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Monday, January 4, 2010
Can Wade finally win in the playoffs?

By Tim MacMahon

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Wade Phillips knew the questions about his 0-4 career record in the playoffs were coming.

"Didn’t win in December or something," Phillips said, mocking the questions from last month. "Who knows? Gee. I just don’t believe in those things. I just think each team’s different and if you make a run and win them all, you’ve won a lot."

Hate to come across as a Wade apologist, but the man told us last month that past results weren't an indicator of future success and then the Cowboys proved him right. They have that opportunity again Saturday against the Eagles, which would end the franchise's 13-year postseason win drought.

"This team hasn't won in the playoffs," he said, "but they haven't lost in the playoffs."

It's not as if Phillips has failed to prepare his teams to compete in the playoffs. Three of the four losses have come by a touchdown or less.

The '99 Bills lost on the Music City Miracle, which Phillips will mutter about being an illegal forward pass until the day he dies. The Tennessee Titans used that game as a springboard to the Super Bowl.

The '07 Cowboys were upset by a New York Giants team that ended up winning the Super Bowl. Phillips was rightly ridiculed for his "best team lost" speech the next day, but the Cowboys win that game if Patrick Crayton makes an easy catch on third down or finishes his route on the final drive.

There is no comfort in a close playoff loss, but it's foolish to draw the conclusion that Phillips can't win in the playoffs just because he hasn't done it yet.