As you’ve probably heard, Jerry Jones of the Cowboys fired Wade Phillips after having said that he would not fire him during the season. Presumably, putting in a new coach should invigorate the team and get a better effort out of the second half of the season. I don’t put much weight in the idea that changing coaches can change your team, but first let’s take a look at the power rankings to see how Dallas has done this year:
Currently, Dallas is 24th in the league. This takes the whole season into account, so it’s possible they would be worse if you looked at their more recent games alone. If you look through my rankings throughout the season, however, you see that Dallas has never been higher than 13th. So Dallas has never been much more than average. Interestingly, in the past few games Dallas’ problems have been on defense, not offense. Losing Romo has hurt them, but the real issue has been that they’ve just been rocked by the Giants, Jaguars, and Packers.
So if Dallas had been playing around average, they should be 4-4 instead of 1-7, right? Let’s try the season record predictions.
Given Dallas’ performance so far and their schedule, Dallas has been expected to win 3 games. They’ve only won one, so they have been underperforming, or unlucky. Going forward, Dallas should win three more games. So if you take the first half versus the second half of the season, Dallas should perform about the same. If their luck catches up and they do win three games, Jerry Jones (and others) might think that he made the right choice and switching to Jason Garrett helped. But I don’t think that will be the case; Dallas should win 3 games given what they’ve done so far on Wade Phillip’s watch. Given that Dallas still has games against the Giants, Saints, Colts, and Philly twice, Dallas fans will likely have to put up with some more disappointment before the season is over. If they also manage to do poorly against Detroit, Washington, and Arizona, it’s going to be hard to argue at all that this was all Wade’s fault.