Cowboy Owner Jones Regrets Firing Chan Gailey

Discussion in 'The Walrus' started by warthog, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. warthog

    warthog the warthog

    Oct 28, 2008
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    Dallas Cowboys' Jones says change isn't always the answer

    12:29 PM CST on Sunday, January 4, 2009

    By TODD ARCHER / The Dallas Morning News

    IRVING – During a portion of a two-hour interview in August, Jerry Jones reflected on his mistakes in his first 19 years with the Cowboys.

    He wishes he had handled the Tom Landry dismissal better and said he should not have been so cavalier about his friendship with Jimmy Johnson.


    "I regret just giving Chan [Gailey] two years," said Jones, the Cowboys' owner and general manager. "When you really look at what he's done since he's left here and look at what he had done here – he took us to the playoffs twice. And I'm not talking about the fairness of it. I'm just talking about how I should have worked hard on some things where we could've made adjustments that were meaningful."

    Gailey is a footnote in Cowboys history: the fourth coach in franchise history, one with an 18-14 record, an NFC East title in 1998 and no playoff wins.

    But as the Cowboys move into 2009 with Wade Phillips for a third year, Jones' misgivings about his decision to fire Gailey cannot be overlooked.

    A week ago, after the Cowboys' season ended with the biggest loss of his tenure – 44-6 at Philadelphia – Jones stood inside the visitors' locker room and talked about continuity.

    "I like what we're doing and what we're trying to do offensively," Jones said. "I like what we're trying to do defensively.

    "I know the first thing when I look back having had four or five head coaches, I don't know that change was necessarily the answer. Maybe having them address change might have been the better answer."

    The Dallas Cowboys have had six head coaches in Jerry Jones' 19 years as owner.
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    Only Barry Switzer (24-8) has a better two-year record than the 22-10 mark Phillips has had with the Cowboys.

    Switzer took over a team that won back-to-back Super Bowls under Johnson and suffered through an agonizing loss to San Francisco in the 1994 NFC Championship Game before winning Super Bowl XXX against Pittsburgh to end the 1995 season.

    Phillips took over a team that appeared ready to make a jump from playoff team to Super Bowl contender and produced a 13-3 record in 2007. But the Cowboys failed to win a playoff game, then failed to make the postseason in 2008, finishing 9-7 after the collapse to the Eagles. After a 12-1 start, the Cowboys are 10-10 in their last 20 games under Phillips, including the postseason loss to the New York Giants.

    At his season-ending news conference, Phillips promised change but did not provide any specifics. He talked about being more demanding if necessary and said he would look at how he conducted everything from the off-season program to training camp to regular-season practices.

    Does Phillips think it will be difficult for the players to believe in the message that will be delivered?

    "No, I don't," he said. "I think once we come together and work the whole off-season together and the mini-camps, the OTAs [organized team activities], all those things, we'll be pointed in the right direction."

    When he came to the Cowboys, Phillips signed a three-year deal with an option for a fourth, which would indicate there will be even more pressure on him in 2009. Phillips said he would not think about job security.

    But in a win-now league, even a two-time Super Bowl winning coach like Denver's Mike Shanahan can be fired.

    Switzer said an NFL coach has only four years at the most to prove himself.

    "If the arrow isn't pointing up, then he's going to be gone," Switzer said.

    Even before the season ended, Phillips spread the continuity message, talking about the benefit that teams like Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay have had in keeping their systems in place despite head coaching changes.

    "If you keep changing every year or two, it's a problem," Phillips said during a Dec. 15 news conference. "I'd rather just keep the coaches, myself."

    The remark drew chuckles. While the Cowboys were ranked eighth defensively and led the NFL with 59 sacks, they went from 13th in points allowed in 2007 to 20th. The Cowboys had the third-ranked offense and were No. 2 in points in '07, but in 2008 they finished 13th in total offense and were 18th in points.

    "Continuity is good if you've got the right people," Johnson said. "If you've got the wrong people, continuity just means bad stays bad."
  2. westcoastkcfan

    westcoastkcfan New Member

    Dec 23, 2008
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    Ole Jerry is quickly becoming a better dressed Al Davis. The last sentence in that article pretty much sums up Dallas.

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