Bob Sturm: Put Cowboys coach Wade Phillips out of his misery
SportsDayDFW phoned The Ticket’s Bob Sturm, who was at Lambeau Field, to comment on the Cowboys’ loss to the Packers. The following is a transcription of the interview
On the game:
That’s got to be a low point, that first half in particular takes us back to the Dave Campo days and maybe earlier — to the most ridiculous Cowboys football I’ve ever seen. They even topped themselves after the Jacksonville debacle.
I can understand the people involved with the team are running out of explanations, especially with the ridiculous garbage we’re seeing right now.
On the lack of pressure on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers:
That’s the old bit. If they decide to get to him with normal pressure and it’s not working consistently, then they turn to the blitz. The blitz leaves their defensive backs in man-to-man situations. And if Aaron Rodgers gets hot, he will pick you apart. That’s what happened in the first half with relative ease. That just chases the team out of the blitz, then they are hesitant to try it anymore. And then they don’t get any pressure on the quarterback.
Just like I talked about in the Friday gameplan, the Packers were absolute going to the quick wide receiver screens. The tests were given time and time again and see if Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick can tackle. Teams are now using that as a recipe. We’ve seen several opponents go to that. The Cowboys defensive backs are making what Deion Sanders used to call business decisions, or basically to see if they are interested in tackling. And the results are not great.
There’s no doubt. The only reason to keep Wade at this point is flat out stubbornness. There is absolutely no football application to keep Phillips. I would imagine Wade Phillips, if he spoke honestly, he might ask to be put out of his misery. There is no defense to allow the Giants game followed by the Jaguars game followed by the Packers game. If you don’t have substantial change then you’re just trying to be stubborn.
I would fire Wade in the morning in fact I might do it tonight. And honestly does that cure everything? Absolutely not. But you can not allow your team and look listless and hopeless and you just can’t allow your organization to be represented like this. Given that you cannot fire the players, you have to get a new voice. You have to show that no one is safe.
On whom should replace Phillips:
That’s the great question, because it has to be someone from this staff and clearly no one has does such great work that they deserve getting promoted
I would look pretty hard at (special teams coach) Joe DeCamillis. It’s obvious he has a raging fire in his belly. If there’s one thing this team lacks is a fire.
Did the Cowboys quit tonight?
I guess it’s the great question. Are you quitting or just inept. I don’t have a great number of specifics, but when I look at the tackling efforts of the defensive backs I sure don’t feel like I am getting 110%. Now this team has problems that go well beyond effort. And like I said it’s not easy to measure effort given. This team did not seem to belong on the same field as their opponent. We’re going about three weeks straight. It doesn’t matter if it’s a good team or bad team, home or away, they can’t compete. Part of me hopes that they are not giving their effort. If they are giving everything right now, we have a bigger problem than we thought.
On the Cowboys offense and not utilizing Tashard Choice much:
I don’t feel like Tashard Choice is a great long-term sol, I do think his energy will help that listless effort. I hesitate to call it a giant mistake; I just considered him a potential spark in this game. So I did find it curious that he did not get much consideration. Once again the offense demonstrated they are not capable of basic simple run plays. And if you can’t run the ball with any efficiency, and you have a backup quarterback who is missing open receivers at times, including a giant opportunity to Miles Austin, you don’t have any chance. And they clearly didn’t have any chance tonight.
On Lambeau Field:
Absolutely wild. It’s a great atmosphere to see a game. The natives were quite pleased.