After one of the worst starts in team history the Dallas Cowboys fired Wade Phillips as Head Coach one year after he signs a two year extension on his contract. Phillips who’s father was Bum Phillips who once remarked of Houston running back Earl Campbell: ” Campbell may not be in a class all by himself, but it sure don’t take long to call roll…” Well his son Wade wasn’t in a class all by himself he was another in a long line of White Head Coaches that the Dallas Cowboys have had. I say its time for a Black Coach for America’s Team. We have a Black President so why not?
The issue is to do it right and that means Cowboy’s Owner Jerry Jones needs to get on the phone immediately[ if not sooner] and call up Tony Dungy no, not to come out of retirement but to evaluate Black Coaches who the other twenty-two teams for one reason or another[all to do with the fact that they are Black] passed on. Many would say but that’s Racist you can’t pro-actively seek out a Black Coach in order to get a great Coach that all the other Racist Owners passed on? My answer to that is why not? If the object is to win and the object is to get the best Coach then who better then someone who was passed over because he was Black?
I’m reminded of how former President George W. Bush won the 2001 election with 4% more votes then former Vice President Al Gore. Astute White Democrats knew that Blacks comprise 4% of the American electorate. They also knew that 14% of African Americans voted for Bush. The general idea was to find someone Black who they could run in the Primaries against Hillary Clinton who they knew wouldn’t have a chance in hell of winning but Blacks would see that Democrats had ran a competent and credible Black Candidate and that 4% of the Black vote would be in the pockets of the Democrats in 2008. People got to know Barack Obama and decided to elect him as the 44th President of the United States. He got 95% of the Black vote.
Brought in because he was Black, sought out because he was Black and because Racists and White Supremacists had slept on Colin Powell and Condolezza Rice exceptional talent had been wasted. There is no question in my mind if the Democrats had set out for the best candidate regardless of Race that they would have overlooked the lanky Jr. Senator from Chicago but when Black became the starting point then the choice was easy and obvious.
The reason I’d have Tony Dungy find the Cowboys a Black Head Coach is because he’s Black for one so he won’t have that Racial bias that Whites would have that would lead them to seek out White stereotypes of Blacks that would make evaluating a Black Coach difficult. Dungy would be able to objectively evaluate a good fit. Also Dungy did an excellent job in finding his own replacement in Jim Caldwell. The Colts under Caldwell haven’t missed a beat they rest atop the AFC South and as such look poised to return to the playoffs and possibly the Super Bowl for the second year in a row under Caldwell. Can you really argue against success?
The Rooney Rule named after former Pittsburgh Steeler Owner Art Rooney was instituted in 2003 as a mechanism to increase minority representation among Coaches in the NFL. Its a program that Racists hate but its been effective because many of these Owners have never set across from anyone Black in their entire lives and have no idea how far Blacks have advanced since the 1800’s. I’m serious for many of these Owners meeting these Brothers is an eye opener. And there simply is no other way to dispel the stereotypes then by forcing these meetings.
Imagine the precedent? Say Tony Dungy were to recommend a Black Coach and he’s hired and does as well as Caldwell did or Lovie Smith has done in Chicago or Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh then teams that have a real desire to win who know that there are all kinda’ Black Coach’s out there being over looked for no good reason but their Race will be clamoring to acquire a Dungy protege’ like they rush to the Big Ten to find a quarterback.
Finally, remember the reason the Dallas Cowboys became America’s Team in the first place. Dallas was the team that would take a young Bullet Bob Hayes who may not have had the most traditional background, may of had a little trouble with the law maybe not the best education etc. and put the number 22 on em’ and let em fly.
I went to college with Vince Albritton at the University of Washington and we used to cut our hair in the Hub which is the little hang out we used to call it Conversation 101. Vince was devastated after his senior year because not one of the 28 teams drafted him after having a decent career at the UW as a linebacker on a Rose Bowl winning team and share of the National Championship. Vince tells me, “You know the Cowboys invited me to their try out camp and it was weird because I was bigger then everyone else there” . Vince Albritton was the starting linebacker for the Cowboys for seven years and is regarded as one of the more solid linebackers of his era. Its time for that spirit of giving the Brothers a chance to be applied to their vacant Head Coaching position.
Theron K. Cal is a Writer and a Commentator living in Los Angeles