Ever since Wade Phillips took over the head coaching job for the Dallas Cowboys, there has seemed to have been a countdown hovering over his head. No one seems to know what it says but owner Jerry Jones.
Right now, Jones says the countdown isn't over. Jerry Jones took it upon himself to go into the Cowboys locker room and dress down his team after their pitiful loss to the St. Louis Rams. However, Jones would tell the media that in no way does this mean that Phillips' job is in jeopardy.
"It really isn't about changes peoplewise as much as it is changes within the people, within the coaches and players," Jones said.
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Sitting right across the field was an example of a coaching change lights a fire under a team. The Rams fired Scott Linehan and replaced him with Jim Haslett three weeks ago. St. Louis has yet to lose.
Dallas is coming off a very tough week. They were beaten by the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, had to deal with Pacman Jones' suspension, losing Tony Romo and Felix Jones to injury and watched one of their Roy Williamses re-break his arm and lose him for the season. Now they lose to a Rams team that a few weeks ago was regarded as one the NFL's worst.
Those things aren't Phillips' fault. The undisciplined nature they keep showing on Sundays is. They keep making stupid penalties, dropping passes, missing tackles, missing blocks and just playing ugly. This is a team that has a bazillion Pro-Bowl players on the roster but have lost three of their last four games. That one win was a squeaker over the 0-7 Cincinnati Bengals at home.
I know that firing a coach can be an over-reaction. After all, Phillips' likely successor, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, has done an equally poor job. But the NFC East is so competitive that it is so difficult to gain back ground you are losing. The Giants and Redskins keep on winning and the Eagles are still right there. Heck, Dallas is in fifth place in the wild-card standings.
Dallas' season is certainly savable ... even with Phillips as the coach. However, the Cowboys needs to figure this out very quickly as they host the Buccaneers before traveling to the Giants and Redskins. Those teams are a combined 14-5 this season.
A few more losses and Jerrah Jones will wish he made a change sooner.