Wade Phillips is a ridiculous choice for the head coach of the Cowboys. I think we can all agree on that. But based on reactions around the nation, it seems as if people are taking Jerry Jones to task for making an incompetent choice. Look, Phillips will probably fail spectacularly, but Jones is not blind to that fact. He didn't misguidedly make the wrong choice; Jones is a shrewd guy who knows what he's doing. He hired Phillips BECAUSE he'd fail. Which is probably worse.
To put it bluntly, Jones is sacrificing the short-term fortune of the Cowboys so that he can plug Jason Garrett in as head coach in a couple of years. Stories of Jones' infatuation with Garrett have been abundant since Troy Aikman's former backup interviewed with the Cowboys at the beginning of the offseason. Jones hired him to run the Cowboys offense before hiring a head coach. That, off the bat, was a sign of where the owner's loyalties lie. He couldn't justify hiring Garrett to head the team without any coordinator experience, but he knew that Garrett would eventually be his guy. That being the case, now would be a bad time to hire a coach with potential for success; it would just delay Garrett's promotion and give him a shot to coach elsewhere.
The sad thing is that Phillips took the job, knowing full well that this is the case. The offense will be run by Garrett, Jones will hold complete control over the personnel decisions, and Phillips will inherit a defense that will remain static (he was hired BECAUSE of this fact). He is, essentially, a glorified defensive coordinator. The other side of the coin is that, hey, maybe this is what Phillips wants. He gets to call himself a head coach again without the pressure of having to actually manage the entire team. He is one of those guys that's better as a coordinator. But it sucks for the players, who are being sold-out short term for the potential of a long-term reward.
I hate prognistication (again, I learned my lesson after the debacle that was last summer's team previews), but I'm almost positive the Cowboys are one team that we don't have to worry about as an NFC threat next year. And if Jones' instincts are wrong and Garrett fails as a coach, it could put a permanent blemish on his stint with the Cowboys. He's taking the big risk, we'll have to wait to see if it pays off.