By Michael Tapia– Wade Phillips’ tenure with America’s Team is over; Jimmy Johnson pulled the cord on Phillips’ life support machine. Many around the league speculated that after the Cowboys’ dismal 1-7 start and losing five straight including their last two by double digits their head coach was hanging by a thread. It was made official on Monday, the Cowboys were disconnecting Wade Phillip off the artificial respirator, this after a brutal 45-7 lost to the Green Bay Packers in week 9 of the regular season.
The Cowboys also suffered a crushing defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars who beat them 35-17. After giving up a total of 232 points and only scoring 161, Phillips’ Cowboys were just as good as their rushing offense, which ranks second to last in the NFL. Following such a miserable performance from a team that features a $146 Million payroll second to the Oakland Raiders Phillips’ dismissal was inevitable. Only the New York Knicks’ James Dolan put up with more from his head coach Isiah Thomas.
Wade Phillips did lead the Cowboys to their first playoff victory since 1996 last year when they beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round, he finished 83-65 overall as a head coach.
Regarding the firing Cowboys general manager Jimmy Johnson said, “An in-season coaching change is not something I’ve done before, something I was reluctant to do as recently as last week,…but I think what’s best for the organization and the fans is a coaching change.” Phillips did have a respectable track record leading Dallas to two divisional titles in his four years until this season when everything collapsed, especially after losing his starting quarterback Tony Romo.
It was announced that assistant head coach Jason Garret was going to take over as interim head coach, Garret, 44, was a back up quarterback to Troy Aikman from 1993 to 1999. Garret added Monday night, “Anybody involved in this organization, from the top down is disappointed with our season so far and how we got here,…Having said that, we’re all excited about what we’re going to do going forward. This is about going forward and we have to put the first eight games of the season behind us we have to learn from them and go forward.” Excited they should be, as things cannot get any worse for the Cowboys, but not hopeful of making the playoffs playing in a division with the NFL leading 6-2 New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles who stunned the Indianapolis Colts.