By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
"We're not where we wanna be at this time," Jones said, "and that's an understatement."
The changing of the guard at Valley Ranch is always a monumental transaction in American sports. In '07 Jerry cried as he introduced Phillips and this week his voice cracked when he fired him. But to borrow a slogan from the team that plays just up the way on Randol Mill Road in Arlington:
It was sad to watch Landry clean out his office in '89 and surreal to witness the Jimmy-Jerry divorce in '94. Don't have a lot of sympathy for Phillips because, in the end, he'll get paid through 2011, and he was fired because the defensive players that claim to love him up and quit on him.
Phillips was cornier than Fletcher's, fluent in good ol' boy and won 60 percent of his games in Dallas. He captured two division championships and the team's lone playoff win since '96. But he's just not hard enough to be good enough.
"It just caved in on us," he said after the Green Bay loss. "But you can't quit, and you can't cry."
You can, however, be fired.
We won't miss his twisted stats trying to make shit smell like spring. We won't miss his inexplicable sideline demeanor, looking like some lost janitor who happened upon a football game and was surprised by every positive result. We won't miss his 3-4 defense's relentless barrage of ineffective blitzes. We won't miss his nonsensical replay challenges. We won't miss that comfortable pair of blue jeans, because they finally fell apart.
I'd love Phillips to be my uncle, my neighbor, my deacon...just not my head coach. What the Cowboys accomplished the last three seasons was not because of him, but in spite of him.
Said Wade in Green Bay, "I don't even know who we play next."
Says Garrett, "Let's go up to New York and try to beat the Giants."
So long, Stumbledoofus.