Unoriginal observations follow:
(1) The team is poorly prepared and undisciplined. This is on Phillips and Garrett.
(2) The game-day employment of offensive talent is inexplicable. This is on Garrett, and, if Phillips is the actual head coach, also on him.
(3) The team is psychologically fragile and doesn’t handle gameday adversity well. This is also on Phillips and Garrett.
(4) What’s the problem? Players don’t pay a price in practice or otherwise for mistakes, poor play, and failure of discipline.
(5) Why not? Neither coach is strong or authoritative.
(6) Isn’t it also on the players? Not much. The Cowboys are widely acknowledged to have excellent talent at most positions, including all the skill positions. I agree. It would be extraordinary, however, if even this excellent talent chose to play to expectations that their own coaches either don’t hold or don’t enforce. If that’s the way team sports worked, great coaching wouldn’t be a significant factor in success. But we know that it is, so we should not expect even great players to perform beyond their bosses’ requirements.
(7) Why don’t we have strong authoritative coaches? Jerry Jones doesn’t want a strong authoritative coach.
(8) You said coaches, then you said coach. That’s another thing. Jones’s strategy of putting Garrett in place before hiring a weak nominal head coach guarantees no single day-to-day boss of the team, internal second-guessing, and Jerry as the CEO of the play on the field.
(9) Why doesn’t Jones want strong authoritative coaches? Because Jerry Jones is in love with his picks and acquisitions, is in love with owning jocks, and wants to hobnob with them and be their benevolent pal. He wants them to love him, too, and thus does not want the Cowboy experience to be unpleasant for them.
(10) Is that all? No, he also fancies himself a football savant qualified to direct onfield operations.
(11) Sounds hopeless. Oh, quite. We’re talking Little Big Horn here. The Cowboys will not win another championship during Jerry Jones’s tenure as shot-caller. Since Jones, Phillips, and Garrett aren’t going anywhere this year absent the return of Jeebus, there is only one other possibility, which leads to . . .
An original observation, to the best of my knowledge:
Since the Cowboys will not succeed with the Ghidorah-headed monster running the show, the only solution is for control of the team to be taken from them for the balance of the season.
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster [Jones, Phillips, Garrett], battling Godzilla. Ghidorah lost, too.
Romo and Gurode on offense, and Ware and Brooking on defense, should stage what would amount to a revolt, taking charge of all practices, if not the entire game preparation. Of course they would need the coaching staff’s intelligence on scouting the opposition for the week, but other than that, these guys should begin exerting much, much more onfield leadership on gameday and between. They would have to abandon any pretense at being nice guys and take charge of discipline, calling guys out, sitting guys down. I can’t imagine Romo could call a worse game on offense than Garrett. (I don’t know how he’d get the personnel he wanted on the field. Details, details.) They would tell the press the truth. They would risk fines.
Would Phillips bench them? Are you kidding?
No chance? Probably. Do the players I've identified have the inner strength to revolt? Dunno, probably not. (Lack of fire is a separate problem.) But if the players with some kind of credibility with their teammates – and I still count Romo among those who do, although not everyone would agree – push back against the listless and feckless coaching staff, then maybe, at a minimum, this thing could get all blowed up and exposed sooner rather than later.