Shhh. Listen. Do you hear that? It is crickets chirping all over the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and Dallas Cowboys Nation in general.
Jerry Jones announced yesterday that he is keeping Wade Phillips on as head coach, and besides the few radical fans that respond violently and vociferously to any piece of Cowboys’ news, his announcement was met by a collective yawn and a “Yeah. What else is new?”
Everyone already knew Wade would be back. The only way he wasn’t coming back was if his failure was so epic as to force Jones’s hand. A mild failure was not going to do it. Jerry is having too much fun coaching the team. He is enjoying the peace and quiet a yes man provides too much to seek out a head coach who might insist on actually coaching the team, the whole team, and everyone on the team.
Jones did pull a bit of a surprise by keeping the contract to a two-year deal, rather than the three years most expected him to offer. With the potential 2011 lock-out looming, it may, in reality, be no better than a one-year extension. Jones also talked about not being satisfied and that, contract or not, the goal is to keep progressing toward that ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl.
The owner said that there was “no comfort zone” built into this deal. In other words, Wade has to win or else.
Phillips, for his part, reminded everyone, “We have won a lot of big games.”
Then, the coach remembered he was in Dallas (maybe Jerry kicked his shin under the table) and added that he wasn’t satisfied and that the ultimate goal was to win the world championship. I half believe him. I do believe that, like every other coach in the league, his ultimate desire is to win a Super Bowl. I do not believe him when he says is not satisfied. He is on record too many times touting his record, his accomplishments, his resume. Wade Phillips is very satisfied with himself.
That has to scare any Cowboys fan.
Did Jerry do the right thing? Should he have kept Wade around? Is the two-year deal about right?
Yes, yes, and yes. Jerry should have fired Wade, for sure…a year ago. He didn’t. Consequently, he has gone too far down this road to turn back now. May as well see where it leads. May as well see if it is indeed possible to win with a head coach of defense, a head coach of offense, and a head coach of everything, “right down to the socks and jocks,” as Jerry famously said when he bought the team.
My instinct is to believe that the road is a dead end. While Wade deserves credit for what he has done with the defense, that is a left-handed compliment at best. It is basically saying, “As a head coach, you make a fine defensive coordinator.”
Should Jerry keep Wade? He should. Do I believe Wade will take the Cowboys to a Super Bowl? I don’t. Does any of this make sense? No. But this is Jerry’s world. Nothing here makes sense.
So, let us all just be still and listen to the song the crickets sing.