Pulling Up the Rear

IRVING, TX. - Let me see if I understand this: Mike Singletary has never won a game as an NFL coach. But we love his inspirational toughness because he dropped his pants and exposed his buttocks to his team.

Meanwhile, Wade Phillips has been winning football games as a coach for 31 years. But we hate his marshmallow softness because publically he takes a Pollyannaish approach to his team. Adding 2 + 2, then. … Wade Phillips should put on display for all his big butt?

We're calling for the Cowboys coach's head – and his butt – and we keep going ‘round and ‘round about this. But the coach? Rather than go McCain and expose his (Joe The Plumber's) crack, he's going all Obama on us and attempting to be a calming, unifying, positive presence.

Given Dallas' disappointing 5-4 record. … How can he be calm? How can he be unifying? How can he be positive?

"Thirty-one years of coaching, that's part of it,''Phillips said Monday. "Just being around it, seeing how they react. I just get that feel. I think we do have a lot of high-character guys that want to do well, and they do compete."

Maybe the Cowboys braintrust is wrong about this. Maybe they don't have "high-character guys.'' Maybe they don't have "leaders.'' Maybe Brad Johnson isn't the only player whose abilities have been misjudged by this front office and this coaching staff. Hell, maybe the coaching staff isn't any good, either.

Throw the bums out?!

You know, it's your season ticket. Your parking pass. Your DirecTV package. Your TV set. Your lucky Cowboys T-shirt that you wear every Sunday, hoping it somehow rubs off on the guys up on the screen. Your subscription to TheRanchReport. You have every right to cancel your tickets, turn off your TV set, use your lucky T-shirt to wash the car and decide to become a New York Giants fan. (Not really, on that last one. You have no right to do that.)

Or. …

You can see the lack of merit in giving up on a roller coaster just because it's taken a dip. You can do what Phillips is doing – what he must do – by continuing to focus on the goal. Phillips said he feels his team will use the bye to get healthy (physically and maybe mentally, too) and "come back strong." When the Cowboys start up again, quarterback Tony Romo (broken finger) will be back. Cornerback Terence Newman (sports hernia) will be back. Left guard Kyle Kosier (knee) will be back. Soon after that, rookie running back/kick returner Felix Jones (hamstring) should participate. New receiver Roy Williams will get more acclimated. Oh, and Johnson's been buried on the depth chart, down to No. 3, and that's only because he can't be positioned any lower.

The Cowboys CAN be the team they were in September when they started 3-0 and reinforced the nationally-held notion that they were football's best team.

Is it OK to rest? To practice Wednesday and Thursday but for players to take the rest of the week off? Naturally, given the roller-coaster dip, even that's being questioned. Again, Phillips' answer is calm and positive and, if you allow it to be, unifying.

"I've done that every bye week I've coached and done it with the other coaches (he's worked under)," Phillips said, maybe a little bit defensively. "(Denver's) Dan Reeves gave them a whole week off one time."

There is no denying reality. There are true problems here. But there are true solutions, too. The Cowboys we've seen in the last three losses are the same Cowboys we saw in those first three wins. They need better play and they need quality coaching and they can probably use every fan they can get right now.

There is stuff to yell about; I imagine as we watch these games we're all acting a little bit like Mike Singletary. The Cowboys have lost three of their last four games and in the NFC East they are pulling up the rear.

But if it's OK with y'all, I'd just as soon Wade Phillips not do anything with his rear.

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