In a move that makes little sense, Jerry Jones has given his head coach Wade Phillips an extension — of one year.
I don’t know how this strikes most other sports fans in the world, but this is exactly what the move says to me: Jones had really planned on firing Phillips after the season, but pressure from fans, players and even the media compelled him to make a halfhearted offer.
The deal appears to tack just one year on the end of his contract for little more than what he makes now. What he makes now is the same or just slightly more than his assistant coach, Jason Garrett, who at one time appeared to be the incumbent for the job.
Now that Phillips has an extension, what is Jones going to do with his $3 million future coach whose contract is scheduled to run out at the end of next season? In order to keep Garrett as the coach-in-waiting, Jones would need to extend his contract as well; a move that makes little sense fiscally or when considering the chemistry of the team.
Jones is going to fire Phillips if he does not win another playoff game next year. He has an offensive coordinator who is getting paid more than any other assistant in the NFL by a million dollars; he has a big, beautiful, youthful stadium; and he will want a youthful coach to run the team.
I could be completely wrong in all of this — this could work out for the best. But don’t forget Jerry Jones fired, most unceremoniously, I might add, the most beloved coach in Cowboy history, Tom Landry, and was so controlling he drove Jimmy Johnson, a two-time Super Bowl winner, to quit.