After the Cowboys’ 45-7 yard whooping by the Packers on Sunday night, Dallas team owner and general manager Jerry Jones was asked yet again about changing the team. The most asked question yet again was the job security of head coach Wade Phillips. Jones has made it clear that he plans to keep Phillips until the end of the year, although he has also made it clear that will be the end of Phillips’ tenure in Dallas. However, after the worst three-game losing streak since the team’s debut in 1960, many believe Jones might go back on his word and fire Phillips during the season anyway. After all, he keeps giving hints just like he did Sunday night. “There are a lot of people that certainly are going to suffer and suffer consequences,” Jones said. We have so many things that we need to correct and address that this game so vividly exposed.” Ain’t that the truth; every phase of the Cowboys’ game looked out of sync and downright awful. As if those comments weren’t enough, Jones then gave that typical remark that leaves us thinking he’s up to something.“I’ve got a lot of decisions to make,” Jones said. “I can’t put my finger on it because I don’t have enough fingers. I think everybody in this country would agree that there’s something wrong with this team, and I’ve got o address it.” Indeed, most people are saying and have been saying that Phillips is the problem and that problem needs to be fixed, or “addressed,” right now. Naturally, Jones’ most revealing and most interesting comments he saved for last:
“I don’t want any of it. I don’t want any of it for our team and for our fans. I’m not stomaching this,” Jones said. “As far as making a dramatic change, I’m not talking about it. I will talk and meet with the team tomorrow [Monday]. We didn’t compete in any phases of the game. The decision I’m thinking about making, you have to consider long-term, looking at the next 2-3 years and not just the rest of this year.”
So Jones is considering making a coaching change before the end of the season. My, how a 38-point blowout changes things. However, Jones is faced with quite the dilemma moving forward in this mindset. If the league does indeed suffer a labor stoppage next season, Jones very likely will not be able to hire a head coach to replace Phillips during the offseason. A very active and mindful NFL owner, Jones is indeed planning for the long-term just as he said. You have to give him credit for that because a rash move right now could ruin the Cowboys’ chances of contending over the next two or three years. Jones is well aware that quarterback Tony Romo only has about that many seasons left as a solid NFL passer. In addition, many defensive starters are aging as well, such as linebacker Keith Brooking. On the flip side, Jones also knows that he’s losing support and ticket sales every minute that Phillips remains his head coach. I guess being the owner of the NFL’s most valuable team isn’t all cake and punch.
One thing that fans have been waiting to hear from Phillips is accountablilty. At this point, 90% of Dallas fans are blaming Phillips for the team’s lack of success this season. However, Phillips finally answered the bell after Sunday night’s loss. “We looked like a bad football team and that’s how we played,” Phillips said, “With bad coaching.” Of course, after it was too late to make such a comment anyway, Phillips capped it off with his usual cupcake spiel. “They whipped us in all phases,” Phillips said. “Once it all caved in on us, we didn’t have a chance. The only thing we can do is keep going forward. You can’t quit. You can’t cry about everything. You’ve got to keep working.” What Phillips meant to say was, “I hope I can keep working,” meaning he still has a job. Translate the Jerry speak as you will, but I smell some typical Jerry Jones coming up. That means doing what he says he won’t. You’ll figure it out.