Count me as highly skeptical on the "new coach in '10" stories.
They defy simple logic and are dishonest, to the coaches, players and fans.
To show you why, let's review Tom Coughlin's career. At this time in January 2007, Coughlin was in a position similar to the one Wade Phillips occupies now. He had just finished his eleventh season as a head coach. His '06 Giants had entered the year as Super Bowl contenders but dropped to 8-8 after an 11-5 record the year before. They staggered into the playoffs and were knocked out in the first round by the Eagles. Coughlin was 0-2 as a playoff coach for the Big Blue. Tiki Barber had just retired. Michael Strahan was threatening retirement. New York was the biggest soap opera in the game.
The Giants decided to give Coughlin another year, but he started the '07 campaign on the hottest of hot seats. That heat intensified when the club started 0-2. His guys were 4-4 in the second half of that season but caught fire in the playoffs and won Coughlin his first Super Bowl at the age of 61.
The Giants rewarded him with an extension and his current team has a very good chance to repeat. Coughlin is as secure as any head coach in the business right now.
Yet, I seriously doubt Coughlin's guys would have turned on the gas in January 2008 if they knew he was going to be replaced, regardless of what happened in the postseason.
Which brings us to Wade Phillips. If Jerry Jones sticks to his word, and gives Wade the chance to right the Cowboys ship this year, he needs to offer the chance for an extension, for Wade to become the Tom Coughlin of 2009. Otherwise, Jerry is writing off the season before it begins. If a possible extension is off the table, Phillips will have no authority. His players, who tuned out Bill Parcells, will surely fall back -- again -- on their mercenary tendencies.
If Jerry intends to bring in either Mike Shanahan or Mike Holmgren in 2010, no matter what the '09 Cowboys do, he should make the change right now. Otherwise, 6-10 or 7-9 are almost certain.
You can't fly with a lame duck.