This Cowboy is Riding Off Into the Sunset…Finally!

After the Cowboys suffered a 45-7 pounding from the Packers Sunday night, team owner Jerry Jones fired head coach Wade Phillips on Monday.  It is a move that’s not surprising, but does shows the desperation Jones is feeling as the season slowly slips away. 

The Cowboys now stand at 1-7.  They were pre-season Super Bowl favorites and are generally believed to have the most talented roster in the NFL.  The Cowboys also have the highest payroll in the NFL. 

Will firing Wade Phillips save the season?  It is hard to predict if the Cowboys will suddenly start playing better with just the firing of a single man.  But Phillips’ mid-season dismissal certainly sends a potent message to the players that their current attitude and effort is unacceptable.  For weeks, Jerry Jones insisted that Phillips would remain the coach for the season.  This latest move shows that Jones has decided he is not going to tolerate the status quo.  It is a wakeup call to the team.

Phillips will be replaced by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett for the remaining games.  Garrett has a much stronger personality than Phillips, who often appeared weak and detached.  The team has shown a lack of discipline throughout the season and at times they have appeared downright apathetic.  The penalties, turnovers and other mistakes seemed to have no consequence under Phillips. 

Garrett’s temperament will definitely change the football culture of the team.  Garrett seems to be more of an authority figure who is not concerned whether players like him or not.  But is Garrett the one to take the team into the future?  As interim coach, he has just eight games to prove himself.   

Jerry Jones has invested billions of dollars into “America’s Team” and expects to win. Five straight losses finally prompted him to do whatever is necessary to become a winning organization once again.  If it means more coaching or player changes, Jones looks like he is ready to hold everyone accountable for their actions.  Firing Phillips is likely only the first change Jones is going to have to make to save his beloved Cowboys.  There may be many more Cowboys riding off into the sunset in these next weeks and months.  One thing is certain, this is going to be one wild rodeo!

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