Cowher should be on Cowboys owner’s mind
By Charles Robinson, Yahoo! Sports
Jerry Jones should be talking to Bill Cowher every week. He should be watching Cowher on CBS’ “NFL Today,” contributing to Cowher’s favorite charities, and mowing Cowher’s lawn in North Carolina, too. And when the season ends, Jones should offer Cowher the richest coaching contract in football, and move fast to dump his Texas-sized mistake of a coaching staff.
Jones should do all of the above because the longer he endorses Wade Phillips, the more money and talent he flushes down the drain. Yes, many of us have criticized Jones in the past for meddling with his head coaches or unnecessarily butting heads with them. But he’s seemingly gone too far in the other direction with Phillips, watching as four years’ worth of talented Dallas teams reached new depths on Sunday, losing to the Vikings 24-21 and falling to 1-4.
So what has Jones received for his investment of patience and money? He’s gotten a team in the basement of the NFC East, with the same number of wins as the Lions and more losses than the Rams. And the longer he keeps Phillips and his overpriced coaching staff in place, the more middling this franchise will become.
Maybe nothing displayed the problem more poignantly than Phillips’ own news conference on Sunday, when he summed up the defeat to the Vikings with this gem:
“Losing is all the same. If you lose a game, it’s all the same.”
Combined with its disturbing record, that quote makes the Cowboys, Phillips and the entire franchise this week’s biggest loser, because it doesn’t even summon up some desperate emotion. Instead, it has been a four-year shrug, while everyone inside the organization looks around and talks about the talent but can’t seem to figure out why it’s not getting the job done.
Look no further than Sunday’s 11 penalties and two crucial turnovers, which ultimately doomed Dallas yet again. In fact, through six weeks, you’d be hard pressed to find another team that has made more foolish mistakes than the Cowboys. Forget how high the offense is ranked, or where the defense stacks up with the league’s best. Rankings and talent don’t matter when you can’t win the self-inflicted battles. The Cowboys can’t, and there is no more clear indictment of a coaching staff.
What Dallas needs is some discipline, emotion and accountability. And I don’t see any of that coming from the top of the existing coaching tree. I can’t remember the last time a player of any consequence was criticized, let alone demoted. I can’t remember a staff shakeup that took place. Think those things don’t work? Look at the past 22 months for the Chiefs. Look at the number of stars stripped away from the team entirely, or demoted. Look how long it took for major changes to be made in the coaching staff. There is a reason that the Chiefs – with far less talent than the Cowboys – have gotten their act together so quickly. Pay close attention to Chiefs coach Todd Haley. He’s essentially the offensive version of Cowher.
If Dallas wants real change, real progress, it will start with a coach who’s willing to change the things around him in pursuit of that progress – a coach who realizes that not all losing is the same, because some losses cost far more than others, and Wade Phillips should know that.