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Wade Phillips Out, Jason Garrett In

Breaking news out of Dallas reports that Wade Phillips has indeed been fired as expected. The official word will probably come today at the 4:00 press conference.

CBSDFW reports:

IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 Sports has confirmed that Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips has been fired.

Jason Garrett has been named the new interim head coach. Garrett had previously been the Cowboys assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.

Read more: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2010/11/08/dallas-cowboys-coach-wade-phillips-fired/

I’m sure a lot more will come out as the day progresses…

Do Bad Things Happens In Three… Weeks?

Alright I am back. After having watched the very first two weeks of the NFL season. I can’t exactly say I am thrilled. The team seems to have so much inconsistently I am actually starting to think they might be bipolar or have some sort of multiple personality disorder. There is a multitude of things that are morphing what was initially was expected to be a fairy tale season into a greek tragedy. The good thing is that the issues themselves can be fixed. The bad thing is… they have to fix enough of it to get a win this week. Usually I don’t try to put too much in a now or never scenario too early in the season but, after checking the history books of the NFL I have some startling news for my fellow Cowboy fans. No team has ever… I mean EVER!! won the Super Bowl starting the season with an 0-3 record. IN fact there is only four team that have started the season 1-2 and won the Super Bowl. This obviously a very short list that includes the 1981 san Francisco 49ers, the 1993 Dallas Cowboys, the 2001 New England Patriots and the 2007 New York Giants.

Granted there is a some good news about how some of the players have performed but there is also some bad news. The biggest problem is these bad news players are bringing the team as a whole down to a level that none of us fans thought they would be at after two weeks. The defensive backfield and the ability to cover and create turnovers is a big problem. A defense needs to have the ability to create turnovers. We have had this same issue the last couple years espescially when it comes to getting interceptions. We played the Chicgao Bears last week. The same Bears team that has Jay Cutler at the helm on offense. Mr Interception himself! I figured we would at least walk away with two inteceptions. We walked away instead with a big goose egg. This can not happen. In fact the secondary seems to almost look lost when teams start throwing down the field on the them. When I say down the field I mean over ten yards. In fact our two pro bowl cornerbacks from last year seem to be getting burned on a regular basis.

Its one thing to say that the defensive front needs to put pressure on the quarterback in order to help out the secondary. We are getting pressure but it seems that opposing offense has been tearing us apart. The Chicago Bears game I believe we may have blitzed too much. We should have left some of the pressuring the quareterback to the defensive line and the two rush linebackers. We sold out on some of these blitzes and left Greg Olson open for long run after catches. I do believe if we can cause some turnovers though that this will help out our defense and also put our offense in position to score. This week though we are going up against a team that beat the team we lost to in week one. A team known for throwing the ball… ALOT!

Our offense on the other hand seems to be lacking the one thing that we should be excelling at… running the rock. We have what a lot fo people believe to be the best running back trio in the league. So why can’t we seem to create a running game that other teams will fear? Seriously we rank 28th in the league in rushing. Thats out of 32 teams folks. We also seem to hit the 30 yard line of the opponent and Garrett suddenly decides to put a clamp on the offensive play calling. It’s like we hit a wall or something. We move down the field at break neck speed but hit the other teams 30 yard line and then we turn into the Cleveland Browns. The worst part about it happening there is that most teams feel comfortable kicking a field goal from there. Not us our field goal kicker is still finding his rhythm on that aspect of his game.

The good news and yes I said good news is…  We are one game out first place. Thats right the other NFC East teams having been doing a whole lot better. Because of that I believe we are not as far in the whole as a lot fo these NFL “experts” have made us out to be. If we show up and become the team that all of us believe we can be I think  We can cover Andre Johnson and let D-Ware do what he does best… eat a quarterback for lunch. The offense needs to committ to the running game and use it help open up the passing game and drive us beyond that 30 yard line barrier that has become our line in the sand.

Random Observations

-Miles Austin is a GREAT receiver. He is elite. Period. Dez Bryant will make this offense unstoppable when he finally starts opposite Austin.

-2009 Ball State 3rd round pick Robert Brewster is still a year away from being an NFL caliber OT or G. Missing his rookie year due to injury, he just doesn’t have “it” yet. I would release him on the final cuts and try to get him back on the practice squad. If not, oh well. We need solid backups to survive this Super Bowl run.

-The tight end situation is terrible. It went from a strength on the team to a worry with John Phillips tearing his ACL. Although, if Sicko progresses this year, it gives us an out with Martellus Bennett should he continue his mundane play.

-Alex Barron needs coaching. Hudson Houck must change this guy’s bad habits or he will be a one and done as a Cowboy. You don’t pay good money for Pat McQuistan production.

-No way do you cut Deon Anderson. If you want Chris Gronkowski on the final 53, you must deplete another position’s depth and keep two fullbacks. Deon has been a fantastic blocker and a surprise threat out of the backfield as a receiver.

-David Buehler is doing a good job. Kickoffs, as usual, have been stellar. Touchback after touchback. Field goals have been good enough to keep believing in him. I love that he is working with Chris Boniol.

-Jon Kitna will be a solid backup should we, God forbid, need him to hold the fort for a few games.

-The linebackers on this team are off the hook. Our starters dominate. Bradie James and Keith Brooking will be the vocal leaders on this very strong defense. There are surprises such as Leon Williams that will make the final cuts a very hard job.

-Too much is being made of win/loss, Redzone failures and other trivial statistics in the preseason.

-5 preseason games could make you a tired team in January.

-Wade Phillips is awesome. His defense rocks and he has survived the headhunters of Dallas (media) through hell and back.

Back In The Saddle Again – Training Camp Notes

Jerry Jones and Wade Phillips are all smiles at the start of Cowboys Training Camp

I skimmed through all the different beat writer reports from today’s Cowboys Training Camp, and summarized all of the information for you.

Training Camp Player Valuations – In terms of talking about players after practice, Phillips doesn’t like to do it. He feels he needs to see some practice tape before talking about how well a player did or how bad a player did. Phillips said it gives him a chance to give better answers to questions.

“You may see a player do something real good in practice and the rest of the plays didn’t play well,” Phillips said. “Like a guy in a game, you think he played well, and he didn’t play well at all.”

Ain’t That A Kick In The Pants – The coach made a note that David Buehler isn’t the only placekicker on the roster. Delbert Alvarado is also a kicker but hardly gets mentioned because after the team released Connor Hughes, it was assumed Buehler had no competition. Even Buehler said he’s competing against himself.

“Alvarado did well, and that’s why we kept him in the spring,” Phillips said.

Safety First – Does Pat Watkins have a shot to become the starting free safety over Alan Ball? Phillips said he does and that there is competition at almost every position. However, Phillips would like to see Watkins, who is a strong special teams player, be more consistent on defense. Watkins did have a nice breakup of a long pass Saturday.

He Ain’t All That – *Dez Bryant, the rookie wide receiver, was impressive in his first practice. Phillips said it’s not the best debut he ever saw.

“I don’t know if he looked any better than Steve Largent when he came in,” Phillips said. “Cris Carter when he came in, I’ve seen some pretty good ones.”

Not To Be Nosy, But – *Marcus Spears is still the starting defensive end, but he will get some snaps at nose tackle during training camp. The Cowboys did some of this last year with him. Phillips doesn’t believe it’s the start of something long term for Spears.

“I would be comfortable with him playing there,” Phillips said of Spears at the nose. “He’s a smart player and he’s a good run player already, and normally nose guard is a run-player position. [Jay] Ratliff has taken it to a different level; you don’t see nose guards getting six and eight and ten sacks. But I think Spears can fill that role as a run player and I think he’ll do a good job there.”

We Kneed You Man – *Linebacker Keith Brooking might miss the second practice Sunday. He’s fine, but Cowboys want to bring him along slowly because he had minor knee surgery in the offseason. Brooking looked pretty good Saturday knocking down a pass and moving around pretty good.

MartyB TV Off The Air – Wade Phillips said he does not expect Martellus Bennett to miss much practice time in training camp with the sprained left ankle he suffered last week while working out. The Cowboys placed Bennett on the non-football injury list because he did not suffer the injury while under the Cowboys’ care.

It’s now Official, Wade Phillips signs his Extension

As reported on ProFootballTalk.com this afternoon, it was made official that Jerry Jones has extended Wade Phillips contract through the 2012 season. The Cowboys picked up the option on Phillips for the 2010 season and then added two years to it.

“I’m encouraged by the progress we’ve made this year,” Jones said. “But in no way are we satisfied.”

Jerry Jones made it clear that he was not happy with the Cowboys performance against the Vikings in the divisional round of the playoffs this past Sunday.

“It wasn’t good enough for us, our fans or our coaches,” Jones said. “It’s about moving forward in the postseason.”

Coach Wade Phillips also said that he is not satisfied and is looking for more.

“We’ve done a lot of good things and won a lot of games,” Phillips said. “That isn’t my goal. My goal is to win the championship.”

Wade Phillips has compiled a 33-15 record as coach of the Cowboys for the last three seasons. Along with two NFC East Championships in 2007 and 2009. The team did respond very well to Phillips this season and finished with an 11-5 record. They became one of the hottest teams in the NFL the last part of the season as they beat the 13-0 Saints in New Orleans. Then shutout division rivals Washington and Philadelphia in back-to-back weeks to finish out the season. They then won their first playoff game since the 1996 season when they beat the Eagles for the second straight week in the Wildcard Round. Phillips also coached the defense to the 9th ranked unit in the NFL.

We have all had our issues with Wade Phillips, but I guess change isn’t always good. He now knows he will remain the head coach of the Cowboys and he can get back to work.

Wade Will Be Back

According to Jason La Canfora at NFL.com Wade Phillips will return as the Cowboys head coach for 2010.

The Cowboys are executing the 2010 option on coach Wade Phillips‘ contract, binding him to the team for next season, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Phillips met with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and top brass on Monday, and more talks are scheduled for Tuesday. The team hasn’t moved to extend Phillips’ contract beyond 2010, but Jones is comfortable with him as the coach for next season.

I like it. I like Wade, more importantly the players like him and what he did with this team in 2009 was really impressive.

I know many may argue, but I definitely agree with keeping him on another year.

Cowboys End Playoff Drought; Dominate Eagles 34 – 14

As the final seconds of the game tick away, and I watch Tony Romo walk off the field I notice something very interesting. The monkey is gone! The Dallas Cowboys have finally ended their prolonged 13 year playoff drought. Not only did they end this drought with a win over a rival team in the NFC East, They ended it with one of the most dominating performances ever put on in the playoffs.

Tony Romo was once again at the top of his game putting on a clinic for the fans to see. Picking apart the eagles defense, converting 3rd long like it was 3rd and inches. Throwing 23/35 passes for 244 yards 2 touchdowns and no interceptions, thanks to Wade Phillips for what could be considered the best coaching move he has made as a head coach for the Dallas Cowboys and challenging what at first seemed to be an amazing interception. Romo proved once again, give him time in the pocket and he will pick apart a defense.

Just as the last 2 meetings in the regular season against the Eagles, the Dallas running game was unstoppable. Dallas rushed for a total 198 yards on 35 carries between our 3 top running backs. With Felix Jones leading the way with a 73 yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter and putting the final nail in the coffin of the Eagles.

I wrote an article a couple months back about when the game was fun and how if we could get back to remembering it was fun to play the game, and then the wins would come. I mention that previous article because the way that the defense is playing and not letting the opponents come anywhere close to clicking and getting any kind of rhythm, The offense has fun while on the field. Think back to when Romo threw that little 6 yard screen touchdown pass to Miles Austin. When they showed Romo running down to congratulate Austin, Romo reached over and gave the Ref a “man” pat as he ran by him. Romo had the biggest smile on his face he has had all season. THAT is having fun. THAT is what we need.

What to say about our defense. I could mention what this player and that player did. How this player got a sack or that player made a great deflection. However, it was a total team defense that made this game possible. It was whole defense that made plays; it was every player on the field at any time doing exactly what they had to do to make things happen. Did any one player “stand” out? Of course they did, matter of fact a couple of different players stood out. But that does not mean the other players did not “play their roll”. It was a total TEAM effort.

Congratulations to the Dallas Cowboys for ending their playoff drought. Let’s go out and get another win next week against the Minnesota Vikings and continue our run to the Super Bowl!!!!!

GO COWBOYS!!!!!!!

Cowboys Riding High On Cloud 9

Honestly, I’m too excited and overwhelmed with joy to really concentrate and blog right now. I just wanted to say I am so proud of these players, each and every one of them made this win possible. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that we are two wins away from the Super Bowl. I know thats some really high hoping but I believe there isn’t anything this team can do right now.

I’d like to give some huge props to Mr. Wade Phillips. He’s taken a lot of heat for a while now and he has really blown all of us away, not only today but this entire season. You could say the same thing for Tony Romo. But this was a team effort and when a team is firing on all cylinders and dominating like they have been in the last few games – that’s what makes a Championship Team.

HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!

I didn’t want to be redundant because I know there will be a thousand titles in tomorrow’s headlines with these same words but to the hated Eagles I have one thing to say………

The THIRD time really is a CHARM!

Tony Romo

COWBOYS 34 – EAGLES 14

Some Things To Consider

I may be wrong, but I think the Cowboys need some serious restructuring, beginning with their head coach. Wade Phillips may be a “good guy” but he’s no Tom Landry or Jimmy Johnson. Personally, I think the only good thing he’s done for the Boys so far was let Terrell Owens go, and I doubt that was Phillips’ decision. Bring in Shanahan or even Holmgren (if he can handle the micromanagement)!

Also, I think it’s time to replace Nick Folk. He’s lost the pizazz he used to have and is missing field goals almost as often as he’s making them. I really don’t have a problem with anyone else on the team. I just think that they need to be playing as a team instead of individuals. I’m actually proud of how well Tony Romo has been playing the last couple weeks. He’s been distributing the ball well and not making as many mistakes.

On a more positive note, it looks as though the Saints are nervous about playing the Boys this weekend, especially if DeMarcus Ware is healthy enough to play. Jonathan Vilma of the New Orleans Saints said,

“DeMarcus Ware is one of the extreme exceptional rare talents that we find in the NFL. He was close to the single-season sack record last year, and people are saying he didn’t have as much production this year, but he’s still a force. There’s no way you cannot account for a guy like DeMarcus Ware.

“Put football to the side OF COURSE you hope he gets better but I’m not going to say I’m not breathing a sigh of relief that he might not play because DeMarcus is a force to be reckoned with on the football field.”

The Saints are a little beat up right now but Brees loves the deep pass and is damn good at it. I’m not sure the Dallas defense can stop him but I’ll have my fingers crossed. It’s time to put an end to the December curse and show everyone that the Cowboys can win!

A Folk’d Up Kicking Situation

After missing five field goals in the last four games, the Cowboys are starting to worry about their kicking situation. Nick Folk was automatic his rookie year making the pro bowl in 2007 and continued to shine in 2008. He had hip surgery in the offseason and didn’t resume kicking until training camp. This season Folk has missed 8 of 24 attempts.

It’s possible he’s just having an off year and after missing his normal offseason training and routine because of surgery it certainly explains why he’s struggling.

But its also possible that the misses aren’t completely Folk’s fault. As stated by the coaches, it could be a combination of things. Folk automatically gets the blame because he’s the kicker but there is also the long snapper and the holder in the mix.

“The hold, the snap, the kick, the coach,” special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said, including himself in the equation. “We’ve got to get it squared away.”

“I’m worried that it’s a combination of confidence more than anything,” Wade Phillips said. “They work all the time on it. Those guys spend a lot of practice time snapping and holding, snapping and holding. That’s what they do and kicking. I would feel like we would have more confidence than we’ve had. Whether it’s working into the kicker or the holder or whoever, we’ve got to determine what we need to do there and go forward.”

“I’m not losing any faith in Nick at all,” DeCamillis said. “I’ve been around this thing for 22 years, and I’ve seen them miss ‘em and I’ve seen them make ‘em. They go through stretches just like any other player. Unfortunately for him, it’s right out in the open for everybody to see.”

Both Wade Phillips and Joe DeCamillis are confident in Nick Folk’s ability so it doesn’t seem like any big changes are coming, but they will be working on some of the details and smaller aspects of the field goal unit.

Rookie kicker David Buehler is excellent on kickoffs but not as accurate or consistent when it comes to field goals.

Don’t expect to see any noticeable changes any time soon. It’s likely they will just practice more and try to correct the problem.

Hopefully the crowd can get back to cheering “FOLK YEAH!” very soon.

True Words Of Wisdom

It was good to hear Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones give the team some good advice after the game on Thursday. Jones addressed the team in the locker room after their 24-7 Thanksgiving Day victory, and cautioned them not to lose focus or get too far ahead of themselves.

“This is a time when there shouldn’t be anybody smug, shouldn’t be anybody feeling full of themselves by where we are. We should really sit down here and see because we may not, on an individual basis, ever get to be in a spot like this again. So, let’s spend the next six weeks really blocking everything out as much as we can and zero in on the playoffs.”

I have no doubt that Jones was probably thinking about last season, when the Cowboys went 1-3 in December, before addressing his troops. Last year he watched silently as the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention. I’m glad he reminded them how easily a two game lead can evaporate.

Head coach Wade Phillips seemed to echo his employer’s sentiments when he later added;

“We have something to prove the next game, that’s where we’re going,” coach Wade Phillips said. “I am happy we have won three in a row on Thanksgiving but we have more to accomplish.”

Always two there are… a master and an apprentice.

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Dallas Injury Report: Columbo Not Looking Good

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Not only did the Cowboys lose to the Packers this past Sunday, but they lost some players as well.

Starting right tackle, Marc Columbo, is most likely out for the season with a broken fibula on his left leg after severe contact with a Packer defender.

Columbo, up to that point, had not missed a start for the Cowboys and really was playing great. Last year, Dr. Z, the well-respected Sports Illustrated writer put Marc Columbo on his All-Pro team.

Columbo was recently signed to a long extension and he is obviously very upset with the setback.

After Columbo was lost, Dallas proceeded to allow a season high five sacks. Columbo was more than the right tackle, but also the emotional leader with a voice of a sailor. I listened to Marc Columbo on tape and he had a mouth nastier than rotten anchovy paste.

Columbo came to the Cowboys from the Bears after knee injuries shortened his time there. However, he came in 2006 and he earned his starting job in training camp and he did not stop starting till now.

Tackle Doug Free came in to replace Columbo, and hopefully he will start gelling with the remaining four lineman so that they can get back to the dominant form they had at the beginning of the year.

Now, when you break a bone in the leg that means your out for the season typically, but Wade Phillips has said that Columbo may have a shot at coming back, so he may not be placed on injured reserve.

Injured reserve is a list of players that the team makes up. These players are severely injured, most likely out for the season. The action of putting players on injured reserve means that the player cannot play this season. Even if he should get healthy enough later on during the year to play, he cannot play.

Injured reserve is separate from the 53 man roster. It was made that way in case a team had a ’series of unfortunate events’ and the team needs to continually have enough men to play for the team.

By putting Columbo on injured reserve, the team will have an extra roster spot so they can pick up another player, but on the condition that Columbo cannot play at all for the rest of the regular season or postseason as well.

I, however, don’t see Columbo avoiding injured reserve though. We are going into week 11 now and it could take four to five weeks minimum for Columbo to recover. Then, he’s got to be careful coming back from the injury or he could injure it again.

This was the worst thing that could have happened. Dallas has great backups at every position except offensive line and Jerry Jones was concerned about that from the start.

Dallas had originally drafted Robert Brewster from Ball State in the third round of the 2009 draft, but he tore a pectoral muscle before training camp, and he’s out too.

Last year, the loss of Kyle Kosier damaged the Cowboys season to an extent that made me believe that it affected the outcome of several games.

Now we lose another lineman?

This Cowboys team may still be in first place, but now they have to win games without a Pro Bowl caliber right tackle. It is a challenge to say the least.

Mike Jenkins and Ken Hamlin were also banged up in the process, but according to Jenkins and the Cowboys, they should not be missing any significant time.

This was a big loss for the Cowboys. A great player and a game that could have extended the division lead to 7-2.

Come on Cowboys, we know you guys can pull this together!

Check out James Williamson at: http://www.nfltouchdown.com/category/dallas-cowboys/