“We would have won if it wasn’t for the fact that we lost”
We knew it was inevitable. The day was going to come when the lackadaisical, laid back, cover everyone’s ass, zero accountability style that was Wade Phillips would come to an end. We all, including Wade, knew that the sun was setting on the horizon that was his coaching era at Valley Ranch. We knew it all except for one thing: Wasn’t this thing supposed to end immediately after what we would assume to be another humiliating defeat on January 2nd against the Eagles? Not a day after a humiliating Packers’ loss which came six days after Coach Jones promised that DC Wade’s dismissal would do more harm than good?
Anyway, if that doesn’t sum up the insanity that has become the Cowboys’ 2010 season, then I don’t know what does. But as we look ahead to the future of the Cowboys head coaching position as many have started to do (some began in preseason), I would like to caution people to slow their rolls on a few coaching candidates that local talking heads have been throwing their support behind. I, on the other hand, am taking a different approach.
While everyone else is looking to predict who the next coach of the ‘boys will be, I am going to go tell you who the cowboys shouldn’t pick less we find ourselves in the same situation in about three years. What I have used is a very unscientific method in determining the not next head coach including coaching statistics, personality and my own personal opinion against these guys because I don’t want to see another has-been, never-will-be, should-have-never-been scrub on the Cowboys sidelines.
So without further adude, let’s get started.
5. Bob Stoops/Mack Brown.
For some reason, since 2000, these two names always come up in discussions whenever the conversation of coaching change has emerged and I haven’t the slightest idea why. For all the coaching changes that have occurred throughout the NFL in the last 10 years, no one, and I mean no one but the Cowboys have given these guys some serious run. That has to either tell you that they are not that coveted or they are not really looked upon seriously in other NFL cities.
Although I am an Oklahoma fan, I am also a realist. Bob Stoops should be eliminated simply because of his post season record alone. Sure he won a national championship in the early part of his tenure, but what has he done since then to convince anyone he is worthy of an NFL head job? Nothing in my opinion, especially when you consider how unprepared his teams are in the 30 days they usually have between the Big XII title game and whatever bowl game they find themselves in.
Can you imagine getting rid of Wade Phillips only to bring in Wade Phillips? Didn’t think so.
Mack Brown is far simpler to explain right out of the conversation. The biggest problem I have with him is he is indecisive. Anytime a coach has co anything that to me means you cannot make a decision. I also see him as a glorified recruiter more than a head coach and you don’t lure players with charm and charisma in the NFL, you do it with money (Actually, I think they do that at Texas so I may have to take that back). And last time I checked you didn’t need to beg to get a high ranking to get in the Super Bowl.
The ultimate problem for these guys would be the fact that they are college coaches coming onto a team with veterans. This is not a young team, so I doubt the rah-rah stuff will work with these guys and in three years we would likely have this discussion again.
Others: Jim Harbaugh, Mike Leech
4. Any former assistant
It always bothers me when Jerry hires or tries to hire one of his former guys to become the next coach. Although he has only hired one (Campo) it proved to be an unmitigated failure. Jerry has been trying to channel the success of the first seven years of his ownership but what he cannot find is another Jimmy. Nor does he want to.
You see a Jimmy would undermine Jerry and the authority he wants to wield. That’s why Campo didn’t work because Jerry figured he could stock the Cowboys, have a puppet head coach that was familiar with Johnson’s style and everything would be a go. Problem was upon Campo’s hiring, Jerry basically declawed him from the onset and three 5-11 seasons later, we were hiring Duane Parcells.
The guys on the Johnson staff were a complete team of individuals that knew how to work together and took direction well from the coach’s coach. We’ve only had one coach’s coach since then, but each time Jerry had to take a backseat. Will he do it again? I doubt it.
Others: Norv Turner, Dave Wannstedt, Mike Zimmer, Jimmy Johnson (he ain’t coming back)
3. Jon Gruden
Honestly, I don’t know why everyone is so enamored with this guy. So he took an over-the-hill Raiders team to the playoffs in a weak division. So what he won a Super Bowl in Tampa. So what he has a stupid scowl on his face and he likes to get smart and belittle players on his team when he’s mic’ed up. I don’t care about any of this.
What I do care about is the fact that he has had only two head coaching jobs in the NFL and hasn’t worked since being unceremoniously released/fired following the ’09 season. I also care that during the 11 seasons Gruden was head coach of the Raiders/Bucs his record is a mediocre 95-81, going over .500 just six times including 9-7 his final two seasons.
I also wonder about a guy that would come onto a team and disrupt the chemistry so bad that veterans not only hate you, but they don’t even respect you. I have a problem with someone that has a penchant for being more of a bully than a teacher and did I mention that stupid scowl?
I really don’t think Jerry wants to be in the market for another head coach after Gruden has pissed off all of his stars and has imploded the team. Besides, who the hell else is interested in hiring this guy? He has about enough juice in my eyes as Steve Mariucci and Marty Morninghweg.
Also, for all the bitching Cowboys’ fans did when Barry Switzer won the Lombardi Trophy with Jimmy’s players would you really welcome a guy who won the big one with someone else’s players then did nothing to show for it afterwards?
I didn’t think so.
2. Coaches on the hot seat
This one should be a no brainer but I’ll go ahead and state the obvious. If you have a team in turmoil, the players have quit responding to the head coach and his message and the team has been regressing since the day training camp started, why would anyone even consider bringing in a guy who is going to be fired because of most of the aforementioned reasons? That’s like asking an alcoholic to give you tips on how to stop drinking. It’s ludicrous to say the least and considerably counterproductive.
John Fox is one of those guys that have been rumored to make his next stop in Dallas as soon as he is run out of Carolina. He, much like Gruden is a tough, hard-nosed mediocre head coach that looks good in sunglasses with a wad of chew tucked away in his cheek. But for all his sound bites and unnecessary credit he garners, he and Gruden both have had less than laudable success in the NFL. His career coaching record spanning nine seasons is 72-64 with only three seasons over .500. His last winning season was in ’08 when he went 12-4 and before that you have to go back to ’05 and then ‘03. So every two years the team has success and I’m not sure that is what Jerry would have in mind if he made this hire. Oh, did I mention his Carolina Panthers are 1-7?
The other name being tossed around, albeit somewhat lightly, is former Cowboys’ linebacker Jack Del Rio. He, like his two aforementioned cohorts, has questionable coaching records which makes them unlikely in my mind to get hired. But Jerry thinks differently and usually hires people everyone but him knows will fail. Del Rio is no different.
I loved Del Rio as a player and I think he is okay as a coach. Now okay as a coach is a far cry from thinking he should be our coach because I think that would become an unmitigated disaster. His record is far worse than the others compiling a 57-55 record in eight seasons as Jaguars head man. He has only three winning seasons during his tenure, including one 9-7 season while going 1-2 in the playoffs.
Now I’m no GM (neither is Jerry), but it doesn’t take a genius to know to stay away from these guys. Also, one has to wonder what exactly each one of them brings to the table apart from controversy and a collective “What the F%^&” emanating throughout Cowboys’ nation.
Others: Brad Childress, Eric Mangini
1. Jason Garrett
For the last three years, we have been watching an offense that was explosive, could put up points in record pace and basically could run defenses right off the field with their up-tempo style. Then the bottom fell out and much like the Parcells-led defenses of the early ‘00s, it had become predictable.
Okay, he was the coach in waiting and the media dubbed him the red-headed genius but I haven’t seen anything that has me convinced he is head coach material. The running game is nonexistent, the passing game is inconsistent and the offense as a whole looks like trash. There have been times when opposing defenses have stated that the Cowboys were so predictable that they knew what was coming the second the package came on the field. Add in the fact that Garrett is detrimentally hard-headed because his offense is either unable or unwilling to make any in-game adjustments whatsoever from game to game, week to week.
I know I had blogged earlier that I thought the best move was to make Garrett the head man after Wade was dumped, but that was only to showcase how undeserving he truly is. On the contrary, if the Cowboys show great improvement in the last eight games, then that only proves to me what a rat bastard he truly is and one has to wonder, did he have a hand behind the scenes in getting Wade canned? If latter determined to be true, then I cannot wait until karma kick both he and Owner Jones squarely in the gonads.
So here’s to you, Mr. Jones. Make a decision wisely. And by wisely, I mean pick the guy Stephen tells you to pick.