Monday, January 18, 2010
Report: Phillips to return as Cowboys coach
By Dan Graziano
IRVING -- Wade Phillips will remain the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for at least one more season, according to ESPN's Ed Werder. The Cowboys are reeling from Sunday's 34-3 loss to the Vikings, but apparently their performance down the stretch and the first playoff win in 13 years was enough to earn Phillips another season.
Phillips was in the final season of his contract, but the Cowboys have a team option for 2010 that will pay the coach roughly $3 million. There had been some talk that Jones would offer Phillips a two-year extension, but I think there's a decent chance he simply gives him a nice raise for next season. He wouldn't admit it, but I sort of think Jones enjoyed holding off on the contract this season as a motivating ploy. He knew that Phillips wasn't going to challenge him on the idea. But make no mistake. The last thing Jones wanted to do was make a coaching change.
If the Cowboys had faded in December and missed the playoffs, I'm not sure Jones would've had any other choice. But with the way Dallas played leading up to the divisional playoff game, there's enough evidence for Jones to believe that Phillips will eventually get his team over the hump. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo definitely had his coach's back Monday.
"His record speaks for itself," Romo said outside the Cowboys' locker room Monday. "He's done a great job, kept the team together through a lot of tough times this year. He's done a fantastic job as coach of the Cowboys."
Romo believes that it's important to keep the current administration intact. The Cowboys have already replaced defensive line coach Todd Grantham with former Dolphins defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni. But I don't expect any other significant changes on the staff. If Jason Garrett was in the running for any head-coaching jobs, I'm afraid that Sunday's 34-3 loss may have ended that thought.
As the week unfolds, we'll talk a lot about where the Cowboys go from here. It was certainly a successful season in many respects, but obviously things ended on a sour note. A special thanks to my colleagues, Calvin Watkins and Tim MacMahon, for contributing to the Werder report.