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Firing Phillips the right decision for Cowboys

Whether it’s Wade Phillips or Jason Garrett that finishes out the rest of the season as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, the team isn’t going to the playoffs. But Jerry Jones’ decision to fire Phillips on Monday isn’t about making the playoffs.

Jones needed to send a message to those that will be around past this year that the lack of effort and execution that the Cowboys have displayed this year won’t be tolerated. Not all of the team’s problems are because of Phillips, but the head coach is always the first one on the chopping block when things fall apart.

You always hear about how Phillips is a players’ coach, but most of his players stopped playing for him weeks ago. I don’t think there’s any question that Phillips can coach in this league, but obviously the players stopped responding to his methods and Jones had no choice but to let him go after the embarrassing 45-7 loss in Green Bay on Sunday night.

Without Tony Romo, Garrett’s chances of succeeding are fairly slim. But he won’t be measured on wins and losses over the next eight weeks – he’ll be measured on how the players respond. If they quit on him like they quit on Phillips, then Garrett may be searching for a job after the season as well.

Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden’s names will be brought up repeatedly over the next two months in connection with the Dallas job, but consider this: No head coach has ever won the Super Bowl with his second team. Bill Parcells (Giants/Patriots), Dan Reeves (Broncos/Falcons) and Mike Holmgren (Packers/Seahawks) all got close, but they couldn’t pull the feat off. That’s not to say that Cowher or Gruden would be bad choices to replace Phillips, but Jones needs to at least consider bringing in someone fresh.

It’ll be interesting to see not only whom Dallas hires at the end of the season, but also whether or not Phillips will get another head coaching job next year. He may have to settle for a defensive coordinator position after what transpired with the Cowboys this season.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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Terrell Owens not expected to be a Cowboy in 2009

Peter King of SI.com and Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post both believe that wideout Terrell Owens will not be a Cowboy next season.

Terrell OwensNow, for the real news out of Dallas regarding Terrell Owens. Peter King wrote this yesterday in his Monday Morning QB, and I believe he is dead-on accurate. When, not if, is the real question everyone is asking about T.O. He will not be back, but the team is still deciding when to make the announcement of his termination or trade.

Maybe Jones can work a trade out to send Owens to the Raiders since they have a huge need at wideout and have never been afraid to take on a big challenge. This will be interesting to follow as it develops.

One can’t help but wonder if the Cowboys aren’t making moves for 2009, but perhaps 2010 when Jerry Jones hopes to land Bill Cowher or Mike Shanahan. Neither of those coaches would likely sign a contract with the ‘Boys knowing they would have to put up with T.O., so the team parts with him this year and fumigates the place for a season until one of those two are ready to coach again.

Regardless of what Jerry Jones and the Cowboys’ future plans are at head coach, it appears that Owens’ days in Dallas are numbered. And if they are, his situation in Dallas proves that having dysfunctional players on your roster will more than likely lead to destruction and desertion.

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