Dead Man Walking II: The Wade Phillips Story

As I was watching the New York Giants bury the Dallas Cowboys - in a "winning the game" sense, in a "putting Tony Romo out for basically the season" sense, in a "premature death to the 2010 season" sense - I kept coming back to one thing. Every time they showed a sideline shot of Wade Phillips, the only phrase that came to mind was Dead Man Walking. It's hard to imagine a scenario where Phillips survives after this season. Jerry Jones may carry him through this year, depending on how bad things get, or not. But unless the Cowboys go on some kind of miracle run, without Tony Romo, and pull off a feat only one team has done in the last 40 years - that is overcoming a 1-5 start to make the playoffs - then Wade is walking towards the executioner's chamber with every step he takes. So when I saw those sideline shots, I kept wondering if he was thinking "Well there goes my head coaching career".

Wade Phillips is an easy guy to like, I was pulling for him, really. I would have loved to see him win it all with these Cowboys, not just from the personal satisfaction of the Cowboys being champs again, but also because I like Wade, and I like his defensive scheme. But, this was a golden opportunity for him, and things went south, like to Antarctica. Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't see Wade Phillips back as the Cowboys coach next year.

So that brings me to the question: Who do you want as the next Dallas Cowboys head coach?

You should also check out the excellent FanPost on this subject by MilesAhead. I wanted to get some discussion going on the front-page, but this FanPost is also a great place to discuss and goes into deeper detail on potential candidates.

More after the jump...

So far, the two big names we keep hearing are Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden. Both seem reasonable. Both are recent ex-coaches, young enough to get back in the game. Both have produced winning teams over sustained periods, and both have won a Super Bowl. Jerry likes shiny things.

Of the two, I'd prefer Bill Cowher. I've always liked the way he handles a team. I also like that he's worked a long time with a 3-4 defense. I realize that he wouldn't have Dick LeBeau, but he's had a lot of success using a 3-4, and the Cowboys are built for a 3-4. Plus, I dig the 3-4. As for Jon Gruden, I'd want to know more about his plans; the style of his previous teams probably doesn't fit the Cowboys personnel well, but coaches can always change and adapt. Many times, it really depends on the coordinators they hire.

Then there's Jason Garrett. What's his position with Jerry after this debacle of a season? It's hard to argue with the overall offensive numbers Garrett has compiled as the Cowboys offensive coordinator. There is room for discussion about the differential in yards and scoring - basically redzone issues. Also, his play-calling is another room for debate. Still, could he be given the reins if Jerry isn't going after, or able to land, one of the big fish?

Maybe you have a write-in candidate. Or maybe you're standing by Wade and saying this is all premature. The comments are open for discussion.

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