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Wade Phillips Fired: 20 Predictions About the 2011 Dallas Cowboys

Nathaniel UyFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2010

Wade Phillips Fired: 20 Predictions About the 2011 Dallas Cowboys

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Wade Phillips Fired.

    According to an ESPN report by Chris Mortenson and Ed Werder, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones fired head coach Wade Phillips today.

    His firing comes a day after the Cowboys were humiliated on national television by the Green Bay Packers, 45-7, during Sunday Night football.

    Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is expected to take the reins as head coach.

    What's next for the 1-7 Cowboys?  Here are some predictions.

20. Cowboys Bring In New Defensive Coordinator

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Gone is Wade the head coach.  As well as Wade the defensive coordinator.

    His departure leaves a vacancy at the defensive coordinator position for the Cowboys.

    Phillips' defense allowed 28 points in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, tying the franchise record for the most they've allowed in one quarter.

    The most qualified in-house candidate for that vacant position has to be former head coach Dave Campo.  Campo held the Cowboys defensive coordinator helm from 1995-1999, overseeing a Super Bowl in his first season.

    He may not be the best choice, but at 1-7, this team is desperate.

19. Jason Garrett Auditioning for Next Season

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    This is one of the most obvious predictions.

    Garrett is fighting for a job past this season.  There is an interim tag on his head coach position and he's also been taking some heat for the poor performance of the team's offense.

    After last night's embarrassing loss, it was clear that Wade was a dead man walking.  Jones had to weigh the decision of putting him out of his misery now and give someone else a look, or let the team continue to free-fall under Wade's direction.

    He was once dubbed their head coach of the future; although recent events have soured public opinion on Garrett, he's finally getting his chance.

18. Head Coaching Change Doesn't Change Losing Culture

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    Larry French/Getty Images

    They say that losing is infectious.

    And the Cowboys' struggles against the Packers on Sunday night just showed an entire football team give up. 

    As a student of football history, owner Jerry Jones told reporters last week that a mid-season head coaching change has not worked out in the past.

    But Jerry did it anyway.  That means the odds are stacked against Jason Garrett. 

    This team's problems can't realistically be repaired in the remaining eight games.

17. Jason Garrett Gets a Long-term Deal

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    Knowing Jerry Jones's ability to misjudge talent and overspend, this could be a big possibility.

    But it will take a minor miracle for this to happen.

    Making the playoffs would be a major miracle.  However, a 5-3 record could convince Jerry to give Garrett a longer look. 

16. Jason Garrett Fired at the End of the Season

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    Larry French/Getty Images

    Just as Wade was the first man blamed for everything that went wrong this season, that could also be Garrett at the end of the season.

    His offense hasn't exactly been spectacular this season.

    Now that he's the new interim head coach, there may be realistically not much he can do to lift that interim tag off.

    His days may be numbered as well.

15. Coaching Staff Overhaul

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Bye bye, Wade Phillips. 

    If Garrett shows no signs of improvement, then it's also bye, bye, Jason Garrett.

    But that's not all.  The entire coaching staff will likely incur the wrath of Jerry Jones. 

    A lack of wins could mean a massive overhaul, from coaches, to players, to training staff in the Big D.

14. Fans Call for Bill Cowher

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    After Wade's passive, lovey dovey, treat the players as my own son's coaching style flat-out failed this season, there's a big need for a more aggressive and in-your-face coach.

    Bill Cowher, would be one of the most logical choices.  Fans in Dallas have already started clamoring for him even after hearing Jason Garrett will be the interim guy.

13. Fans Call for Jon Gruden

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Gruden is another aggressive personality who could take over as head coach.

    While Cowher is more of a defensive mind, Gruden is a hard-nosed offensive guy.

    With a Super Bowl trophy under his belt, his name could also be an option in Dallas.

12. Goodbye Tony Romo

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    After having the most productive season of his career in terms of touchdown passes in 2007, throwing for 36 touchdowns, Romo signed a six-year contract extension valued at nearly $70 million.

    But he has failed to lead this squad to playoff success, with only one first-round win against the Eagles last season.

    From dating Jessica Simpson, to his attempt at becoming a professional golfer, to his broken clavicle, many fans are growing tired of being let down by Romo.

    He may be on his way out, if someone is willing to take the remaining three years of his contract in the offseason.

    Otherwise, it may be snip, snip time for Romo.

11. Bench Miles Austin

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Speaking of big contracts, Miles Austin fits into that category.

    Austin, after a breakout season, just signed a seven-year $57 million deal in the offseason.

    Last night, he caught two passes for 16 yards.  In fact, he has only caught for under 40 yards in three of his last four games and has not scored a touchdown since Week 5.

    If the new coach is going to send a message for his players to step it up, he's got to start with his top receiver, who has not played up to his Pro Bowl potential.

10. Miles Calls Kim Back

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    If you want to get superstitious about this downfall, then we'll have to take a look back at Miles Austin's offseason.

    When he was linked to Kim Kardashian.

    It's been said many times that the Kardashian's are good luck charms when it comes to sports.

    But breaking up with them brings upon a lot of trouble.  Think Reggie Bush breaking his leg after breaking up with Kim.  Only months after the Saints won the Super Bowl when they were dating.

    We just might see Miles giving Kim a call this year, asking for a second chance.

9. Goodbye Roy Williams

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    He started last season as the team's number one receiver, but was suddenly eclipsed by Miles Austin in the depth chart.

    This year, rookie Dez Bryant is the guy starting opposite Austin.

    Williams showed signs of brilliance earlier with Tony Romo, but the Cowboys still kept on losing.

    Now that Kitna is at quarterback, Williams has not been as productive.  Once again, he's a painful reminder that overpaid players with long-term deals have rarely lived up to their high expectations after they get paid.

    Jerry Jones gave up a first-round draft pick and third rounder to get Williams, but it may be time to cut his losses.

8. Goodbye Marion Barber

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    Barber started the year as the starting tailback in what was believed to be an extremely talented group of running backs that included Tashard Choice and Felix Jones.

    But Barber has done nothing all season, and neither have any of the other names in the Dallas backfield.

    This running back is now three years removed from his 2007 Pro Bowl season, when he broke out as a fabulous runner capable of breaking tackles and fighting for extra yards.

    After signing a six-year $45 million deal in the 2008 season, Barber has been nothing but overpaid and overrated.

7. Running Back Overhaul

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    Marion Barber, Felix Jones, Tashard Choice have all been underachievers all year.

    After their bye week, the Cowboys said that they were looking to incorporate Felix Jones more into their offense.

    But he has only broken the 100-yard barrier once and has continued to be a let down.

    This running game needs to be reignited, otherwise the offense will constantly be forced to throw the football every single game.  Which has clearly not been the recipe for success.  

    It may mean cutting Barber and giving a new name a shot. 

6. Bench DeMarcus Ware

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    Maybe it's been working under the tutelage of Mr. Nice Guy Wade Phillips that has caused DeMarcus Ware to lose some of his fire.

    But he needs to find it fast.

    Ware is one of the league's best pass-rushers and his production has been absent in the last few games.

    The linebacker has no sacks and only two tackles in his last two games.

5. Offensive Line Overhaul

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    Their offensive line has been terrible all season.

    The group has been hurt by injuries and has not been consistent all year.  With a group of older veterans, there were high expectations for the line.

    But they've shown their age and have apparently lacked motivation.

    With a new coach taking over, it may be time to give the old vets their walking papers and bring in some new guys with something to prove.

4. Cowboys Pick First Overall in 2011 Draft

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    Cowboys finish last this season and end up with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft. 

    That's a very real possibility.

    Andrew Luck anyone?

3. A Shift in Philosophy

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    Jerry Jones needs to learn that constantly rewarding coaches and players with big money and long-term deals ultimately backfires.

    It must be the eternal optimist in Jerry that thinks one breakout season, immediately translates into a successful career.

    But there are plenty of lessons to be learned from looking at the Cowboys roster. 

    Sometimes players need to given more incentives to play their best.  Whether it be short-term deals or extra incentives in their contracts, those need to be explored.

2. Jerry Jones Steps Down as General Manager

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    With the entire team obviously giving up before a national television audience, it's obvious the team needs to be revamped.

    When Jerry Jones went on his minor rant about how changes need to be made from top-to-bottom, he should have taken a look in the mirror first.

    His micro-managing style may not be the ticket with this group.  And it may be time for him to find another general manager.

    But Jerry would never do such a thing.  Although it's just a prediction, it's very unlikely to happen.

1. Jerry Jones Hires Special Consultant

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    If he's not going to give up his duties as GM, the least that Jerry could consider is finding someone else to help him with this team.

    Because that's exactly what he needs—lots of help.

    A consultant or a VP, may come in hand for Jerry.

    Ron Wolf has been retired for a while but may be willing to come in as a part-time consultant.

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