Phillips: 'I Will Interject More In The Play
The Dallas Morning News
Irving, TX., Monday,
September 13, 2010. Monday is typically time
to pin the tail on the donkey at Valley
It works this
way. The media identify culprits and assign
blame. The difficulty after the Cowboys'
13-7 loss to Washington to open the regular
season was narrowing the list.
Choice's fumble to end the first half and
Alex Barron's holding call to end the game
vaulted to the top. Head coach Wade Phillips
called them "a couple of devastating plays,
but I don't think they will devastate our
He then grabbed
the tail and pinned it on himself.
fumble, the one returned 32 yards for a
touchdown by cornerback DeAngelo Hall to
alter the complexion of the game, wasn't the
running back's fault. It was Phillips.' He
knew the call made by offensive coordinator
Jason Garrett and did nothing to overrule
"We needed to
kneel on the football," Phillips said. "That
way, we don't get in that situation.
strategy, and that goes to the head coach."
remained in the first half. The Cowboys
trailed, 3-0, and had the ball on their own
36-yard line when Garrett called for a deep
The play broke
down and quarterback Tony Romo dumped the
ball to Choice. Rather than go down, he
tried to make something out of nothing and
was stripped of the ball. The Redskins
converted the turnover into their only
touchdown of the evening to take a 10-0
not have taken the risk at that stage of the
game. Romo should not have dinked the ball
to Choice when nothing was open deep. Choice
should have been more concerned with
securing the ball than gaining an
insignificant yard or two.
sequence would not have unraveled the way it
did if Phillips had shouted into his headset
for Romo to take a knee.
came on the previous play. Romo's pass to
Dez Bryant was incomplete as Barron was
called for holding. Washington initially
declined the penalty. Phillips told his
defensive coaches he couldn't believe
Washington had done that when the Redskins
changed their mind and accepted the penalty.
were pushed back 10 yards to their own
36-yard line. But the play Garrett called
when he thought the ball would be at the
46-yard line was still in place.
"I need to
interject more and I didn't do it," Phillips
said. "That was the problem."
is that Phillips runs the defense and
Garrett the offense. For the most part,
But the two
talk during the week in putting together the
offensive game plan. It's vetted by
Phillips. The two communicate during the
game about what is happening and what needs
to be done.
doesn't call specific plays. But he will
tell Garrett that he wants to speed the game
up or slow it down. He will tell his
offensive coordinator when he wants to run
certain personnel groups, go with a
no-huddle offense or go for it on fourth
That speaks to
strategy. That is always Phillips' call.
He's in charge, even though some like to
paint that he's not.
"I have the
right to do anything I want to do," Phillips
said. "Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
before the half, I should have."
resisted attempts to pry into how much he
and Garrett speak during games and how often
he overrides what the coordinator calls.
Phillips did say the two work together well
and that Garrett is as frustrated as he is
over what happened.
What this means
going forward is hard to say. It's not in
Phillips' personality to micromanage the
offense. But he could be more assertive in
situations like the one that arose Sunday
night at FedEx Field.
Now, back to
Monday at Valley Ranch. Phillips told the
team the call at the end of the half was his
fault. He also told the players they had to
do better. He called on them to attack the
mistakes that were made and rectify them
before Sunday's home opener against Chicago.
going to kill the horse just yet," defensive
end Marcus Spears said. "We may be limping a
little bit, but you can still come out of
the gate and play well."
It's all the same family.Anatomy of a loss
Some of the
problems from Sunday's 13-7 loss:
Small plays: In
71 plays against Washington, 31 went for 2
yards or less. The Cowboys lost yardage on
There were 12 penalties for 91 yards. Eight
different players were penalized and three
others were hit with penalties that were
struggles: The Cowboys were 5-of-13. But in
the second half, they were only 1-of-5.