Simply put, on paper, the Cowboys are world beaters. Jerry Jones designed them to win, and win now. They have a upper-tier quarterback, 3 quality running backs, a great wide receiving crew, great pass rushers, a super NT, and etc, etc, etc.
And yet, the are in line for a high draft picks. Explain?
Look, if the Cowboys got a penalty for excessive celebrating in the end zone under Bill Parcells or Bill Belichek, do you really think they would get another one the following week? Aw, heck no.
Wade Phillips may be a tactical genius, a football mastermind, it doesn't matter His teams lack focus, fire and discipline. The Cowboys are the 3rd most penalized team in the league and have jumped in penalties per game from 6.9 last year to 9 this year. In 2009, the lost about 54 yards per game; this year it's almost 75.
An interesting stat, Wade Phillips's teams steadily decline the longer he coaches in a place. His first season in Denver he was 9-7, the second he was 7-9. In Buffalo, his first season he was 10-6; his last, he was 8-8 losing the last 4 out of 5. His first season in Dallas he was 13-3. We all where Dallas is now.
Still think coaching isn't important, just take a look at Kansas City. Under rookie head coach Todd Haley, last season the Chiefs went 4-12. in the offseason, the Chiefs made no wholesale roster overhauls and still have the same basic roster as last season. They did however, hire Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel, the head coordinators during the New England super bowl years. Now, Weis and Crennel had mixed results (at best) as head coaches, yet the coaching skills as coordinators is second to none. So far, this season the Chiefs are 4-2 and atop the AFC West. Last season, the Chiefs were 23rd in team offense, 29th in team defense and had a differential rating of -130 points, 27th in the NFL. This season they are 8th in team offense, 7th in team defense and 5th in the league with a differential of +38 points. Think maybe those guys can coach? Haley is a good coach himself, but his smartest move would be to get those 2 guys to help him.
Meanwhile, head coach Phillips teams travel the other way. In 2006, the Cowboys were 4th in the league in Offense and 20th in defense. This year, under Phillips, the Cowboys are 14th in offense and in defense (mind you, Phillips is a defensive guru), the Cowboys are a pathetic 27th in the league. Their differential rating has gone fro a +75 to a -15 in those years. That's poo-poo.
From all accounts, Phillips is a nice guy. Probably too nice. His teams continually underperform. his 1994 Broncos went 7-9. Two years later they went 13-3 and the following year won the Super Bowl. The 94 Broncos were 10th and 25th in offense respectively. A year later under Mike Shanahan those numbers were 9th and 17th. The following year the broncs were 4th and 7th. In 1997, the Broncos were 1st in offense and 6th in defense.
There really is no reason for the Cowboys to be performing this poorly. No reason except one. The coaching isn't there to guide them to a championship. For instance, in 1990, the last year of Bill Parcells tenure as Giants head coach, the Giants had a 13-3 record and won the Super Bowl. Next year under head coach Ray Handley, the Giants went 8-8, and the following year thy fell to 6-10. In 1993, under Dan Reeves the Giants went 11-5.
Coaching matters and without question, poor coaching is the reason the Cowboys are playing so poorly. This off-season, there is little doubt that Phillips will be fired. Who will Jerry Jones hire. Would he give the entire ship to Bill Cowher, promising him beaucoup bucks and total control? It couldn't hurt to see if Cowher would go for it? in any event, Jones knows he has to get rid of Phillips. The Cowboys are simply put, better than this.