After a 1-7 start to a season with high expectations and Super Bowl XLV coming to Dallas, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has fired head coach Wade Phillips this afternoon, according to ESPN. Sources reporting to ESPN say that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will take over, ending recent rumors and speculation that Phillips' tenure was coming to an end.
Jones has never fired a head coach in the middle of the season, and was recently adamant about keeping Phillips. The final straw came in the Cowboys' Sunday night embarrassment to the Green Bay Packers, losing their fifth game in a row by the final count of 45-7. After the game, Jones spoke to the press and delivered a harbinger of what was to come Monday, expressing that certain players and coaches would "suffer" for the team's poor play.
Phillips finishes his career in Dallas with a 35-23 record and two NFC East titles. He also coached the Cowboys to their first playoff victory since 1996 in last year's Wild Card round against the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite signing a two-year extension, Phillips' laid-back coaching style was heavily criticized; the defensive-minded coach could not put it together on that side of the ball this season. Dallas has been outscored 179-107 in its current five-game slide.