Commentary

Ultimate Standings 2009: No. 76

Dallas Cowboys

Updated: July 1, 2009, 12:03 PM ET
By Eddie Matz | ESPN The Magazine

Last Year's Rank: 46
Title Track: 31
Ownership: 67
Coaching: 113
Players: 87
Fan Relations: 110
Affordability: 107
Stadium Experience: 43
Bang for the Buck: 31

Cowboys fans saddled their squad with a 30-spot free fall, fifth largest among NFL teams. The blame starts with head coach Wade Phillips. Following an embarrassing 34-14 loss to the Rams in Week 7, the former defensive coordinator took over the reins to Big D's D. His charges then missed the postseason after allowing 77 points in the final two games. Not like it would've mattered if the team had reached the post-season. Among coaches who've helmed 100-plus games, Phillips has the highest regular-season winning percentage (.588) of all who have never won a playoff game (he's 0–4). Having the league's sixth-most expensive tickets doesn't help (average cost in 2008: $84.12), especially considering that all five teams that rank higher (Pats, Bucs, Bears, Giants, Jets) have frozen prices for 2009, while Boys fans face a 6.7% bump. It's not the kind of hike football fans in Dallas want to see.