Monday, November 8, 2010
The Cowboys Should NOT Have Fired Wade Phillips ... Now
Okay, okay, okay! Yeah, I'm a Redskins fan and of course I'm going to say that the Dallas Cowboys should not have fired Wade Phillips at the midpoint of the season. I mean, what Skins fan wouldn't want a few more years of this???
But in all seriousness, I don't think that Phillips should have been fired. Right now. Oh, fire him at the end of the season if you want ... but let him play out the string. I really think Jerry Jones wanted to do that. But back to back blowouts to the Jaguars and Packers pushed Jones over the edge and he did what he swore he wouldn't do -- fire Phillips.
The problem is that firing NFL coaches mid-season rarely amounts to anything.
It can work in baseball or even basketball. We've seen baseball skippers get canned during the year and the interim manager rallies the team into a pennant race. In basketball, a change at the guard sometimes can pay off (just ask Pat Riley). But it doesn't really work in football (just ask Mike Singletary). It hasn't really worked since Marty Schottenheimer took over the Browns in the middle of the 1984 season.
There's a lot of reasons why it doesn't work ... but the main one to me is that you rarely can bring in a guy you really want to take his place. It is usually an assistant coach that takes over and, due to the limited time, actually stays the course with the team and adds in just a few wrinkles. You won't get a big name coach to take the reigns in the middle of a season.
That's why you may as well keep your coach intact unless you really, really, really believe in the assistant you are replacing him with (this could happen in Minnesota as the team may want to keep Leslie Frasier in house).
A few years ago, you knew that Jason Garrett would take Phillips' job. You knew it. He was all but named Phillips' successor as soon as both of them were hired. But a lot of the problems with the Cowboys stem from both men and to fire one and promote the other seems rather odd.
The only way it could make sense is if Jones wants to see if Garrett has anything in him for the second half of the season and if he's worth hanging on to. If not, Jones can either let Garrett go, demote him back to offensive coordinator and hire the man he really wants to take the job.
Odds are, Garrett won't make a difference. And if he does get this team playing a bit better (like Singletary did), chances are it won't carry over down the road (like Singletary). Then you are back to square one. I mean, if Garrett was still thought of as highly as Jones did when he was hired, he would already have replaced Phillips in the last two offseasons.
Brought to you by the Sportz Assassin at 8:17 PM