“This season is about one thing: Win a Super Bowl. Win.” This quote is heard in the opening lines of the Dallas Cowboys season of the NFL’s training camp series, Hard Knocks, which aired in 2008. For the Dallas Cowboys, the message at the beginning of each season is clear: anything less than a Super Bowl win would be considered a failure. And so it’s no surprise that head coach Wade Phillips got the axe today after the Cowboys stumbled to a 1-7 start this season. For a team that was considered a preseason Super Bowl favorite, a 4-4 record would have been unacceptable, let alone their 1-7 standing.
Phillips’ firing comes on the heels of an embarrassing 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers, but the final death knell for the Cowboys’ season came two weeks ago when Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo was sidelined for the season after he took a vicious hit in a game against the rival New York Giants. At that point, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones assured the media that Phillips’ job was safe through the end of the year, but for a team that demands only the best, and refuses to tolerate mediocrity, it was only a matter of time before Wade Phillips was shown the door. — Michael Rosenblum for Hulu