Wade Phillips: Why Jerry Jones Should Hold Off on Firing the Cowboys' Coach

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 13:  Head coach Wade Philips of the Dallas Cowboys during play against the San Diego Chargers at Cowboys Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

At the moment, the coaching position seems to be a game of musical chairs. In the past month, over five head coaches from both professional and college football have been fired or resigned, and it is having a negative effect on the game.

At the beginning of the 2009 NFL season, many coaches were in line for the chopping block. One of the biggest names was, of course, Wade Phillips.

After failing to get the Cowboys to their so well-desired Super Bowl spot a season prior, Phillips was certain another poor performance in Dallas would see the end of his coaching career for the Cowboys.

Things changed for the better, though, and what went from "Don't let the door hit you on the way out" changed to "Hey, this guy could actually get it done in Dallas."

It took a while, but it happened. Tony Romo got his head in the game, Miles Austin flourished quicker than Chubby Checker lost his talk show, and the Cowboys finally seemed to have their head in the game.

No Jessica Simpson, no Terrell Owens, and, more importantly, a new stadium where the Cowboys could write some new history for which their organization was well overdue.

The season started shaky. The Cowboys were posting wins, but they weren't doing so in convincing fashion.

With an early Week Two loss to the New York Giants, followed by a loss to the Denver Broncos two weeks later, the Cowboys were asking themselves why they couldn't post a win in a convincing manner. God knows they had the talent to.

Dallas' bye week rolled around in Week Six, and the Cowboys had a week off to think about where their season was heading. With wins posted against Atlanta, Seattle, and Philadelphia, the Cowboys faced a tough test at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers.

A game in which they lost, the Packers' surging defense got the better of Romo, and the Cowboys were sent packing with an even bigger question to answer.

Like a priest in church, Wade Phillips was there. He answered the Cowboys' problem, and delivered them with a simple message just to play the games and see them out. That's probably the attitude that got the Cowboys into the postseason.

Realistically, Wade Phillips only won one more playoff game than he did in previous years. Still, it's a milestone off of which the Cowboys can build. Confidence, motivation, and finally, team wherewithal.

The Cowboys are a complete team: They have a pass game, they have a run game, and they have a special teams game (excluding Shaun Suisham). 

It's taken nearly a decade to replace Troy Aikman and Drew Bledsoe, but Wade Phillips has made it happen. Regardless of today's blowout loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Cowboys showed us that they have a future in the NFL.

With the majority of their roster taken up by younger players such as Marion Barber, Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton, and Tony Romo, the Cowboys' youth will be what propels them to future victories.

Sure, I sound a bit biased, but I give credit where credit is due. Isn't it nice to finally hear the words "14-year drought" out of the vocabulary of NFL analysts? I think it is.

As depressed as the Cowboys may be after today, they can at least hold their heads high and say they won the NFC East. No one predicted it, and no one predicted Romo to play so well in the second half of the season. 

With wins over top-caliber teams like Philadelphia and New Orleans, the Cowboys can thank Wade Phillips for the turnaround job that he has made happen within the span of a year.

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