A couple of weeks ago there was a general consensus here at BTB that no matter what happens, Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett deserve the chance to serve out their contracts. Well, a few minds have undoubtedly changed after the debacle in Philly.
However, unless a miracle happens don't expect any major coaching changes until after next season.
As soon as it was reported that Mike Shanahan had been fired from the Denver Broncos, the collective Dallas Cowboys fan's eyebrows shot up with interest. While many would love to see Captain Cupcake take his show elsewhere, no one had a good idea on who should replace him. Was anyone impressed with Jason Garrett's unimaginative offense in his second season as OC? This Cowboys team isn't a rebuilding project and a rookie college head coach most likely wouldn't be the right answer. Bill Cowher hasn't shown any interest in returning to coaching.
Yet when Mike Shanahan suddenly became available it was automatically decided that he and Jerry Jones would be a perfect fit; Jerry has been good at defensive drafts and Shanahan has always had a way with an offense. He is a coach that is a mix between Bill Parcells and Wade Phillips; which is what this team supposedly needs. Parcells was too overbearing yet Phillips is way to easy going. The Cowboys need a player's coach that is also one that demands accountability and there's no doubt he would be an intriguing decision to be named as Cowboys head coach.
Just don't expect that to happen anytime soon.
As stated plenty of times before Jerry Jones has never been one to fire a coach on a whim, whether that is the right idea or not. He believes that continuity is a major key to success and he also knows that there is no guarantee that if Wade is canned there is a better coach waiting to be hired. Sure, we can all dream about Shanahan or Mike Holmgren or Bill Cowher but is anyone certain that either of those coaches is willing to sign on Cowboys coach in 2009?
It's tough to decide exactly where one stands on this subject. One part of me is disgusted by the effort and lack of heart this team exhibited this past season yet another part of me wants to at least maintain some sort of continuity for next year. You almost have to believe that starting over with a new coaching staff is playing with fire, and more regression is likely possible. Do we take the chance that a new coach will be unable to do with these players that Bill Parcells and Wade Phillips could not?
This upcoming season will be a defining moment in the Dallas Cowboys history. Either this group of talented but selfish individuals can actually band together as a team and become successful when it counts or it all continues to fall apart. If the latter happens then a new coaching staff and an overhaul of the team is exactly what is needed. The Dallas Cowboys franchise is not one to just live with being average.
This team and this group of players have one more season to prove they are capable of becoming a great team. In 2008 the Cowboys were wracked with distractions and injuries, a disastrous combination. Wade Phillips' lone focus should be on how to cut down on all of the outside distractions that marred the Cowboys this last season. If Jerry Jones has any desire to win then he will allow Wade Phillips to dictate how this team is run. The question is if Jerry Jones will let that happen.
All signs are pointing to Shanahan and Holmgren taking a season off from coaching and evaluating their options after that, and Bill Cowher looks like he has no desire to return anytime soon. The Cowboys have one more chance to make it all work, and if that doesn't happen expect a complete overhaul in 2010 starting with the head coach.