Wade Phillips is probably a little uncomfortable in his chair, at the moment. Hemorrhoid? Maybe. But more likely, it’s because his boss Jerry Jones just paid Jason Garrett, a second-year coordinator, almost $3 million a season to stay as the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive coordinator. For perspective, Phillips makes exactly $3 million per season. That has to make it hard to sleep at night for an aging coach with a bad record in the playoffs. Did I mention Jerry Jones is his boss?
So the question is: how long is Wade Phillips’ leash in 2008? The ‘boys went 13-3 this season before losing in disastrous fashion to the New York Giants at home. If they drop to 12-4 is Phillips getting the axe? Never mind the fact that Jones was on the sideline for the loss, standing directly next to Wade Phillips as the clock wound down. It was that Pepsi commercial come to life, right down to the play-calling.
Oh sure, Jones will say he’s got confidence in his guy. That he supports Wade Phillips. Wade Phillips is the head coach of this football team. But he just paid a guy who was in serious consideration for two NFL head-coaching jobs to stay up in the press box calling plays for Tony Romo. If Jason Garrett isn’t the next head coach of the Cowboys, I’d love to see how much the guy that is gets paid.
And where is the incentive for Garrett to try hard at his very demanding job? If he does a crappy job and the O struggles, he can blame Phillips’ incompetence and probably get promoted. This whole thing only makes sense if you constantly remind yourself that Jerry Jones doesn’t care about chemistry or the morale of his coaches.
What really makes me angry about this move has nothing to do with the Cowboys. Next season, whether the Cowboys struggle or not, you know this dynamic will be dissected over and over again by every hack and talking head. You thought the Romo-to-Mexico thing was bad? Just you wait. So thanks, Jerry, you’ve made ESPN even more unwatchable.