Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What Wade Has To Do To Keep His Job

BY Drew Magary

With the Cowboys’ December resurgence, the whole FIRE WADE bandwagon furor has died down a bit. And for good reason. The team is playing well, and the NFC has blow so wide open that it’s not insane to think Dallas can make a playoff run, which would all but secure another year of ol’ Wade bumblin’ up and down the sidelines.

But the fact remains that the Phillips’ contract option for next year has still not been picked up by Jerry Jones, meaning his fate has still yet to be decided. After all, there’s still plenty of time for this whole thing to go into the tank. The Cowboys play Philly in Week 17 this year. We all know what happened when they played Philly in Week 17 of LAST year. If the Cowboys get blown out of the water against the Eagles and then go quietly out of the playoffs, you can say goodbye to the fat man.

On ESPN radio last night, Matt Mosley said that the Double J unequivocally does NOT want to fire Wade Phillips. The awesomely named Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News echoed that sentiment. And I'm sure it's true. After all, as long as Wade coaches the Cowboys, that means that Jones kinda gets to coach them too. Wade is a softie who lets Jones be as involved as he pleases. He's not some autocrat like Mike Shanahan who will demand full control. Wade's success means that Jones is ALSO succeeding as the team's shadow head coach. It justifies all his meddling.

That means the odds are already in favor of Wade coming back next year. In fact, I think Wade will come back even if the Cowboys lose to Philly AND lose their playoff game, provided they don’t look like heartless quitters while doing so. Remember: Jones had every reason in the world to fire at the end of last season and didn’t. A valiant playoff loss would represent an improvement over last year, so how could Jones fire Wade for that when he wouldn’t fire him after last year’s debacle?

I say that, if the Cowboys beat Philly and win the division, Wade will be back no matter what. BUT… if they lose to the Eagles, and then turn in an embarrassing performance in the playoffs, that will do it. So grab your popcorn and settle back. Your head coach is about to begin the final stage of the fight for his livelihood.