Friday, February 9, 2007

JJ's head on the chopping block

Today in the DMN Jean Jacques Taylor says that this hire will define Jerry Jones ownership of the Cowboys.

I don't completely agree because there is no way that Jerry Jones will sell this team. He will die president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys. Therefore, he will probably have other chances to make or break the team. However, this hire right here will set the course for the future of the team.

I think this team is close to a Super Bowl. They have talent on both sides of the ball, but there are weaknesses. I'll get to that in a minute. This hire means a couple of things. First and most obvious, Dallas is committed to the 3-4, but not like we've seen it over the last two years. I've been reading today that many players were very dissatisfied with Bill Parcells' version of the 3-4, as it was very vanilla without a lot of blitzes (probably to cover Roy Williams' coverage weaknesses). Wade Phillips' defense should anything but vanilla. Last year, after Greg Ellis went down, we only had one guy who could get to QB, DeMarcus Ware and there were too many times last year when he spent more time covering tight ends than rushing the passer. All Shawne Merriman does is get the passer. I think Ware has the talent to be a better all round linebacker than Merriman, and I think he'll thrive in this version of the 3-4. Hopefully, Phillips will be able to get more out of Marcus Spears and Chris Canty than Parcells was able. His ability to make under-achieving players better will be the true indication of whether or not this is a good hire on the defensive side.

The big question I have is about the offense. What is Jason Garrett's role? Is he ready to run an offense? What about Tony Sparano? Perhaps the Phillips hire signifies that Jerry is confident in the Garrett/ Sparano combination (although I think it has more to do with concerns about the defense). There are some question marks in this offense as well. I like Tony Romo, but after a few games, his game went downhill toward the end of the game. Was he just slumping or were teams figuring him out? Can he make the adjustments to be a Super Bowl QB, because that is what we expect around here. We expect super bowls. He may all the bad things Brett Farve is and much less of the good. And as much as we worry about TO, if you get rid of him, you have Terry Glenn, Patrick Crayton, and bunch of undrafted free agents. All of a sudden wide receiver becomes a big need in free agency and the draft. Even if you keep him, he's not a kid anymore. Our #1 and #2 receivers are both in their mid 30s, hardly prime time for WRs. There are still huge holes at offensive line- we may need a tackle, a guard, and a center. In other words, the offense has alot of work to do this off season.

The question is will this hire propel the Cowboys forward or not. In his previous coaching stops, Wade has taken a team higher than the previous season, but never far enough. He has no playoff wins in three chances. Apparently, he signed a four year deal. I have my doubts as to whether he will finish out that contract.

The draft is coming up and I love the draft. I will be following it closely. It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys approach the draft and free agency. We'll see how it goes.


PJ said...

I'm concerned more about the draft than anything the Cowboys have done with their coaching. This team has floundered in the draft until recent years and many have attributed that to Parcells.

rus said...

Well, as I noted in a previous post, Parcells has not been a cure all for the Cowboys drafts. The jury is still out big time on last years draft (Carpenter, Fasano, and Hatcher are far from sure things). The DeMarcus Ware draft was a good one, but before that it was Jacob Rogers and Stephen Peterman draft. So Parcells was not the end all be all of drafts.

Chris said...

True. Parcells was billed as having an eye for talent, but I think he left his draft glasses in New York.