There are a lot of things Jerry Jones can tolerate. Getting embarrassed in front of a national-television audience isn't one of them.
Jones had to fire coach Wade Phillips Monday. He had no choice. What message does he send to his players, his staff, his city and, most importantly, his luxury-seat buyers if he allows Phillips to stay?
That gross, disgusting football, which included players quitting and shying away from plays like Randy Moss does, can be tolerated?
Jones isn't known to fire coaches in the middle of a season. And truth be known, this firing won't save the Cowboys' season. Not when they are 1-7.
What it does is show that, unlike some of his players, Jones cares.
In fact, I think he cares too much sometimes.
Jones is an owner who also happens to make football decisions. Some will say he's in over his head and that he should just stick to business. I beg to differ.
His roster has talent.
His coach just didn't put it to use.
Phillips is one of the nicest men in football. But that doesn't mean he is the right man to lead the Cowboys.
More than ever, I think players in the NFL need a stern hand to guide them. Given a chance, some will always take the easy way out.
The inmates take over the prison when the warden doesn't yield a strong hand. If they fear him, they usually do what they're told.
In Dallas, the inmates were running things. That leads to a lack of discipline. That leads to mistakes.
That's the coaching.
It's one thing to have a season go rotten, but to quit on plays and pull off of tackles is an indictment of the staff.
I've seen some really bad football teams play hard to the end. The Cowboys weren't doing that the past couple of weeks.
If there is anything an owner won't tolerate, it's seeing a team tanking it.
It's hard to believe this is the same group that I saw in San Antonio this summer. But I remember thinking that even with the talent they had, the one thing that could undo the Cowboys was the coaching.
An iron fist was needed and all Phillips gave them hand softer than you'd get from was baby's touch.
Once it started going bad, there was nothing he could do. It's like a parent who lets his kids run wild in the restaurant, annoying every diner in site, and then one day that parent decides to change things.
Phillips was that parent.
Jason Garrett, the offensive coordinator who hasn't exactly done a bang-up job either, now takes over.
It's almost certainly a temporary thing. Expect Jones to look for a stricter hand from the next coach he hires, especially getting embarrassed the way he did Sunday night.
Jones is a smart man. But it's tough to look that way after you've basically had your pants pulled down in front of millions of people.