Sunday, July 6, 2008

How hot is Phillips' hot seat?

In his first season as head coach of the Cowboys, Wade Phillips did what nobody in franchise history has done better. He won 13 games.

However, a first-round exit (again) when the team had Super Bowl expectations means the season was...let's face it...a disappointment. Look at the Patriots - 16 regular-season wins with a Super Bowl loss. How many Pats fans do you know that are happy with 2007? (Of course, are Pats fans ever happy?)

Mike Florio, in his Sporting News column, ranked the Top 10 coaches on the "Hot Seat". I agree with the majority of coaches on the list including Phillips. However, I disagree with the fact that he ranked Phillips #1. (There are a few coaches I would rank higher than Phillips, but my #1 would be Marvin Lewis with Cincinnati.)

In 2008, the regular season does not really matter (provided the Cowboys make the playoffs) for Phillips. The franchise needs to win (at a minimum) one playoff game otherwise I think Phillips' heir apparent Jason Garrett takes over. It would make sense - new stadium, new coach, new era.

Call me optimistic, but I can't help but believe that this team is too talented to win a post-season game or 2. Like Newy Scruggs of the Star-Telegram wrote, "On the flip side, Phillips can look in his own division for inspiration. The Giants meekly gave coach Tom Coughlin a one-year extension before last season. Coughlin went from the hot seat to a Super Bowl victory and cashed in with a new deal for $21 million over four years."

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