Wiggle room (cont.)
Posted: Friday February 9, 2007 3:36PM; Updated: Friday February 9, 2007 5:14PM
Of course, would Cowher even consider coming to Dallas knowing he would be dealing with a hands-on owner such as Jones? A huge sticking point, no doubt. Perhaps even a deal-breaker. But he'd be generously compensated. And then consider another potential incentive that could make it easier for Cowher (or any other coach) to add to his legacy:
With the building of the new stadium, the Cowboys and the city of Arlington, Texas, want to host Super Bowl XLV in 2011. Cowboys legend Roger Staubach has been tabbed to lead the bid committee. The NFL is expected to make its decision at the league's spring meeting in late May (Indianapolis and Arizona are also bidding for the game).
If the NFL awards the Super Bowl to North Texas, that will give the Cowboys their first chance to play for the world championship at home. By then, quarterback Tony Romo should be hitting his stride, having added the necessary years of experience to help him make better decisions (and presumably refine the art of holding for a placekicker). Defensive end DeMarcus Ware should also be in his prime.
Provided the Cowboys make smart personnel decisions in the next few years (always an iffy proposition under Jones), the team should be set up to make a Super Bowl run. Being able to play a home game in the Super Bowl might be an opportunity not even Cowher could ignore. It's an advantage no coach has ever enjoyed, although the 49ers under Bill Walsh did win at nearby Stanford Stadium in Super Bowl XIX.
Even if Cowher does pass, Jones should have his pick of plenty of other big-time candidates the next time the job opens up. Maybe it'll be an established college coach (Pete Carroll? Bob Stoops?). Maybe it'll be someone he developed a connection with during this recent interview process (Mike Singletary has a personality that's hard to ignore). Or maybe a current NFL head coach will be in need of a job (by the way, Tony Dungy's contract expires after the 2009 season).
So, yes, Cowboys fans, you may be completely underwhelmed by the hiring of Wade Phillips. That's understandable. And yes, it seems Jerry is reverting back to his old socks-and-jocks ways, with Phillips filling the puppet costume once occupied by Chan Gailey and Dave Campo (at least Phillips has a few more skins on the wall).
Yes, this hire does seem extremely short-sighted. But isn't that the point? I don't know if Jones plays chess, but he just used a pawn to set up a much bigger move.