Dallas Cowboys

Wade Phillips: Gag Me with a Spoon

Wade Phillips should wear a skirt on the sideline next season. For never in the history of the Dallas Cowboys has a head coach been so castrated of authority, power and respect.

This, my friends, is the result of Jerry Jones' preposterous gag order.

For what it's worth, Wade probably doesn't mind. (The ridiculous "Jerry will tell y'all everything" Pacman Jones press conference from last season immediately comes to mind.) But it's inexplicable that the head coach of the Cowboys hasn't spoken publicly since Dec. 29.

At last week's scouting combine in Indianapolis - while Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano addressed the media about 100 yards away, mind you - Wade mumbled that he couldn't talk because "it's against the rules." This "one voice" thing rarely works when it's the head coach, but when the muzzling includes the head coach?


Since Jerry has the final, only voice on anything and everything, players will now treat Phillips with about as much respect as Rowdy. To me the gag order screams that Jerry trusts no one - including his head coach.

The updated organizational flow chart:

At the top is Jones, as dictator/ king/ owner/ GM/ head coach/ chancellor/ CEO/ CFO/ patriarch/ warden/ Al Davis/ spokesman. Under him, the new stadium. Then, well off to the side, comes offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and stumbledufus Wade Phillips.

While Phillips vanishes from the picture like Michael J. Fox's family in Back to the Future, Jerry has deteriorated into a meglamaniac so consumed by power that he's now plugging leaks at Valley Ranch, even while swearing that the info coming from those leaks is inaccurate and, therefore, aren't really leaks at all. Right? In short, Jerry wants you fans to remain absolutley obsessed and irrationally loyal to his team, but only when he decides to saunter out onto the castle's balcony and throw you some scraps.

Can you imagine - even for a second - Tex Schramm attempting to mute Tom Landry?

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt