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Super Bowl or bust for Phillips

Unless the Cowboys make it to the Super Bowl, don't expect to see head coach Wade Phillips back in Dallas next season. Granted, that's merely an opinion based on equal parts science, a half deck of tarot cards and a healthy addiction to the Cowboys beat guys on ESPNDallas.com, but surely I'm not alone here.

Like many of you, I was amazed to see the Hank Hill of head-coachin' keep his job following last year's disappointing outcome, which of course was perfectly accentuated by a world class stinker in Philly. How Jerry Jones was able to restrain from pulling out his giant pink slip notepad after that punctuating mess will forever be a mystery the likes of Bigfoot in this region.

So what we've been left with this season appears to be big, ole sideline cat living out what has to be Life #9 as "Owner Jerry" watches on with what certainly must be Super Bowl-or-Bust expectations. Even after a fairly impressive 6-3 start Jones has, so far, opted not to pick up next year's option on his current Head Coach. I see that as progress.

This week, the high-powered media microscope that always accompanies the loss of a game that was predetermined by the masses to be one for the win column has revealed a potentially damning crack in Fort Phillips. Is he the head coach, or just the defensive coordinator? If he thinks offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has misplaced his laminated running play chart, is he allowed to speak up? Is there anyone at the wheel of this Titanic, or are both units completely independent of one another? With a very unfriendly post-November schedule and the ghosts of past Decembers closing in, can anyone in the Cowboys organization display the leadership it will take to keep this thing from ramming into another season-ending iceberg?

Ahem...ah, the special teams coach?

Jerry was late to the party when it came to realizing that chemistry matters in the locker room. But once he got that memo, cancerous elements such as T.O., Pacman, and Tank were jettisoned in short order. Is Jerry now finally realizing that having a teaspoon of leadership on the coaching staff might actually be beneficial as well? His on-the-money comments with respect to the greatness of special teams Jedi Joe DeCamillis appear to indicate exactly that.

If Jerry's recent history of getting hip to the game on a calendar-year delay is any indication, Wade Phillips' Valley Ranch days may indeed be numbered. The only thing he can do at this point to change his fate... is win.