ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 9: Head coach Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys walks off the field after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 34-14 during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
The hiring of Paul Pasqualoni, barring a molasses-paced news day the likes of which we've never seen, will not make the lead on SportsCenter tonight; nor should it. Todd Grantham's departure, and the arrival of Paul Pasqualoni in Dallas shortly thereafter, will almost certainly make a bigger splash in Athens (Grantham's destination) than Dallas.
This isn't to say that the signing--and, more clearly the implications of the signing--is unimportant. In the details may lie a tacit vote of confidence in Wade Phillips on the part of Jerry Jones, suggestive of Wade receiving that elusive contract extension regardless of Sunday's outcome. And this, of course, has been a popular question to ask over the past season.
Pasqualoni was signed on Phillips' recommendation. David Moore, the resident heartthrob/scribe at the Dallas Morning News, breaks down the events as they happened:
"The Cowboys learned Thursday that defensive line coach Todd Grantham was leaving to become the defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia," Moore writes. "Phillips suggested the Cowboys hire Paul Pasqualoni. Fifteen minutes later, Pasqualoni was hired and in place for next season."
Pardon us for the novelty of this thought as it pertains to the Dallas Cowboys, but it looks, feels, and smells like a personnel decision executed (with Jerry's blessing, of course) by Phillips. Lame duck coaches, to be sure, don't usually make personnel decisions.
One playoff win, as Troy Aikman insisted recently, may not be enough to satisfy anyone; but it seems that it might be enough for Phillips to stick around. Jones, after all, has spent much of the last month or so expressing unwavering confidence in Phillips. But until now, it was nominal confidence; this latest development provides some practical backing for Jones' words.