After last night’s 45-7 blowout loss at the hands of the Green Bay Packers, it couldn’t have been more clear that the Dallas Cowboys (1-7) needed to make changes.
The assumptions became reality Monday afternoon when the Cowboys fired head coach Wade Phillips – and replaced him with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, sources informed Chris Mortensen and Ed Werder of ESPN.
The signs were there last night during the Cowboys’ post-game press conference. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones was asked to address the reason for the team’s problems. “I can’t put my finger on it because I don’t have enough fingers,” Jones said.
Now that the Cowboys have made what many deemed a necessary move – what else will change for Dallas throughout the rest of the season (and into the offseason)? Those answers remain to be seen. But many critics will be quick to point out that Garrett himself likely will remain on the chopping block as the season winds down. The Dallas offense itself has been frequently criticized – even though statistically – the numbers are there.
Around the rest of the National Football League, the first warning flag has been raised. The question now is, “Who is next?”
Here are six NFL head coaches who could face a similar fate:
Norv Turner (San Diego Chargers)
The Chargers (4-5) are within striking distance of the division lead – and have suffered a number of key injuries throughout the first half. But this is a team that many consider to be a Super Bowl contender. Turner has failed to get this team to the top of the mountain. Injuries or not, another failure in San Diego could mean a change is coming.
Brad Childress (Minnesota Vikings)
The Vikings (3-5) have been a soap opera, starting with the Favre news on and off the field. Recently, it was a tiff between Percy Harvin and Childress. Then, there’s the Randy Moss fiasco, where Childress himself failed to inform owner Zygi Wilf about his plan to cut the much maligned receiver. Childress’ tenure in Minnesota is hanging by a thread. With all the weapons on both sides of the ball, the Vikings should be playing much better football. Meanwhile, Brett Favre – who has clashed with Childress numerous times in the past – may have saved the head coach’s job with a 4th-quarter comeback against the Cardinals on Sunday.
Gary Kubiak (Houston Texans)
The Texans (4-4) have been a franchise waiting to breakthrough for a few seasons. Enough positive signs were present that Kubiak signed an extension through 2012. But after an emotional Week 1 win over the Colts, the Texans have faltered. Another tough loss over the weekend to an injury-depleted San Diego team, and it’s possible that Houston might consider looking in another direction. After all, with talented players like Mario Williams, Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster – this should be a playoff team.
Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals)
After a successful 2009 campaign, there was plenty of hype in Cincinnati. Question marks also loomed due to a difficult schedule (among other reasons). For a team with an offense featuring Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco, Cedric Benson, Terrell Owens and Jermaine Gresham – the expectations for the Bengals (2-5) are very high. After months of contract discussions – but no extension signed – the more this team struggles, the more Marvin’s future is in doubt.
Mike Singletary (San Francisco 49ers)
The shortcomings of the 49ers (2-6) – a team that was picked by many to win its division – have been widespread throughout the first half. The drama between Singletary and franchise quarterback Alex Smith became more noticeable as the season went on. But an injury to Alex Smith led the way for Troy Smith. Still, the issues in San Francisco still very much exist. That could mean the head coach’s job for a once proud franchise that has struggled for years.
Josh McDaniels (Denver Broncos)
The possibility of a McDaniels departure would have been hard to imagine at this point last season, what with the Broncos opening the year 6-0. But since that point last year, Denver is 4-14 – including 2-6 this season. Also during this stretch, Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall moved on to different teams. Let’s not forget the controversial and aggressive trades during the first round of the NFL Draft. Perhaps worst of all, the Broncos gave up 59 points in a blowout loss to the rival Raiders a few weeks ago.