Monday, November 8, 2010
Dallas Cowboys fire head coach Wade Phillips
Ah, Wade, we hardly knew ye.
Valley Ranch The Dallas Cowboys announced today that they have given head coach Wade Phillips the axe Monday, one night after a demoralizing loss to the Green Bay Packers on national television. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will take Phillips' place.
Phillips, a defensive specialist, had clearly lost his team at some point earlier in the season, as the Cowboys stumbled and bumbled their way to a 1-7 record. More tellingly, once quarterback Tony Romo was injured, the defense went into a shell, allowing 35+ points in three straight games. No Dallas defense had allowed that many points over three straight games since 1960, when the Cowboys were a 0-11-1 expansion team.
Phillips had been the subject of firing rumors almost since the moment he was hired five years ago. Garrett, who at the time was one of the hottest young coaching commodities in the NFL, was hired just days before Phillips, and it was assumed that Phillips was keeping the seat warm for Garrett's inevitable hiring.
Despite the trainwreck of a 2010 season, Phillips leaves the Cowboys with a 34-22 record as their head coach, and 1-2 in the playoffs -- including a victory over the hated Philadelphia Eagles in last season's postseason, the first postseason win for Dallas in a decade and a half -- and a 82-61 record over his career.
Garrett, 44, inherits an expensive, underperforming team that -- without Romo -- is clearly one of the bottom three teams in the NFL in terms of football IQ. Garrett's star has dimmed considerably since he turned down head coaching gigs with Baltimore and Atlanta, as the once-fearsome Dallas offense has become the laughingstock of the NFC. While some of that is attributable to a porous offensive line and receivers who can't catch, Garrett's timid playcalling and over-reliance on short dump-off passes has gotten predictably meager results.
The Cowboys' next game is this Sunday against the NFC East-leading New York Giants, who spanked Dallas three weeks ago at Cowboys Stadium.