The recent bye week for the Dallas Cowboys ought to have been the bye-bye week for coach Wade Phillips.
I have tried to imagine the tirade Jimmy Johnson would have gone on after his team, favored by many— if not most— NFL pundits to represent the NFC in the first-ever Dallas/Fort Worth area version of the Super Bowl, suffered its third loss in its first four games.
Wouldn’t be pretty…or repeatable in mixed company is my best guess, especially if you consider the way the most recent disaster occurred.
The Cowboys’ loss to the Tennessee Titans was the result of the guys with the Stars on their helmets shooting themselves in their own foot again and again. If it wasn’t a pass interference penalty, it was a false start. If it wasn’t a false start, it was an excessive celebration penalty. If it wasn’t a penalty at all, it was Martellus Bennett playing volleyball in the end zone, batting a Tony Romo pass into the air to perfectly set up a defender so he could spike the Cowboys’ hope for a touchdown.
The Cowboys amassed over 400 yards passing. Roy Williams had another of his “breakout” performances. Felix Jones went off for more than 100 yards on the ground. Miles Austin proved he is a freakish athlete and his success is no freak accident.
Success all over the field, except when it came to blocking pass rushers…oh, and securing and protecting a lead. Utter failure there.
So, what was Mr. Phillips’ response? Was he disgusted with the haphazard play of his ball club? Was he fed up with losing? Was he ready to go off on his team or his coaching staff? Was he finally going to toe the line and accept responsibility and promise to fix it?
Well, not exactly.
Here is what the coach did say:”Our quarterback is throwing the ball well; our receivers are catching the ball; we’re able to run the ball; we’re playing tough; I think we’re playing very tough, on defense.”
(Pardon me if I haven’t the words left to describe my utter horror at this man’s cluelessness.)
The Titanic is sinking and Captain Wade is praising the sailor who steered it into the ice berg. “We may be the biggest disaster in maritime history, but we’re making good time…and we sure look good going down.”
What a crock. What a joke. What a disgusting excuse for a coach.
Oh, Jerry? Mr. Jones? Still enjoying that coach you lavish all that ridiculous, undeserved praise on? Still sticking with the notion that Phillips is the best talent evaluator you have been around? Still lauding him as a great gameday coach? Or are you choking on your own propaganda about now?
Mr. Jones, will you remain satisfied with Captain Candyass? Will you continue to stand there with your face hanging out while he turns the NFL’s flagship, um, ship into the Good Ship Lollipop?
Come to think of it, where were you after the Titans game, Jer? The reports were that you didn’t make your usual visit to the locker room. You avoided the media, a thing you only did once before to my memory, when you took that time to get your face lifted and the new set of teeth. (Good moves on both accounts, says me. Better than any coaching move you have made, outside of Johnson and Parcells.)
Were you passing a kidney stone? Were you fighting off food poisoning? Or, were you staring out over that shiny, silver billion-dollar investment that absolutely demands your team not suck?
Fire the man, Jerry. Fire him or get out of the way so Stephen can. Don’t worry about who you can hire mid-season. No one cares at this point. Just get rid of the man who will never understand that almost is not good enough in Dallas.
Heck, coach the team yourself. We all know you want to. Go ahead and get it out of the way for once and for all. Name yourself the interim.
I expect you would be an improvement. I do. At least you would not be happy just to lose with style.