Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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New Eagles asst. a scapegoat in Dallas?

On Sunday, after news broke that the Eagles had added assistant Brian Stewart to the defensive staff, we took a look back at his firing in Dallas.

New Eagles asst. a scapegoat in Dallas?

New Eagles assistant coach Brian Stewart, left, chats with cornerback Joselio Hanson during a practice earlier this week. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
New Eagles assistant coach Brian Stewart, left, chats with cornerback Joselio Hanson during a practice earlier this week. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

On Sunday, after news broke that the Eagles had added assistant Brian Stewart to the defensive staff, we took a look back at his firing in Dallas.

Stewart was the defensive coordinator with the Cowboys, but had to give up play-calling duties in the middle of last season and was let go by Wade Phillips at the end of the year.

But did he deserve to get fired? In the earlier post, we cited several Dallas-area scribes who ripped into Phillips for making Stewart the scapegoat for an underachieving defense.

However, none of those columns delivered the kind of beatdown you can find in today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, courtesy of columnist Jennifer Floyd Engel.

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Engel slams Phillips and the Cowboys for making Stewart the scapegoat for Dallas missing out on the playoffs:

Can you believe those idiot Eagles? Hiring Brian Stewart this week as a "special assistant" on defense with speculation in Philly papers that he may be next in line? Apparently, word has not traveled that Stewart is in over his head. In coach Andy Reid’s defense, the Cowboys did not start circulating this "info" until Stewart was needed as a scapegoat for what again had been an underwhelming season. Suddenly, only then, did we learn Stewart was an idiot.

Engel argues that the Cowboys' players were the problem on defense. According to her column, Dallas had to get rid of someone after its disappointing season. It wasn't going to be Phillips. And it certainly wasn't going to be offensive coordinator Jason Garrett:

What sealed his fate, according to a source, was offensive coordinator Jason Garrett failing to get a job this off-season. Jerry [Jones] wanted change but knew he could not fire Wade and keep Jason so Stewart became the one to go, fired rather than say the head coach who was in charge of the defense.

There's much more, but I'll let you read the rest for yourselves. I saw comments when the Eagles hired Stewart questioning the move, and pointing to the struggles of the Cowboys' defense last season. But as Engel eloquently describes, there's another side to the story.

More later, including your reaction to my post yesterday about whether the Eagles need to add a veteran running back.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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