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Cowboys Reportedly Fire Wade Phillips, Make Jason Garrett Head Coach

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has never fired a head coach midseason and made a point to say he doesn’t believe in the practice. Jones believes in maintaining continuity, so mass overhauls during a year would not be ideal. But after denying he would make a move the past several weeks and saying that Wade Phillips would remain the team’s head coach for the season, it appears as if Phillips has finally been fired.

Multiple reports out of Dallas say Phillips has been axed and that highly-paid offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will be the interim head coach. Right, now that’s a brilliant plan considering how well the offense has been playing (205 yards against the Packers, yippee!). Though Jones wanted to keep Phillips as the team’s coach for the year, he really had no choice but to make the move.

The Dallas Cowboys are 1-7 and have lost five games in a row. They were embarrassed at home two weeks ago by the Jaguars losing 35-17 and then they got humiliated on national TV Sunday night against the Packers. They got blasted 45-7 in Green Bay and came close to suffering the worst loss in franchise history. You can’t allow your team to perform so poorly and expect to keep your job, and it appears as if Wade is done. Things might not be much better with Jason Garrett as head coach, but there’s no doubt a new voice is needed in Dallas.

Raheem Morris Says Coach to Quarterback Radio Went Out on Key Play in 4th Quarter

If you remember back during the Spygate allegations a few years ago, another claim that emerged was that the Patriots were sabotaging opponents’ headsets during key moments in games. Since the home team has control over stadium communications, such a move would not be a surprise. Guess what? It sounds like the Atlanta Falcons employed the same maneuver.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Falcons 27-21 on Sunday coming back from down 27-14. Late in the 4th quarter the Bucs drove inside the 10 and had a 3rd and 3 at the four yard line. They handed to LeGarrette Blount who gained two yards, making it a 4th and 1 at the two. If you saw the action or the video replay, quarterback Josh Freeman didn’t receive the communication from the coaches and didn’t know what play to call for the critical moment. He wound up burning a timeout with a few seconds left on the playclock and the offense had to reset. They wound up handing off to Blount on 4th and 1 and got stopped, but what’s interesting is what Raheem Morris is saying a day later.

The Tampa Bay coach says there was some funny business going on at that time. Rick Stroud reported on twitter that “Bucs coach Raheem Morris says the coach to QB radio ‘mysteriously,’ went off in ATL after one play near the goal line, forcing a timeout.” I don’t doubt the truth of his allegation based on what we saw.

Is it a dirty practice? Yes. Do most teams do it? You bet. Does it make it right? No. But it sure as heck is part of the reason why homefield advantage is such a big deal in football. Oh yeah, it also must be pointed out that radio communications had nothing to do with the Bucs losing; they lined up against the Falcons and needed just one yard on a 4th and 1 and got stuffed. They didn’t deserve to win after that stop.

Matt Moore Out for the Year Means it Is Jimmy Clausen or Tony Pike Time

The Carolina Panthers have had some of the worst quarterback play in the NFL this season. They just lost 34-3 on Sunday at home to the Saints, they’re only 1-7, and they’ve averaged the fewest points per game in the league. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they also just received the bad news that the one quarterback who had performed somewhat decently for them is now done for the year.

Matt Moore left Sunday’s game early holding his shoulder and did not return. On Monday, it was reported that he’s done for the year because of a torn labrum in his shoulder. Moore’s injury means either rookie 2nd round pick Jimmy Clausen will start for the Panthers or rookie 6th round pick Tony Pike will get the nod.

Clausen got the first crack at the starting job after Moore was concussed in week one. The Jimmy was brutal, throwing for fewer than 188 yards in all four of his starts. He also has just one touchdown pass compared to six turnovers in the six games he’s played. Clausen was so bad that he was replaced by Tony Pike in the 4th quarter on Sunday.

Pike went 6-12 for 47 yards and actually moved the team enough to have two scoring drives, but they were down so badly they went for it on 4th down instead of attempting field goals. Things were already looking bad for the Panthers, but now it only looks worse. In fact, it’s so bad coach John Fox says the team will even look at Armanti Edwards at quarterback (he played QB at Appalachian State but was drafted to play wide receiver). Carolina quarterbacks have just six touchdowns and 18 turnovers on the season. Now you know why they’re 1-7 and why they’re likely to change the number in the win column.

Was Brad Childress Joking with Brett Favre Hug Comment?

The disastrous season for the Minnesota Vikings was on the brink of growing even more embarrassing until the team made a valiant comeback Sunday. Down 24-10 late, Adrian Peterson and Visanthe Shiancoe had touchdowns to help tie things at 24 with Arizona. The Vikings won 27-24 in overtime and turned a desperate moment into a celebration. Brett Favre threw for a career-high 446 yards helping the Vikings escape at home and helping coach Brad Childress keep his job for another week.

Many people believed Childress could be fired after the game, but the morale-boosting win was hardly the time to make a coaching change. In his post-game press conference, Childress was asked if he needed assurances he would keep his job and he said “No, I’m not going to stand here like Brett Favre and tell you, compassionate, I need a hug. I’m all right.” Here’s the video of what he said:

People instantly felt Childress was taking a shot at Favre with the remark. Enlightened folks will suggest that Childress was simply making a reference to an answer from Favre to a question that came up during the week. On Wednesday, in the middle of the Randy Moss controversy, Favre was asked if Childress was a compassionate coach. His answer was “Is he compassionate as in give us a hug or something? Boy, I sure could use one, too. But he hasn’t given me one.”

If that was a joke, nobody was laughing. It must be pointed out that Chilly was complimentary of Favre earlier in his news conference, so there didn’t appear to be bad feelings at the time, but it sure didn’t seem like a joke to me. What about you, you buying it?

Eric Mangini 1, Bill Belichick 0

Looks like the head games the Patriots’ mastermind was trying to play during the week only served as motivation for the Browns. Who saw a 34-14 win coming for Cleveland? Certainly not me, but Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis sure were studly against the Pats. Two New England fumbles were critical to them getting blown out, but even if they got those scores they did a poor job stopping Cleveland’s suddenly punishing rushing attack.

That’s the second time Mangini got a weak handshake from Belichick. I don’t know about you, but I sure as heck would want to wipe that smirk off Mangini’s face, that’s for sure. Nice win by his Browns. They’re not even close to a being a playoff team but at least they’re playing hard.

Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Bart Scott Calls Lions Dirty for Chop Blocks, Dominic Raiola Says Shut Up

It wouldn’t be an NFL Sunday without an accusation of dirty play. Sometimes it’s players complaining about having their nuts grabbed, other times it’s that there was dirty play on the field. That’s what Jets linebacker Bart Scott says happened Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

“They are a good football team but by far the dirtiest football team I’ve ever played against since I played the Tennessee Titans,” Scott said. “Some of the stuff they do out there I understand, but I’ll just be happy with the victory. I swear to God I hope I see them again in life.”

So Scott goes with the hyperbole that Detroit’s the dirtiest team he’s EVER played, but only since the Titans. What was it that had Scott so upset? Apparently it was the three penalties the Lions drew for chop blocks. Lions veteran center Dominic Raiola obviously didn’t like being called dirty and responded: “Bart Scott talks to much. He needs to shut up and play football,” Raiola said. “Him and Jason Taylor talk too much. I mean, a cut block in football, that’s football. When you get cut, you get cut. So my response to that is shut up and play football.”

I know players are always trying to protect their knees so it makes sense why the Jets players would be upset about the chop blocks. I’d have to see the plays before evaluating how dirty Detroit is, but one thing we can all agree on is who the dirtiest team in the league is.

Derrick Mason: Channing Crowder Is Horrible, Not Walking the Walk

Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder was talking crap during the week leading up to Sunday’s game with the Ravens but Baltimore got the last word with a 26-10 win. Crowder not only lost the game, but he bitched afterwards that Ravens fullback Le’Ron McClain spit on him. Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason, who was the target of Crowder’s words during the week, responded after the game.

“[When] he’s in the game, he’s getting knocked down, he’s getting pushed out of the way. The guy is horrible. Honestly, the guy is horrible. He’s probably a good guy. I’m not taking that away from him, but he’s horrible. He’s not a good football player.”

Mason also recommended that Crowder keeps his mouth shut in the future because his play doesn’t back up his words. “I don’t understand why this guy continues to talk,” Mason said. “This is not boxing. You can’t scare your opponent. You’ve got to go out there and play football.”

As for the spitting incident, it sure seems like it may have not only happened but it also could have been intentional. Mason says his teammates told him they had his back and that they were going to get Crowder back during the game. I don’t know if that means spitting on Crowder, but McClain denied the allegation. Regardless, what we have learned is that Channing will need to start playing better to earn the right to talk crap.