When Jerry Jones was asked by our own Newy Scruggs today, on 105.3 FM The Fan, whether Wade Phillips would finish the season as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Jones allowed no ambiguity in his response, saying simply and finally, “Yes.”
Aside from the stark ugliness of the season thus far, which would suggest that Phillips’ job is anything but safe, this isn’t all that surprising; Jones has never really strayed from his stance of public support for Wade, which would be kind of impressive if it weren’t so frustrating.
But while unsurprising, it may also be very bad. NFL offensive lineman turned radio host and, now, ESPN.com scribe, spent the 2002 season with the Cowboys under then-head coach Dave Campo. It was clear then, around this time--as it seems to be in this case--that the head coach was going to be ridden out of town once the season was up. Also in that case, Jones was content to ride out the season with the guy in place--and the team finished at 5-11.
Tucker recalled in a recent mailbag column the stark ugliness of playing under a lame duck head coach.
"I was in this situation once, interestingly, in Dallas in 2002, and it is tremendously unpleasant for everyone involved," writes Tucker, per ESPN Dallas. "That was the season when [Jerry] Jones famously met with Bill Parcells in an airplane hangar in New Jersey while Dave Campo was still the head coach. The team facility was a morgue for the rest of the season after that news broke. The accountability immediately vanished for some players because they knew Campo was as good as gone, and as such, a number of players missed curfew the night before the final game in Washington. It was bad.
"I hardly ever call for coaches to get fired and almost never during the season, but in this case it must happen. And the sooner the better."
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