Oct. 31, 2010: Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett contemplate their future plays. Phillips was fired by Owner Jerry Jones after the Cowboys lost big to Green Bay.
“Don’t mess with Texas.” When I heard the slogan, I thought, “Go there and get a can of Texas whupping opened up on you.” It sounded like the ultimate in cowboy bravado.
I had visions of two gunslingers pointing their Colts at one another over a poker table in a saloon. Neither got shot since pretty Ms. Kitty was crying on one of the gunfighter's arms—pleading for peace.
Every team in the nation, it seems, has wanted a piece of the Dallas Cowboys this season. They’ve played like kitties instead of like hardened cattle herders symbolizing football at its finest in the ultimate football state.
As for the last place University of Texas Longhorns (4-5, 2-4), they have been very disappointing too. Only because they are college athletes and not paid professionals—allegedly—I will try to be more sympathetic.
The Lone Star State has been uncharacteristically reeling with football woes this season, and it starts with UT. By losing to UCLA on Sept. 25 at Darrell K Royal Stadium in Austin—the state capital—they started it.
The Bruins royally whipped the Longhorns, 34-12. Burnt orange stock started falling faster than the sky. The skyline of the Little Apple—Manhattan, Kansas—provided few exciting moments for the Longhorns last week.
Mack Brown lost a lot of seniors from last season’s team.
With Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley, they played in the BCS National Championship. This year, Colt isn’t walking through the door; Shipley isn’t catching touchdowns all over town.
In H-town, the Texans planned on going to the playoffs this season, but something went horribly wrong. They found out Arian Foster was the best running back in the NFL and stopped passing.
Matt Schaub has been a major disappointment to his Fantasy Football owners. Matt Leinart is lurking on the depth chart behind Schaub.
The Cowboys' (1-7) only victory came against their home state rivals, the Texans. Houston had hoped to gain bragging rights in the state by beating the boys who sport stars on their domes.
In their dome, Reliant Stadium, Houston played like the old Texans—struggling to get free from the Cowboys' popularity lasso.
Jerry Jones said he didn’t “have enough” free plays, I mean, fingers, to count what was wrong with his team. Jones insisted he would not fire Wade Phillips—before this season ends—but I believed he could ask Wade to resign.
Jerry twanging on the team’s plane: “Wade, I love you and your father, Bum, but your resignation is required, Bum.” The twang is more pronounced after a few slices of Papa John’s. After his comments about Bill Parcells went viral, never the twang and alcohol shall meet—Jerry hopes.
Wade and Jerry are friends.
Jerry, himself, said he was in denial about firing Wade. When the tree got chopped, Jones did it with his own axe. One of the most competitive men in sports, Jerry changed his mind after seeing the latest product.
The Cowboys, obviously, are not competing at this point. I knew a firing could happen today, this week—soon. Who was the most likely to be fired, I reasoned—Mack Brown, Gary Kubiak or Wade Phillips?
I suspected Wade, the usual suspect. He’s a nice guy who keeps media commitments, but he was too nice to his players for his own good.
The interim Cowboys coach, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, has come under fire too. Many fans blame him for the team’s inability to score enough points.
The Cowboys were expected by many Dallas fans to make the playoffs, but Jerry’s boys are hotly in last place.
Phillips had been hearing the Texas-based chorus for Jerry Jones to fire him for the last three seasons. After last Sunday (Nov. 8) the chorus took on national proportions, and I watched for the hook.
In honor of Sparky “Captain Hook” Anderson, if Wade was a pitcher, Phillips would’ve gotten the hook in the first.
It appears Mack Brown is on a longer hook than Phillips.
I know Brown can recruit a top five class. I wouldn’t be surprised if Texas plays in the BCS title game next season.
ESPN’s Lee Corso claims Brown lost the Longhorns. I reckon they’ve lost players to injury, been banged up at wide receiver and don’t have depth.
Mack Brown has been stellar in his 13 seasons, and this season is one blip. His squad could still become bowl eligible. Next on their schedule are OSU, Florida Atlantic and Texas A&M.
I can cut the Texans (4-4) and former A&M quarterback Gary Kubiak some slack for being in last place. They haven’t done anything to begin with.
The Cowboys have a tradition that Jones is beginning to show sensitivity to, maybe since his team fell far short of his dream. Instead, they will watch one of their rivals play the Super Bowl in the Jerry Dome.
Take the stars off the helmets. There aren’t any stars on this team—except maybe Dez Bryant.
“Moose” Johnston said on Dan Patrick’s radio show, “I don’t want to go on record saying somebody needs to be fired.” Don’t worry; Cowboys fans will continue to say it for you—even after it happened.
With their roster, there is no way in heck it should be like this. With as much talent as any NFL team—allegedly—the Cowboys are still officially the furthest from a title.
Prediction: UT will win the Big 12 and Houston will make the playoffs before the Cowboys make the playoffs. Mack Brown will win a title (another) before Phillips, Garrett and Kubiak.