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Friday, September 24, 2010
Jerry Jones has Wade Phillips' back for now

By Matt Mosley

As you probably know by now, Cowboys coach Wade Phillips received the dreaded vote of confidence from owner Jerry Jones on Friday. I hope you weren't expecting that Jones would come out and say that Phillips' job was on the line Sunday, because that's not how he does business.

Asked if he'd lost confidence in Phillips and whether he'd consider firing him if the Cowboys fall to 0-3 Sunday, Jones said during his weekly appearance on KRLD-FM, "I can just give you a very affirmative 'no.'"

I've heard all the ridiculous speculation about who Jones might have a secret-handshake agreement with and I think it's all a farce. He's never fired a head coach during the regular `season, and I can almost guarantee you he won't fire this one. People don't seem to realize how much Jones loves the current arrangement that allows him to remain the face of the franchise while Phillips coaches the defense and holds the title of "head coach." Phillips doesn't have a bigger fan in the world than Jones right now.

"I do believe in Wade and the staff and the players," he told the club's flagship station. "The thing about it is when you have that kind of commitment, one of the No. 1 things you have it for is those situations. Those people are supposed to really be there in hard times. Hard times. That's when you've got to make your best grade if you're deserving of that commitment and we're in hard times.

"That's why I'm in the saddle with Wade and in the saddle with the staff and the team."

That might not save Phillips if the Cowboys finish 7-9 and miss the playoffs, but that's the current dynamic. It would be one thing if offensive coordinator Jason Garrett were ready to take over as head coach, but he hasn't done anything to suggest he's ready for that role. As I've said recently, I could think of three coaches on this staff better-equipped for that position than Garrett. And it's not like Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher are going to walk off a TV set and lead this team to the playoffs.

So for now, Phillips' job is not in jeopardy. But if you want to speculate about a change being made after the season, then by all means...