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Jones: Labor could limit coaching changes

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Need another reason to root against a lockout? It could save Wade Phillips' job.

Jerry Jones was asked specifically Thursday whether the uncertain labor situation would affect his decision on whether to fire Phillips. Jones, whose 1-5 team was considered a preseason Super Bowl contender, answered in broad terms.

“I haven’t changed head coaches during the season,” Jones said. “I wouldn't try to or weigh how that impacts decisions, but certainly you aren't going to see a lot of coaching changes as we go into next year.”

When asked for clarification, Jones didn’t go into any more detail.

“I mean just what I said,'' Jones said. “As we go into next year, I don't see a lot of coaching changes. Period.

“That's about it. I'm not going to go into why. I'm just saying that I don't see that you're going to see a lot of that.”

There are two reasons why it makes sense for owners to be cautious changing coaches this offseason.

The first reason is purely financial. Coaches under contract will still be paid next year, regardless of whether there is an NFL season. Phillips signed a new two-year deal after last season.

The second reason is due to the challenges new coaches would have if there is a lockout. There is a distinct possibility that organized team activities, minicamps and perhaps even training camps will be cancelled or shortened. Those are the times when new coaches implement their schemes and philosophies.

And those appear to be the only two reasons why Jones would even consider not firing Phillips.