IRVING, Texas – Players tell us that Wade Phillips often delivers a tougher message behind closed doors than he does while sitting in front of microphones.
Let’s hope that’s the case with LT Flozell Adams.
Adams put himself in the NFL’s crosshairs with a blatant cheap shot on New York Giants DE Justin Tuck, earning a $50,000 fine. That brings Adams’ fine total to $75,000 for five infractions this season. He was fortunate to avoid a suspension for shoving Tuck in the back and sparking a mini-melee after the first half ended.
Phillips told his team to avoid such stupidity before they traveled to Giants Stadium. He noted the history of nastiness in the Cowboys’ rivalry with their NFC East rivals and stressed the importance of avoiding personal fouls. That Adams' "dirtbag" moment, to borrow Tuck’s word, didn’t cost the Cowboys 15 yards due to a loophole in the rulebook is beyond the point. The longest-tenured current Cowboy did exactly what Phillips told his team not to do, putting a personal grudge above the good of the team.
Yet Phillips has been gentle with his public comments about the situation. He even made a point of mentioning that Adams could appeal the fine.
"I think he worries about playing the game and playing it well," Phillips said. "In my opinion, he’s not a vicious player."
The message in Phillips’ meeting with Adams better have been much more stern. Further stupidity from Adams could cost the Cowboys a playoff spot -- and Phillips his job.