JERRY JONES GIVES “TONGUE LASHING” TO TEAM
After Sunday’s 34-14 loss to the Rams, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gave his team a “tongue lashing,” according to ESPN’s Ed Werder. That said, Jones says that coach Wade Phillips is safe. Jones had questions about intensity and effort levels, which Werder interprets as a belief by Jones that the team quit. Apparently, the Cowboys thought they would just show up and beat the Rams, even though the Rams showed up (Emmitt asks, “Isn’t it shew up?”) and beat the Redskins a week before. “I actually had a bad case of taking it for granted that we were going to do better than this,” Jones said after the game. “And you can’t do that.” In our view, it all goes back to accountability. As noted a couple of weeks ago, the players don’t fear Phillips. Under Bill Parcells, the Cowboys dreaded film session after a loss (and they probably were still tentative to attend even after a win). Under Phillips, they simply aren’t afraid of it. Our take? That 13-3 record from a year ago in Phillips’ first season was aided by the fumes of the Tuna, and by a desire by the players to show Parcells they could excel without their uncompromising taskmaster. Nearly two years after Parcells’ departure, the motivation isn’t there -- and Phillips isn’t able to provide enough of it on his own. UPDATE: A commenter has pointed out a separate postgame quote from Jones, but we can’t tell whether Jones is referring to something bad, or something good. “I’ve had all the fire knocked out of my butt tonight,” he said.