If you haven’t heard by now, the first head coach firing of the season happened. The unlucky victim? Wade Phillips of the Cowboys.
Let’s be real here for a second. There was no way Jerry Jones couldn’t fire him after such a terrible (1-7) start. If Jones did nothing and stood by his guy, he doesn’t look compassionate; he looks like he has a buddy-buddy relationship with Phillips which gives off the impression that there’s no way he could do that. As the link I posted said, this is the first time a Cowboys head coach has been fired in the middle of the season. Jones has owned the team since 1989 and clearly likes to see things through to the end. This time, however, he had no choice.
Now, was it Phillips’ fault or the team’s fault? Before the Tony Romo injury, there was no way a team with that talent could only win one game in that many. My theory is that Phillips is really incapable of being a hard or vocal coach. A former player reinforced that theory and his demeanor during games was always really passive. Hell, even yesterday after Mike Vick got hit out of bounds, Andy Reid got fired up and started yelling at the refs, and he’s normally a quiet coach too.
The Cowboys had a few games this season (and in seasons past under Phillips) slip away from them due to penalties. A good head coach would correct those mistakes with discipline. Phillips has none. With discipline, you wouldn’t have the shit happening in the Cowboys’ locker room (Dez Bryant issue, the past issues with Terrell Owens, etc.) if Phillips had nipped it in the bud with discipline. Telling the younger guys to shape up, putting the older players on the team in the roles of leaders, making sure no off-the-field issues happen… these are things that could have been stopped by Phillips if he was a little more active in making sure they stopped. But, he just let them happen.
Maybe it was the fact that he was the head coach of the Cowboys. It’s a favorite team of the media to get scrutinized when they have a bad start, and they are always under the lens whenever any small thing happens. Maybe Phillips will have better luck as a coordinator; he’s primarily a defensive coach. Whatever it was, Phillips wasn’t getting the Cowboys anywhere in seasons prior, and this season showed what it could be like at its absolute worst. Jerry Jones, with good reason, couldn’t deal with that anymore.