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The natives are restless in Big D.
After losing three out of their last four games, the Dallas Cowboy players aren’t the only ones pointing fingers and pushing the panic button on their season. Their fans are growing increasing unhappy with the underperformance of a team which featured no less than 11 Pro Bowlers last year. Fair or not, a good deal of their venom is directed toward head coach Wade Phillips. Their collective voices are crying out for one man to save them:
Of course, every team with a head coaching vacancy, and even a few without one, set their sights on Coach Cowher. Two years ago, the Giants stumbled down the stretch but managed to squeak into the playoffs where they got dumped by the Philadelphia Eagles. The next day, the New York Post ran the headline “We Want Bill.” Last year, the hot rumor was Romeo Crennel was on his way out and Cowher was going to be installed as head coach and G.M. of the Cleveland Browns. But they had a surprisingly strong season and Romeo received a contract extension instead, although the way this year is going that might not last.
Everybody wants Bill Cowher. Why shouldn’t they? In 15 years here in Pittsburgh, he only missed the playoffs five times. He’s won 150 games and is in the top five of all time with a 62% win percentage. Not to mention the two Super Bowl appearances and one victory. When retreads who never accomplished anything like Denny Green keep getting shot after shot, it’s pretty obvious why Bill would be the most highly sought after coach in decades.
So I can’t blame Dallas for wanting him. But I can tell them it isn’t going to happen.
Cowher left Pittsburgh for two reasons: burn-out and money. Some people think it’s just the latter but that’s not true. Jerome Bettis called Cowher’s retirement the season before because he had confessed to the Bus that after the Super Bowl he was tired and wanted to spend time with his family. This was before contract extension talks had began with the Steelers so money was not an issue. It did become a problem after the season when it became clear that his desire to be the highest paid coach in the NFL wasn’t going to happen in Pittsburgh.
Dallas owner Jerry Jones only lure to snag Cowher would be money. Big giant piles of it. If getting the fattest paycheck he can is Bill’s only goal then Dallas could very well be in the running. But there is nothing to indicate that is the case. In fact, all evidence points to the opposite.
Prior to the 2007 season, Wayne Huizenga offered Bill Cowher basically the deal he gave Bill Parcells to coach and run the Miami Dolphins organization. Cowher turned him down, ostensibly because he wanted to spend time with his family. Being close to home is important to him, one reason why Washington, Carolina, and Atlanta were the jobs most frequently associated with him. Speaking of Atlanta, that brings us to this offseason. Falcons owner Arthur Blank offered Bill a blank check to take over that troubled franchise. Again, he turned them down. The Redskins also had a coaching vacancy and you better believe Danny Snyder would’ve opened his wallet for Bill if given the opportunity. Obviously if money were the issue, Cowher has had ample chances to, as the kids say, make the chedda.
Which brings us to the main reason why you won’t see The Chin roaming the field in the Lone Star state. Control. Bill Cowher is as headstrong a coach as you’ll find. He’s extremely demanding and extremely controlling. He’s far more Bill Parcells than Wade Phillips and everybody knows Parcells got fed up and left. If you want a caretaker to just make in-game decisions, then Cowher is not your guy.
Director of Player Personnel Tom Donohoe was run out of town because he butted heads with Coach Cowher. In Cowher’s first training camp, Huey Richardson, who had been the 15th overall pick in the NFL Draft the previous season, demonstrated a total lack of football ability so Cowher cut him. One of the big issues during his last couple seasons was the increased authority of Dan Rooney’s son, Art III, in the organization. Where Dan leaves the team to his coaches, Art III is supposedly more involved which rubbed Bill the wrong way. In his farewell press conference, the heat between them was obvious as he specifically praised working with Dan but ignored Art, who was standing right next to him.
For this reason alone, I can’t possibly see how he’d get along with the Cowboys’ obnoxious overbearing doofus of an owner. If anybody missed HBO’s “Hard Knocks” show this year, I’ll give you a quick synopsis: Jerry Jones evaluating players. Jerry Jones making draft decisions. Jerry Jones at training camp. Jerry Jones meeting with coaches to discuss game plans. Jerry Jones giving his players motivational speeches in the locker room. See the problem yet?
Not to mention, Cowher likes blue collar hard edge football players. He hates prima donnas and crybabies. Before the AFC Championship game where San Diego upset the heavily favored Steelers, a bunch of players planned out a Super Bowl Shuffle type video. When we lost because we took our eye off the ball, Cowher was very upset with the players to the point he ran the ringleader of the video, Brentson Buckner, off the team. Wonder how he’d react to Tony Romo taking his bimbo to Cabo? One reason why they made no effort to retain Plaxico Burress was because Cowher had enough of his big mouth, criminal antics, and tendency to miss games over every broken fingernail. I’m sure he’d love T.O.
If Bill Cowher returns to the NFL, it’ll be in a situation similar to Mike Holmgren in Seattle. Total control over a team without any meddlesome input from an owner. And that will not happen in Dallas. So, sorry Cowboy fans, but NO BILL FOR YOU!