By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
At the risk of not cherishing Phillips' time-honored crutch of excuses and coddling, allow me to pen a bye-week speech for the Cowboys' head coach that might actually inject hope into the season's final 11 games. Goes something like this:
I realize there's a long-standing tradition in the NFL of not apologizing for wins. But screw that, I'm sorry for that pathetic display of football in Kansas City. It's inexcusable. It's unacceptable. I'll do everything in my power as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys to never let it happen again.
We were fortunate to escape with a win, but you and I and my team realize that repeat performances will not only result in losses, but also in us missing the playoffs and me being out of work. Which is the way it should be. I'm ultimately accountable for my team and my players, and right now we're not playing at a satisfactory level.
We're better than this, and it will get better.
I could stand up here and claim we're close to being 5-0, but the reality is we're also just as close to being 1-4. We're 3-2, not exactly time to get out the hats 'n' horns. We've got some players—some veterans—who aren't performing. From here on out I demand hungry players. Players not only ready to win, but unwilling to accept losing. If not, I'm pretty sure we still have an asthma field out back.
Jerry Jones has provided this team the resources to win on and off the field. The fans have shown up and remained loyal through 13 years without a single playoff win.
At some point the onus is on the Dallas Cowboys—that's me through the assistants down to the 53 players—to stop making excuses and accepting mediocrity.
Now if you'll excuse me, my team has a hell of a lot of work to do, and it starts right here, right now.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled Wade Phillips nap.