Jerry, very often we have given you the benefit of the doubt about hiring Wade Phillips and then extending his contract. A lot can be said about his use of the talent Bill Parcells’ brought in and not adding much since (except for your boy Dez) or his quiet and reserved approach, but at the end of the day Wade Phillips had only one (now two) losing season(s) as a head coach and in his short tenure we won 2 NFC East Championships and our first playoff game in over a decade. Thank him, by firing him.
He is a good guy with a football pedigree to his family. He is really nice and likely never backtalks and is exactly the “Get along” kind of coach that you want working with you as you retain your stranglehold on the team. But we can all see he is no longer, and perhaps never was, the right man for the job. We are now a laughing stoke and some message has to be sent to the coaches, the players, the league, the media and critics, and perhaps most importantly...to the fans.
Even if he didn’t deserve it, though clearly he does, you must fire Wade Phillips NOW.
Jerry, we know you have never fired a coach in midseason. We understand the CBA uncertainty makes things difficult, with teams unable to meet up or practice after 2010 season until an agreement is reached, and coaching contracts are guaranteed whether they do any work for you or not (in case of being fired or a lockout season). Hiring a new coach may seem like wasted money. New coaches may not have a lot of time to implement their system even if a new CBA is reached late this summer and there is a 2011 season. But here is a moral and financial appeal to help you make the right decision, which is to say, make ANY decision and do something for this team at a time of drastic need.
There is something called cruel and unusual punishment. Jerry, at this point, that is what Wade Phillips’ job has become. The team has clearly given up on him and while many more people are to blame, not just Wade, he needs to become a martyr. Do it because he is a nice guy. Put Wade out of his misery. Do it to help him save some face and not waltz out with a team ready to quit on the field for another 2+ months. Do it as a thank you for the “good work" you think he has done over the past few years. He may have a shot to get another job (if this hasn’t ruined his coaching experience and forced him to retire…look at what happened to Bill Parcells), but not if he has to do a weekly walk to the gallows for public ridicule for the rest of the season. You may be worried that a coaching change midseason is like admitting defeat and accepting a losing season, but clearly, we are well beyond that point. Fire Wade and let the players think they could be next. It’s the right thing to do.
What about the financial issue so near and dear to your heart? Just get an interim coach from your current staff. Do they deserve it? Probably not, I can’t think of anyone that deserves a promotion. Will this save next season (if there is one)? Likely not, but it can save you money and show the world you won’t just sit back and accept your team and franchise calling it quits by midseason. If you fire Wade, yes, you will still be paying him money, but at least an interim coach from within won’t cost you extra. It will still allow you to interview new potential head coaches for 2011 when/if the CBA is reached and a new season is guaranteed. So, you won’t be spending new money on coaching contracts and you may stem some of the hemorrhaging in the stadium and merchandising income. Besides, you will lose a lot more money and respect if nothing happens and fans and advertisers start quitting on you too.
So please Jerry, fire Wade and promote an interim coach. You can still have a chance to clean house at the end of the year if you want...public demand seems to want it. But this team needs to know that heads will roll and everyone is auditioning for next year. If the players still quit on the field, then you know which ones were hampered by more than just poor coaching. Personally, I don’t think Jason Garrett is ready to be a head coach – and don’t want him to become our HC – but you are paying him like one, so you might as well find out what he will be like under the gun that is the Cowboys media and critics.
Heck, just promote Joe D, Campo, or Pasqualoni to the DC and try coaching the team yourself for the rest of the season, I don’t care anymore! We know you are stubborn and don’t want to make changes just because the people and media are calling for you to do something. But not doing anything will only lose you even more money and likely the respect of your players, the league, and our fans.
I assume we will all hear the good news later today. While JJ is likely looking for new coaching candidates for the long term, I assume he will take this immediate action and promote an interim from within. The easy money would be that he calls up JG to take his shot.
But what do you guys think? Who would you like to become interim coach? Who will be promoted? What are the changes Jerry is promising? Would you say “The he!! with more money,” hire a coach not on this staff!? Will the interim get a defacto full season in 2011 (or 2012 due to the CBA uncertainty)? Would that change your mind on the best course of immediate action?