A story in today’s Dallas Morning News caught my eye. It read “Wade Phillips has to go,” or something along that theme. It turned out to be a column on the Dallas Cowboys head coach. I don’t follow football very well. I guess you could say I follow it about as little as any male Texan is required to, so I can carry on a conversation about the game. That’s it. The article went on to say Phillips has lost control of his team.
But I’ve followed Wade Phillips since he was hired on at Valley Ranch by the venerable Jerry Jones. Since Jones bought the team in the last 80’s, he’s been a “salary caps to jock straps” kind of manager. He’s a guy that has his hands in a little bit of everything when it comes to America’s team. Phillips has lived a long time in his father’s shadow, both as a player and NFL coach. When the iconic Bum Phillips was active on the sidelines, young Wade wasn’t too far away. He was either just a few feet away, or up in the press box with a headset on talking to the coaches below.
Ol‘ Wade’s had his challenges as a first year head coach of the Cowboys, and the line about losing control of his team really struck a chord with me. I found myself comparing my situation with Wade’s. He inherited a team that was once the best around. It was the dominant organization. Everyone wanted to be like the Cowboys. That faded long ago, and Wade was tapped to try and restore the glory. But he’s dealt with more than wins and losses. He’s dealt with more than budgets, strategy, and vision.
He’s been mired in the drama. He’s had compromise his desire for creating a positive culture, because he’s been too busy dealing with bickering, disloyalty, and other personality-driven junk. Now critics are calling for his job. I don’t know for a fact, but it sounds like there are people in the Cowboys organization that are hoping for the same result. Now is that fair?
I don’t know, but I think I have a small idea of the situation he’s in.
Here’s to hoping he’ll find the right solutions and here’s to him gaining control again.