I was doing some research on Chan Gailey and saw that he was the HC for the Dallas Cowboys for 2 years with a decent record; 2 playoff appearances. Why did he leave Dallas? Was he fired? If so, seems like he got a raw deal only after 2 years.
He does have a pretty good record as a HC (91-58-1) and has plenty of experience. None of the candidates really excite me but I could live with Gailey.
Two words, in my opinion and according to what the Dallas media uncovered at the time: Troy Aikman.
Gailey had brought the franchise back to respectability and really instilled an attention to detail when he came in '98. His offense was working like gangbusters the majority of that season, and they won the division w/ a 10-6 record and 8-0 NFC East record, but did have a bad playoff loss against the Cards.
'99 is when the bottom fell out for Gailey, mainly due to injuries. They'd signed James McKnight as a FA to be the 3rd receiver behind Irvin and Raghib Ismail, and then he tore up his knee in the first intra-squad scrimmage of camp. Then Irvin went down for his career in Week 4, when the 'Boys were on the way to a 4-0 record to start the year. After that, it was Mills, Wane McGarity, and '98 starter Billy Davis that also got the injury bug. By the end of the season, he was down to an exhausted and beat-up Ismail and an undrafted rookie named Jason Tucker manning the WR position.
Emmitt still had a great season in '99, but Gailey's playcalling was severely hamstrung by the receiver injuries. Aikman apparently allowed his frustration with the injuries and the consquently conservative gameplans to get the best of him, and the word from multiple sources was he went to Jerry Jones and convinced him the team needed a return to the days of the Turner/Zampese systems that of course Aikman preferred.
Jones gave Gailey an ultimatum: hire an OC and change systems or get out of here. Gailey stood up to Jerry and said he wouldn't compromise his offensive system and philosophies, and out the door he went.