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Wade Phillips Fired; Jason Garrett Promoted - But Could Rooney Rule Affect His Job Status?

As everyone visiting this site should know, the Dallas Cowboys fired Wade Phillips today, promoting Jason Garrett into the role as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

While the interim tag could be removed if Garrett is able to prove himself over the remainder of the season, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reports that the NFL’s “Rooney Rule” could cause problems for the Cowboys this offseason. The Rooney Rule, for those unaware, was established in 2003 and requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operations opportunities.

Florio notes that “if Jason Garrett is given too strong of a wink-nod that he’ll be the guy in 2011, it will be harder to attract at least one minority candidate to interview for the job.”

Meanwhile, none of the names that have hit the radar screen — John Fox, Jon Gruden, Jeff Fisher, Bill Cowher, Mike Holmgren — would permit compliance with the Rooney Rule. If it appears that he has zeroed in on a non-minority candidate before he has interviewed a minority candidate, there’s a chance that no minority candidates will agree to interview for the job.

It will be interesting to see if Garrett is able to prove himself over the course of the rest of the season or if Florio is on to something once the offseason comes around.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.