I was away from the radio for a long time today, but I caught the news through the next-best source--the Facebook posts of my friends--that Jerry Jones had done an about-face and let Wade Phillips go as Cowboys head coach today. Despite that one-word vote of confidence that Jones gave to KRLD-FM ("The Fan") last week, it was clear that something had to be done after last night's 45-7 pasting at the hands of the Green Bay Packers. And though it made sense not to bring in a new coach from outside the program with next year's possible labor troubles looming large, it appeared that Jones may have actually been listening to the one possible idea that would circumvent all that: Promote Garrett and see what he could do with the team; could it possibly be any worse?
It was only a few short years ago that Garrett was the hottest young assistant in the NFL, turning down head-coaching offers from other teams in favor of remaining with the Cowboys as offensive coordinator/heir apparent to the top job. And now he has his wish, though this is certainly not the scenario under which he'd like to take over the position. The chatter of the past few weeks has been that it would no longer make sense to promote Garrett when a lot of the fan base considered him a part of the problem (it's not like the offense was shining before Tony Romo went down), but after the past few games, it was obvious that something--anything--had to be done.
It's too bad the Wade Phillips era had to end as it did. I grew up in Houston as an Oilers fan in the days when Wade was an assistant to his legendary father, Bum Phillips, and I hoped that the son could succeed here. I'm still not sure why the same players who went 11-5 just a year ago are suddenly mired at 1-7 at the season's halfway point, but it was obviously more than Mr. Fix-It could fix.
So Jones made a bold (for him) move, changing coaches in midseason for the first time. But will he make the bolder move--firing himself as GM and hiring a knowledgeable football person? He's been great at things such as building an amazing facility and promoting the team; why can't he stick to the things he does best and leave the football decisions to the experts? Is his ego still too big to allow himself to do that, or has this season finally humbled him?
UPDATE: Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News also promotes the Jones-should-fire-himself angle and states even more great reasons why this should happen.
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