys stop it, but they made no effort to adjust to attempt to stop it.

Jerry Jones is a proud man, with an almost inhuman need to win.  When things are going poorly, he isn’t afraid to make drastic changes to improve the situation, yet he has been overly hesistant to upgrade one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. The Cowboys’ coaching situation simply can’t be ignored any longer.  Every choice that is made has an end result, and if Jones chooses to stand by and simply ride this out, his end result may reverberate for years to come.


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