I watched the first quarter of yesterday’s Cowboys-Giants game and it was all I needed to confirm my opinion of Wade Phillips as a head coach. What a stark contrast between his Cowboys and the Tom Coughlin’s Giants. Teams reflect the personality of their coaches. Coughlin’s Giants are tough and disciplined. Phillips’ Cowboys are undisciplined and can’t handle adversity. I could see it all reflected on one play, in fact. On the Giants’ second possession, the Cowboys defense had held and the Giants had to punt from deep in their own territory. The Giants’ punter, Jeff Feagles, shanked his kick and the Cowboys were poised to get the ball on the Giants’ 40. However, one of the Cowboys had lined up off-side, giving the Giants five yards and a fresh kick. The result is the Cowboys got the ball near their own 40. When the camera turned to Wade Phillips’ for his reaction, all you could see on his face was frustration and a look of helplessness. A real coach would have found the offending player and chewed him out, but Phillips likes to be the players’ friend. And that is why his team makes idiotic mistakes like LINING UP OFFSIDE ON A KICK!
There is a reason Wade Phillips’ teams have never won a playoff game.
On top of this, Phillips is supposed to be a defensive specialist, but his team — despite several pro bowlers — is mediocre on defense. Truly, this man brings nothing to the sideline, except a pliability, which is why Jerry Jones hired him in the first place.
I’m not that impressed by the heir apparent either. I liked Jason Garrett as a player. But he isn’t much of an offensive coordinator. Last year in the playoffs, he didn’t appear to make any adjustments during the Giants’ game to reduce the pressure from the Giants’ defense on Tony Romo. By the end of the game, Romo was harried and frustrated and couldn’t make the clutch plays. Maybe a little of that is on Romo, but most of it is on the offensive coordinator. This year, the Cowboys offense continues to look inept, despite the fact that they have a terrific group of skilled players. Yes Romo is out, but even before losing him this offense didn’t look very prolific. Part of it is that the offensive line stinks. It really does. It can’t run block and it can’t pass block. For this I blame the man who assembled this group of blivets. They are big, but they can’t move.
So that gets us to the ultimate culprit in all this: Jerry Jones. The Cowboys will never win another playoff game until someone who actually understands football is running the show in Dallas. Like most rich men, Jerry Jones thinks that his ability to make lots of money in one area makes him a genius. The only reason the Cowboys won three Super Bowls in the 1990s is because Jimmy Johnson was there — even though Barry Switzer coached the third win, the team still reflected Jimmy’s talent. Either Jerry Jones needs to sell this team, or he needs to turn over operations to someone else — and not his idiotic son, either.
Until that time, Cowboy fans are destined to be frustrated.