Brad Childress Fired: Are the Vikings Worse Off Than the Cowboys?
According to ESPN, the Minnesota Vikings have fired head coach Brad Childress after a 31-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Childress ends his five-year career with the Vikings with a 40-37 record, and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will take over as the interim head coach for Minnesota.
But Childress isn't the only NFL head coach to be relieved of his coaching duties this season.
Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys was also let go after his team lost to the Green Bay Packers in Week 9, and both of these preseason favorites combined for a 6-14 record to start this season.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
With the playoffs out of the picture for both the Minnesota Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys, they will be playing for pride the rest of the year as they try to re-evaluate and fix their struggling teams.
So who is in worse shape for next season?
Let's take a look at both of these teams and figure out who will bounce back.
Defense definitely hasn't been the main issue for the Vikings this season as they are ranked No. 10 in overall D in the NFL.
They have a great linebacker corps with Chad Greenway and E.J. Henderson, and even though Jared Allen isn't having a career season, we know that he is still very valuable to this defense.
With defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier taking over as interim coach, we can expect the Vikings to capitalize on their defensive strength for the rest of this season.
Unfortunately for Dallas, the 'Boys are ranked No. 22 in overall defense in the NFL.
The Cowboys have some work to do, but Terrence Newman is a pretty good veteran cornerback.
And with some grooming, Mike Jenkins could turn into one as well.
Let's also keep in mind that the Cowboys defense has been struggling with a banged-up defensive line. Jason Hatcher and Jay Ratliff have been battling injuries all season, so this could account for the Cowboys' lacking defensive stats.
Overall, the Vikings are No. 18 in total offense in the NFL, but they have been missing star wide receiver Sidney Rice all season.
Randy Moss was supposed to fill this void and draw coverage away from Percy Harvin, but that experiment failed miserably.
Moss may not have fit in with the Vikings organization, but perhaps he needed some more time.
I guess we'll never know.
The Vikings also have a serious running back in Adrian Peterson, but AP can't get the job done all by himself.
Rice comes back this week, so we could see the Vikings' offensive stats drastically improve.
The Cowboys are currently ranked No. 11 in total offense in the NFL, and they seem to have started to find the identity that this team drastically needed in recent weeks.
They have the talent:
Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Roy Williams, Jason Witten, Marion Barber, Felix Jones, etc.
These are some big names with some big potential, but looking good on paper hasn't won many games for the Cowboys this season.
However, the 'Boys have started to shine after saying goodbye to Wade Phillips, so we could see this offense continue to improve through the end of the season.
As of right now, the Vikings have future Hall of Famer Brett Favre under center, but this relationship definitely has an expiration date.
Honestly, it would take a miracle to convince Favre to return for another season with Minnesota, but do they really want him in 2011?
Brett Favre has more interceptions than he does touchdowns this season, and his quarterback rating is 69.8.
I know it's cliche to call Brett Favre "old," but he is!
His body has taken a serious beating this season, and he is officially past his prime.
But where does this leave the Vikings at the quarterback position?
Is Tarvaris Jackson the answer?
He was showing consistent improvement before Brett Favre came into the picture, so maybe he is.
What about a draft pick?
Questions at the quarterback position are a major issue for the Vikings.
Tony Romo is out for most of the season, and Jon Kitna has taken over at the quarterback position.
Kitna may not be everyone's fist choice, but hey...
He has won more games than Romo this season!
That being said, Romo will return as starter next season (or maybe sooner), and he gives the Cowboys the edge in the QB department.
Vikings management has been making the fatal mistake of attempting to build a team around Brett Favre for the past two seasons.
They insisted on convincing Favre to return to Minnesota this year, they picked up Randy Moss, and now they have fired Brad Childress.
Maybe I'm missing something, but making such drastic changes to a generally talented football team in order to accommodate a single player who hasn't given this team a serious commitment just seems...
Unlike the Vikings, it seems like the entire Cowboys organization is trying to improve the team as a whole.
Sure, having a Hall of Fame quarterback sounds nice, but when the rest of the pieces aren't there, it's hard to pull off a winning season.
It remains to be seen if the Vikings made the right decision in firing Brad Childress, but based on how the 'Boys have been performing since the departure of Wade Phillips, I'd say that Dallas is back on track.
For the purpose of this article, we will assume that the interim coaches for both teams will remain the head coaches for next season. We can speculate all day about potential hiring of Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher, but let's focus on the coach each team has as of right now.
Leslie Frazier is one of the great defensive minds in the NFL, and many fans around the league have had their eyes on him as a potential replacement for some of their struggling coaches.
Even though this will be Frazier's first head coaching job, he is well respected by players, and he might be the kind of guy who has the authority to whip this team back into shape.
As for the 'Boys, Jason Garrett took over Wade Phillips' position as head coach in Dallas, and so far so good!
Garrett is now 2-0 as head coach, and the players seem to have taken to him in a big way.
Cowboys fans still need some time to warm up to Garrett, but if this team continues to win under his guidance, he will earn the full support of the entire Dallas community.
So who has more work cut out for them as they head into next season?
Both of these teams have been extremely disappointing this year, but the Cowboys look like they have more talent.
They look like they know which changes needed to be made.
And they have already started to bounce back.
The Minnesota Vikings are in some serious trouble, and they will be in worse shape for the 2011 season.