I think everyone had the same question regarding the Dallas Cowboys: How long can Jerry Jones continue to say that Wade Phillips will be the coach throughout the entire season. And we probably all had the same answers: I don’t know, but it certainly can’t last the entire season.
Well, Monday was the day. After a Sunday night drubbing by the Green Bay Packers in which it appeared the team quit, or perhaps never even showed up, Phillips was canned.
Jason Garrett, the offensive coordinator that many Cowboys’ fans hoped would be shown the door with Phillips, takes over in the interim and is now charged with trying to turn around a team that is a miserable 1-7.
Dallas linebacker Keith Brooking joined ESPN Radio in Dallas with Galloway and Company to discuss what he and Wade Phillips discussed after the coach was fired, taking the blame for the firing, why the Cowboys’ defense is so much worse than last year, Jerry Jones being flustered and how Jason Garrett might be able to help the team.
On what Wade said after he was fired:
“I don’t really feel like it’s appropriate to share any of that, to be honest with you. It’s a tough day for all of us. We cared for Wade. We know the type of man that he is and obviously your opinion is a little different than mine, as far as the type of football coach that he is. Probably the one thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that we let Wade down as players. He’s obviously the first one that’s being held accountable for our season and the way it’s gone, but more than anything, and just to keep it real with you, what everyone needs to realize is that, sooner or later, all of us will be held accountable for this season and what’s taking place on the field right now. … We’re all in this and we, as players, let Coach Phillips down, and that’s one of the reasons for what took place.”
On the blame being on the defense:
“I’ll tell you what, you know what? You know what you can do … you can put all of it on me. I’ll take all the blame for it. I’m man enough and I’ve taken a lot of blows through the years and fought through it. And you better believe I’ll fight through this. So, put it all on me. I’m a captain, I’m a leader of this team, the leader of the defense, so you can put it all on me. I’m fine with that.”
On what happened with the defense from this year to last year:
“I understand why, the reasons we collapsed. It’s pretty simple. I’ve said this before, there’s a lack of execution out there on the field. Now, the reasons we’re not executing, you can throw a lot of those out there, but we’re not going out there and executing the defense that’s called. … It’s the same defense, it’s the same calls, essentially the same players, minus one, out there on the field.”
On Jerry Jones being flustered:
“I guess it’s debatable whether or not we’re as good as everyone thought we were, if we’re as talented as everyone thought we were, but that’s not the point. That man, I’d be flustered, too. I wouldn’t know what to say right now. All that he does for this organization and what it means to him, people don’t have to listen to him talk for very long and you see his passion. What he spends, monetarily, getting players here. We have the highest payroll. He’s done everything in his power to put a winning team out there and it means a tremendous amount to him. I can’t imagine what he’s going through right now.”
On how Jason Garrett might be able to help the team:
“I think Jason is a guy that has an enormous amount of experience in this league. He’s been on championship teams, he’s had a lot of success, regardless of what’s happened this year. He’s had a lot of success as an offensive coordinator. I think that experience, that knowledge, being on some really good teams, some great teams, his experience as a player and a coach, he can bring a lot to our team.”