Under normal circumstances, the decision would be easy for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: With his team badly underachieving with a 1-6 start, it’s a lock that Jones would be looking for a new coach after the season. Or even sooner.
Not so fast.
With the specter of a work stoppage looming in 2011, we’re told Jones is troubled by the idea of hiring a new head coach – as well as a new staff of assistants – only to have a lockout interrupt part or all of the season.
"You’re looking at paying millions of dollars to a new staff, and also paying millions to the old staff [of Phillips],” said a person familiar with Jones’ line of thinking. “I’m not sure Jerry’s inclined to do that.”
Asked if Jones was definitely ready to make a change with Phillips, who is signed through 2011, the source replied: “He is not.”
In fact, it’s a difficult situation for any team looking to make a coaching change for 2011. It could be a very expensive proposition, especially if there are no games and an owner winds up paying two staffs.
Jones said after yesterday's home loss to the Jaguars that he is not prepared to make an immediate change with Phillips, although there is speculation swirling today that Jones may have had a change of heart.
We'll see what happens, but regardless of the circumstances, Jones remains keenly aware of labor uncertainty factoring into his decision moving forward.