PFT: “Giants, Redskins, and Eagles fans suddenly feel a little bit better about their day.”
What a loser.Â Fire Wade Phillips
Jerry Jones joined Showtime’s Inside the NFL for a sit down last night.
Cris Collinsworth: “You haven’t said Wade (Phillips) is coming back. As the decision maker of the Dallas Cowboys, is that a bit intentional to keep the pressure on this football team as they go into the playoffs?
Jerry: There is no need to because this team is motivated without me having to say, ‘Well I say our coach is going to be back.’ What is the case, and they understand that, is that we are going to be a better football team if we don’t make a coaching change. If I look back over the last 10 years and I need to re-do the last 10 years in varying areas, I look at the revolving door we’ve had with coaches here and that takes its toll. That takes its toll on the top personnel you have, on the schemes you run, so continuity would be important to me. There is no doubt the Dallas Cowboys would be better off in years to come if we can keep Wade Phillips as head coach.
He’d like nothing better than for Phillips to beat Philadelphia this week and capture his second NFC East title in three years, which means the Cowboys would host at least one playoff game.
Besides, Jerry loves working with Phillips because the coach allows him to be himself. He can be part of the process instead of feeling like an intruder when he wants to address the team after a game.
Jerry doesn’t want to fire Phillips.
Frankly, he’s looking for reasons to keep Phillips around. His 32-15 is a good start, but Jerry wants some playoff success. You can’t blame him, considering the Cowboys haven’t won a playoff game since 1996.
That’s why Jerry hasn’t been shy about saying what needs to happen for Phillips to keep his job.
It’s also why he hasn’t yet signed the club option that will guarantee Phillips another year.
Win Sunday and Phillips might just get a belated Christmas gift from the owner.
here ya go sign itF
Heard Mike on Cowherd’s show today, Wade is too light, Parcels too heavy, Cowboys need a coach somewhere in the middle.
Lets get Wade Phillips fired before the Cowboys become a joke.
The players have spoken this week. Loud and clear. Oh, how they love Wade Phillips.
They’re upset because his leadership and approach to handling the Cowboys has been questioned for the 10 millionth time since Jerry Jones hired him instead of Norv Turner in 2007.
The players love Phillips’ demeanor. And his schemes. And the way he accepts responsibility for their mistakes.
Who wouldn’t love a guy like that?
It’s time for the players to prove their love. After all, words without actions are worthless.
This week, the players should win one for Wade. It has a nice ring to it.
If the players are sincere about their affection for Phillips, then they need to beat San Diego, ending the Chargers’ seven-game winning streak. That’ll get Phillips off the hot seat, stop the chatter about his eventual replacement and temporarily silence the critics â€” count me as one â€” who question his leadership.
It’ll even stop us from talking about the Cowboys’ 3-6 record in December under Phillips and their inability to play their best football in the season’s most important month.
Afterward, don’t give us any excuses. No mea culpas. No coulda, woulda, shoulda.
This is not the week for Terence Newman to let an interception slip through his hands or for Flozell Adams to succumb to his own agenda and start a brawl. This is not the week for Nick Folk to miss a field goal because the hold isn’t perfect.
Just win the game. Plain and simple.
This is as close to a must-win as the Cowboys can get without being mathematically eliminated with a loss.
Any player or coach who doesn’t realize that needs a brain transplant. If it takes that approach, Dallas will win.
It’s hard to beat a desperate NFL team at home. Look at how Green Bay drilled Dallas 17-7 a few weeks ago. Or how the Giants beat Dallas 31-24 last week.
Each was essentially on the verge of being eliminated from the playoffs.
Now it’s the Cowboys who must play as though their season is on the line. It is.
Beat San Diego and everything Phillips needs to happen to ensure Jerry Jones picks up the team option on his contract remains in play. The Cowboys will still be positioned to win the NFC East, host a playoff game and end their streak of 12 seasons without a playoff win.
Lose, though, and this season is a wrap. Guarantee it.
Lose and you can make easily make the case the Cowboys won’t win another game this season.
That’s not hyperbole. It’s reality. Whether the players and coaches choose to accept that is irrelevant.
Logic says the Cowboys could play well and lose in New Orleans, which would give them a three-game losing streak heading into a road game against Washington.
Don’t act like you can’t see how the Cowboys could lose at Washington, since the Redskins are playing good football and lost by one point in Cowboys Stadium a few weeks ago.
Add a four-game losing streak to 24-hour sports talk chatter about Wade’s status, Jerry’s inevitable vote of confidence and it’s a recipe for yet another opportunity for Philadelphia to put Dallas out of its misery.
That’s why it’s imperative the Cowboys beat San Diego on Sunday.
To do so, their best players must perform at a high level because the Chargers are so good Dallas could play well and lose.
This week it’s about Tony Romo and DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff. It’s about Jason Witten and Andre Gurode and Keith Brooking. It’s about Nick Folk and Bradie James and Miles Austin.
The season is on the line.
It’s time for the players to make it happen or the kind words for Phillips will ring hollow.
They control his future.
IRVING â€“ Norv Turner, the coach Jerry Jones rejected to hire Wade Phillips, returns to Dallas on Sunday with an opportunity to send the Cowboys’ season into a free fall.
You must admit the irony is delicious. It gets even better.
Phillips’ team plays its best football before Thanksgiving Day, while Turner’s San Diego team plays its best football in the final month of the season.
Phillips’ team has had no postseason success, while Turner made it to the AFC Championship Game two seasons ago and has at least one playoff win each of the past two seasons.
Turner has done everything Jerry wishes Phillips had done.
If he chooses, Phillips can continue to reside in a world of gumdrops and lollipops, but the reality is he’s about to coach the game that will tell us whether he’ll return next season.
Beat the Chargers, who are riding a seven-game winning streak, and the season remains salvageable. Lose, and this season is a wrap, because we know the beatdown that awaits in New Orleans the following week.
Turner understands December matters, while Phillips tries to act like it doesn’t.
We all know Turner is a flawed head coach after failed stints in Washington and Oakland, but he has unearthed the secret of getting his team to peak late.
Two years ago, the Chargers started 1-3 before winning their last six games to finish 11-5. Last year, they started 4-8 before winning their last four games and overcoming a three-game deficit in the AFC West to win the division.
Compare that with Phillips, whose face turns red every time you mention the Cowboys’ 18-32 record after Dec. 1 since 1996. Obviously, he’s not responsible for all of it â€“ just the last nine games.
Think about it.
This is the same coach who can tell you he’s won more regular-season games than just about any other NFL coach the last three years. And that his team led the NFL with 59 sacks last year. And that his winning percentage as a head coach is nearly .600.
That’s because Phillips likes those numbers. He feigns ignorance on all others.
Frankly, it’s easy to see why he hasn’t earned the respect he covets so desperately. How can you respect the job someone does when they live in a fantasy world when it comes to the Cowboys’ struggles?
Reality says Phillips is 0-4 in the playoffs and has presided over the only No. 1 seed in the NFC to lose in the first round since the NFL developed the current format in 1990. He also failed to make the playoffs last year with a team Jerry believed had Super Bowl potential and oversaw the most gutless performance in franchise history, a 44-6 loss at Philadelphia, in the final game of last season with the playoffs on the line.
Phillips wants you to believe this team has nothing to do with the other Cowboys teams that have failed in December. He wants you to believe history doesn’t matter.
History â€“ you can call it tradition â€“ is a huge part of sports. It’s the reason some pro franchises such as the Yankees, Lakers and Red Wings and some college programs such as Ohio State football, North Carolina and Duke basketball and Texas baseball always seem to find ways to win.
It’s the same reason why some franchises always find ways to lose. At times, winning and losing becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The prophecy can be broken â€“ the Red Sox are a good example â€“ but it’s difficult.
Failing to acknowledge the Cowboys’ failures after Thanksgiving Day won’t make the questions go away.
Jerry believes winning the division and winning a playoff game are tangible goals. He wants to see some tangible progress before committing another year to Phillips, which is why he hasn’t extended his contract.
If Phillips doesn’t find a way to match Turner’s success in December, he’ll spend the off-season looking for a new job.
If Wade Phillips is going down, his players are going to fight for him.
The Cowboys coach, whose team is trying to avoid another December collapse, is under an increasing amount of scrutiny with every loss. And team owner Jerry Jones said Phillips needs to put together a playoff run to ensure he returns next season.
But in the Dallas locker room, there is wide support for Phillips. LB Keith Brooking said there’s growing momentum to validate Phillips and ensure he remains the Cowboys coach.
“I’ll go to fight for that man until I hang my cleats up and I’m done playing football, because I have the utmost respect for him,” he told ESPN.
TE Jason Witten said the team and Phillips are trying to block out the speculation about the coach’s job security.
“The players are behind him 100 percent,” Witten said, via ESPN. “The message that we get sometimes is different than the perception in the media in general.
“On his end, I don’t think he really worries about that, as long as his team has that understanding. He does a good job of putting it out there and letting us know where it is. He believes in our team. That’s a good thing.” — Sean Leahy