In our Week Nine picks, I liked the Packers to roll the Cowboys, 42-17. As it turns out, it was even worse.
And it apparently will be enough to sweep coach Wade Phillips out of Dallas.
Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that owner Jerry Jones will meet with the coaching staff this afternoon.
It’s clear based on Jones’ post-game comments that something big is coming.
“There are a lot of people here who are certainly going to suffer and
suffer consequences,” Jones said, per our former PFT colleague (and yet ESPN hired him anyway) Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. “I’m talking about within the team –
players, coaches who have got careers. This is certainly a setback. I
know firsthand what it is to have high expectations. I think
unquestionably that our expectations were thinking we’re something we
were not, possibly looking at what might be relative to a Super Bowl.
All of those things have certainly contributed early.
we have so many things that we need to correct and address, as this game
so vividly exposed and previous games have. I’ve got a lot of work to
do, got a lot of decisions to make. And it’s not just one, two, three or
four. There are several decisions. I think everybody in this country
would agree that there’s a lot wrong with this team that we’ve got to
address, and I’m certainly the one to address it.”
So what’s the problem? “I can’t put my finger on it because I don’t have enough fingers,” Jones
Here’s the biggest decision Jones needs to make, in our view. Should he remain the General Manager of the team?
We’ve been banging that drum for most of the year. Jones became the G.M. 21 years ago, after he bought the franchise. And though he has 21 years of experience in the job, if it’s a job he was never really qualified to have in the first place, how much better at it could he really be?
For years, we’ve heard complaints from “football guys” who have worked their way up via grinding it out as scouts, traveling constantly to remote locations for a glimpse at a small-college player who possibly could be a late-round pick. Those folks learn the business of selecting players from the inside out, and they get resentful when someone thinks the job is easy. It isn’t.
Those who become incredibly successful in other fields, like Jones, often believe that their abilities translate to football, since football looks easy when piped through a television set.
To his credit, Jones and the Cowboys have won three Super Bowls. But it came with a team that Jimmy Johnson built. The recent resurgence resulted from the influence of Bill Parcells.
Now that things are bottoming out again, Jones either can hire a coach who has the ability to find good players (Mike Holmgren) or Jones can hire a G.M.
He should do the latter, and he should step as far aside as his nature will allow him to step aside.
That’s not a criticism. He has every right to put a finger in the stew. But his way isn’t working. So he needs to try a new way.
And he needs to do it before he starts having trouble filling up his gleaming new stadium.