Saturday, November 28, 2015

Stewart's firing in Dallas

As you've probably seen by now, several media outlets are reporting that the Eagles are going to add former Cowboys defensive coordinator Brian Stewart to their staff.

Stewart's firing in Dallas


As you've probably seen by now, several media outlets are reporting that the Eagles are going to add former Cowboys defensive coordinator Brian Stewart to their staff.

From what we can tell, the story was originally broken by WFAA-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth.

When I heard the news, I remembered there was some controversy surrounding Stewart's firing in Dallas, with some suggesting Wade Phillips made him the scapegoat for an underachieving Cowboys team.

So I dug up some of the stuff that was written when Phillips fired Stewart after Dallas' season ended without a playoff berth last season.

Dallas Morning-News columnist Jean Jacques-Taylor wrote back in March that Phillips lost credibility with players when he fired Stewart:

He also lost the respect of some players when he let former defensive coordinator Brian Stewart, the only coach he brought with him from San Diego, take the brunt of the criticism for a string of poor defensive performances and stripped him of his play-calling duties after six games. Later, Phillips took credit for the team's defensive resurgence before its December meltdown. Just so you know, Stewart viewed Phillips as a mentor and father figure. That's not how you treat family. And it's certainly not how you display loyalty. Now, Phillips will vehemently disagree. He'll say a change had to be made. Whatever. This isn't about firing Stewart. That happens in sports. It's not personal. The criticism comes from betraying a friend. Players and assistant coaches aren't blind. They must wonder if Phillips did that to Stewart, his most loyal ally, then what is he capable of doing to others.

Meanwhile, Calvin Watkins (then with The Dallas Morning-News) wrote that Stewart had a shaky relationship with players:

Several players noted that Stewart tried to be their father or brother rather than just be a coach. As the season wore on, several players were pleased with how the defense was moving, when Wade Phillips took over. Stewart was hired to teach Phillips' 3-4 defense to the Cowboys, yet several players went over his head to Phillips and even to Jerry Jones, to complain about how things were being run. It's a shame because Stewart is a good guy, but couldn't command the troops on a consistent basis.

Despite his criticism of Stewart, Watkins wrote that Phillips "threw his guy under the bus."

Jennifer Floyd-Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote that Stewart was the scapegoat.

Randy Galloway of the Star-Telegram agreed that Phillips took credit for the defense after it started playing well last season:

He suddenly broke the news he was calling defensive signals (not the since-fired Brian Stewart) after the Cowboys had played better on defense. And then didn’t have Stewart to blame for defensive embarrassment against the Ravens and Eagles.

As you can see, it was a pretty juicy separation between the Cowboys and Stewart, to say the least.

From the Eagles' perspective, it would seem like a smart move to bring in a guy who knows the Cowboys' system. It'll be interesting to see what Stewart has to say about Dallas once he is officially introduced, which, according to the reports, is expected to be some time this week.


Meanwhile, Jeremy Maclin took in the Phillies' win over the Nationals on Saturday as a guest of Ryan Howard. The two Philly athletes share Missouri roots and met for the first time yesterday.

"It was basically like a St. Louis connection thing," Maclin told Comcast SportsNet. "Obviously I got drafted to the Eagles and I knew he was already up here. He was telling people he wanted to meet me. And obviously I wanted to meet him too. Today was actually our first meeting each other but we've texted back and forth a few times."

Maclin might be invited back to Citizens Bank Park real soon after Howard hit a pair of bombs, including a grand slam, in the Phils' 9-6 win.
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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for 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 or by clicking here

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