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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wade Phillips fired as Cowboys head coach

Jerry Jones announced the firing of Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips at Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas, Monday, November 8, 2010. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)
Jerry Jones announced the firing of Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips at Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas, Monday, November 8, 2010. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)

IRVING, Texas — Less than 10 months after he was given a two-year contract extension, Wade Phillips is no longer the Dallas Cowboys head coach, according to sources.

For the first time in team history, the Cowboys have made an in-season coaching change with owner and general manager Jerry Jones handing the interim job to their assistant head coach Jason Garrett.

Phillips’ job security has been a consistent question even after winning two NFC East titles in three seasons but the Cowboys’ 1-7 start forced Jones to do something he has never done before and consistently said this season he would not do.

The last straw was the 45-7 loss Sunday night to the Green Bay Packers, in which the Cowboys rushed for 39 total yards, allowed 28 second-quarter points and turned the ball over four times. The Cowboys lost 35-17 to Jacksonville the week before at Cowboys Stadium. Phillips’ defense allowed Jaguars quarterback David Garrard to throw four touchdown passes, Maurice Jones-Drew to rush for 135 yards and wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker to gain 153 receiving yards.

The Cowboys entered 2010 with the hopes of being the first team to play in a Super Bowl in its own stadium only to see dreams of a spot in Super Bowl XLV crash. The only team with a worse record than the Cowboys is winless Buffalo.

Phillips finished with a 34-22 record, but his time will be remembered more for what the Cowboys were unable to accomplish.

In 2007, the Cowboys finished with an NFC-best 13-3 record but were knocked out of the divisional round of the playoffs by the New York Giants, 21-17, at Texas Stadium. The Giants ended up winning the Super Bowl. In 2008, the Cowboys missed the playoffs altogether with a 9-7 mark that culminated with a 44-6 embarrassment at Philadelphia to close the regular season.

Last year the Cowboys rallied to finish 11-5 and ended their playoff-win drought with a 34-14 win against Philadelphia in the wild-card round, but they were crushed the following week by Minnesota, 34-3.

The Cowboys hired Phillips on Feb. 8, 2007 after an exhaustive search to replace Bill Parcells, who went 34-30 in his four years as coach. Phillips’ easy-going manner and success in running the 3-4 defense was viewed as the perfect antidote to Parcells’ strict regime.

It worked at first with the 13-3 start, but the Cowboys were among the most penalized team in the league during his tenure and could not create enough turnovers defensively. The Cowboys marked Phillips’ third full-time head coaching stops (Denver , Buffalo) and including two interim jobs (New Orleans, Atlanta), he has an 82-60 record but went just 1-5 in the postseason.

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