Wade Phillips received a contract extension from Jerry Jones earlier this year, and why wouldn’t he have? He led Dallas to a division title, won his first playoff game, and had his young team apparently poised for a big leap forward in 2010. At least, that was the plan. Also, Wade remains the perfect head coach for the Double J. He’ll happily let Jerry Jones pull his strings and dance when Jerry shoots at his feet. Jerry likes that in his head coach.
Ah, but how things turn. Secretly, deep down, did you ever really think Wade Phillips could lead your Cowboys to a Super Bowl title? Of course you didn’t. He’s Wade Phillips. He’s never going to win a Super Bowl. There are certain long-standing head coaches out there that you know will NEVER win a Super Bowl because they aren’t good enough. Brad Childress is one. Andy Reid is another. And Wade Phillips is most certainly on that list. He’s a really good defensive coordinator. Oh, but were that his only job for this team.
The past two weeks have been a dazzling display of Wade’s shortcomings as a coach. The penalties. The turnovers. The communication breakdowns. The fact that his offensive coordinator has called NINETY-EIGHT FREAKIN’ PASSES over the past two weeks despite having three very good backs and problems in pass protection. The general air of disorganization and loosey goosiness. This is what you get when Wade coaches your team, and this will be what you always get. Even the defense sucked yesterday, and the defense is supposed to be the one thing on this team that works.
This is the part where I remind you the Cowboys could have had Mike Shanahan this offseason, but passed him up in favor of retaining Phillips. Do you have any doubt that this team would be in better shape with Shanny at the helm right now? I don’t. Fair or not, this team had very high expectations going into the year, and the schedule is only getting harder from here on out. Coming up next are the 2-0 Texans, then the Titans, then the Vikings, along with brutal games against Green Bay and Indy down the line, along with the traditionally difficult division matchups. This team couldn’t afford to start 0-2, particularly going 0-2 in THAT way, with little signs of cohesion or competence.
And so it is, with some measure of sadness, that we again fire up the Fire-Wade-O-Meter, in which we place the over/under on when Wade will be fired this year. Because he WILL be fired if the Cowboys miss the playoffs and look as lousy as they have. Jerry will eat that contract extension with barbecue sauce and coleslaw if he has to. My guess is that Wade will be fired by Week 16, specifically so that Jerry can promote Jason Garrett and then have the pleasure of firing him after Week 17. This is Dallas, where 0-2 is a very serious problem. Given how the Cowboys have played, it ought to be.
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