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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.

Tony Dungy Upsets Wade Phillips, Tony Romo This Time

The same week that Tony Dungy elicited the anger of Chargers coach Norv Turner, he also upset the Dallas Cowboys. Dungy inspired the Cowboys last year saying they had no chance to beat the undefeated Saints, but this time his comments were reserved for quarterback Tony Romo. After Romo threw three picks including one to seal the loss for Dallas, Dungy said on NBC “Part of being a leader at the quarterback position is protecting the football. You’ve got to do that to be a great quarterback.” Fair comment, especially since that pick sealed the loss.

Well head coach Wade Phillips went after Dungy, bringing up how Tony wasn’t so successful entering a game for the Steelers as their emergency quarterback when Wade was on the Houston Oilers staff. Phillips added, “Tony Dungy has been a great coach in this league. He told everybody that New Orleans would kill us last year and we had no chance. I don’t know his credibility that way.”

Romo responded by saying that Dungy wasn’t qualified to comment on his leadership since he’s not around the team. Romo pulled a Rex Ryan, inviting Dungy to practice. “He can come along if he wants to see. He can see it anytime you’re out here. That’s just part of it. If you’d ask any of my coaches you’d probably get a different answer. If Tony Dungy was in here it’d be the same way.”

This really is unbelievable. I can’t recall another commentator — aside from Charles Barkley — whose analysis and comments caused more discomfort. For coming across and having a reputation as such a nice guy, it sure seems as if Dungy has a lot of enemies in the league. To think, we still have another three months of this!

Did Wade Phillips Cost Himself a Job?

It’s pretty hard to go 13-3, get the top seed in your conference playoffs, and still get fired after the year. Then again, you can go 14-2, get the top seed, and still get fired if your name is Marty Schottenheimer. But getting back to the point, it’s quite possible that Wade Phillips could be out of Dallas despite having a fantastic season. If you remember correctly, Jerry Jones signed Jason Garrett on to be the offensive coordinator in Dallas before the head coach was named — quite a caveat for a coach trying to set up his staff. Clearly Jones was committed to Garrett. After seeing the Cowboys offense explode for most of the season only to tank in the first round of the playoffs, the question must be asked: will Wade Phillips be retained or blown out to make room for Garrett?

The Baltimore Ravens are apparently hot on the case for Garrett, having supposedly interviewed him a second time. Garrett could be a year or so away from being completely ready to assume a head coaching position but he might be tempted to take a job now. Much like Pete Carroll, Garrett is a commodity in demand so I would suggest he choose carefully and act picky. He has a tremendous amount of leverage and could probably be a head coach in the league by next year if he wanted to. That puts Jerry Jones in a difficult spot — fire the coach that just went 13-3 to make room for Garrett, let Garrett go, or try to talk Garrett into staying another year? My guess is Phillips could be a victim of circumstance, having sealed his fate by losing the playoff game. Jones won’t let Garrett get away — at least not over his dead body. This could be a huge shakeup in Dallas … stay tuned.