Wade Phillips should have been named Bum. Because that's what he is. He is blessed with arguably the most talented football team in the world. Yet his Cowboys are 0-2 after run ins with two teams that will struggle to make the playoffs. Everyone knows about the Alex Barron hold and the general lack of continuity along the offensive front. It was clear Mike Martz made some excellent adjustments to the Cowboys blitz package. But most of the Cowboys' problems are symptomatic of deeper problems such as lack of discipline, structure, coaching expertise, and passion.
While the Cowboys players said all the right things in the lead-up to the season, their lack of focus was apparent early in the preseason. The Cowboys' woes can be traced back to lackadaisical performances against the Chargers and the Texans. Arian Foster made us question the future of the Colts. These questions were set aside after Peyton beat up his brother on national TV in front of mom and dad. He shredded the Cowboy defense to the tune of a 110 yards and a TD in limited action. I know preseason is not always a good barometer of success but the Cowboys' lack of effort and intensity was on full display.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. The Cowboys put together two decidedly uninspired performances and an 0-2 start. The environment was hostile and the Redskins were fired up about the debut of their new coach and quarterback. I can excuse that loss. The second loss cannot be excused.
Playing at home, already facing an 0-1 hole, Phillips' team was out coached, out hustled, and looked uninspired. Phillips' entire approach, hands off and methodical, simply does not work for the Cowboys. They lack a clear emotional leader in the locker room. They need a coach who can galvanize, antagonize, and motivate players to play with passion. The Jets' don't necessarily have a public player motivator, but Rex Ryan demands excellence from his players. Wade Phillips' needs to do the same.
Furthermore, there are clearly some communication problems among the coaching staff. Jason Garrett and Wade Phillips' flip-flopping on who made the call to not kneel down against the Redskins is indicative. Though Garrett was once thought to be a wunderkind, it's clear that he is a little too pass happy. Phillip's must demand a greater commitment to the run. His 98 pass attempts in two games won't get the job done. Romo simply can't carry the load.
Sure, Phillips is handicapped by Jerry Jones' desire to run the team. But unless he changes his approach, training camp being nicknamed "Camp Cupcake," his tenure is bound to be cut short. He better find a way to motivate this team or the Cowboys will watch the playoffs from home.
And Wade will be out on his Bum.