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Wade Phillips Takes the Head Out of Head Coach

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On Monday, during a larger discussion of criticism of Jason Garrett's handiwork, Scott Crisp shared a quote from head coach Wade Phillips. He was asked about the offensive coordinator's choice of doubling down on passes to fourth receiver Sam Hurd in the end zone, even though Hurd was covered by Champ Bailey.

    "I'm OK with whatever he called, yes."

    Uncle Wade's the only one who was OK with those calls, but that's not such a big deal. Unless Garrett decides to throw Tony Romo under the bus and reveal that the play call was "62 X Flat Throw to Anyone but Hurd," we'll never know if it was a poor call, a poor read or a combination of the two. Heck, if you want to raise hell about anything on those calls, raise it about Jason Witten being left in to block while Martellus Bennett wasn't even on the field. The bigger issue facing Phillips is why he isn't questioning any of the other play calls Garrett made on Sunday.

    How many times did Phillips need to see Romo overthrowing his receivers on posts and crossing patterns to know that those plays needed to be mothballed? How was he OK with watching the Cowboys control the clock for the majority of the first half behind Marion Barber and Tashard Choice and then giving the Broncos chance after chance by putting the ball in the air in the second half? Why was it no big deal to waste a strong defensive performance, save Brandon Marshall's dance through the entire unit, so that Garrett could try to burnish the myth that he's an offensive wunderkind?

    Where's Marlon Brando when you need him?

    The way that Garrett was declared a future coaching star before the 2008 season by Jerry Jones is reminiscent of the way that Hollywood, from time to time, declares someone a movie star before there's any evidence that audiences like their pictures. Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell or whoever else is on magazine covers and starring in blockbusters for months or years before anyone realizes that no one is going to see movies just because someone at a PR firm decided that they are stars. 

    The big difference, of course, is that, at some point, Hollywood producers and studios put their foot down and say that they aren't putting their money behind these so-called stars any longer. Phillips doesn't have the courage or desire to do that, perhaps because he thinks it will cost him his job. The thing is, if he'd done it against the Giants or the Broncos then the Cowboys might have won those games. If he wins enough, his chances of getting fired and Garrett's outsized role in the organizational hierarchy both get smaller, no matter how convined Double J is of Garrett's Princetonian brilliance. 

    And if you still lose, well, you're getting fired anyway so what is there to lose by acting like you deserve the title you already have?