Phillips Covets Return To Coaching
December 7, 2010. In his
interview since he was
fired, former Dallas
Cowboys coach Wade
Phillips said he still
roots for his former
players, has no regrets
and would like to return
also believes if he were 4-8 -- the Cowboys'
current record -- that he might still be
fired after a 45-7 loss to the Green Bay
Packers dropped the Cowboys to 1-7 -- the
team's worst start after eight games since
1989, when the Cowboys started 0-8 en route
to a 1-15 season.
poor start to the season, Cowboys owner and
general manager Jerry Jones said multiple
times that he would not fire Phillips,
citing research that showed hiring an
interim coach wouldn't be effective.
But the loss to
the Packers forced Jones' hand. After
admitting he was in denial about the state
of the franchise, Jones fired Phillips,
saying he wanted to change the losing
In came Jason
Garrett, who has a 3-1 mark as the Cowboys
have improved to 4-8 overall.
But a 4-8 mark
looks much different under Garrett than it
would under Phillips, it seems.
"If I was 4-8,
they still would be hollering for my head,"
Phillips told ESPNDallas.com. "But really,
[the coaching change] gave them a new
beginning for these guys and a new hope."
has coached in the NFL since 1976, wants to
"Not a whole
lot to do," Phillips joked, adding that he
doesn't hunt or fish. "You can only get so
many haircuts a week."
let go with one year remaining on his
contract at a reported salary of $3.7
million. He most likely would take a
significant salary reduction to again become
a defensive coordinator, but could earn a
similar salary if he to become a head coach
"I want to
coach," Phillips said. "I enjoy coaching,
and I think I will have some offers. We'll
see what happens after the season."
Phillips is one
of three coaches who were fired this season;
Minnesota dismissed Brad Childress two weeks
ago, and Denver's Josh McDaniels was fired
As he looks
back on the 2010 season, he sees how the
Cowboys' success -- their first playoff
victory in 10 years after winning the NFC
East in 2009 -- was hard to follow.
"You do the
best you can do, as good as you can do it,
and somebody else makes that decision. Not
you," Phillips said. "Those decisions are
made all the time.
Minnesota. I thought if they won the coin
flip last year, they would have won the
Super Bowl. If they win the coin flip,
they're going to score. Instead, New Orleans
won the coin flip and they scored, and they
ended up winning the Super Bowl."
several young Cowboys players whom Phillips
is fond of, including cornerback Orlando
Scandrick, linebackers Sean Lee and Anthony
Spencer, and kicker David Buehler.
the overtime victory against the Colts on
Sunday was exciting and he was glad to see
some of the young players drafted under him
contribute to the victory.
"To see these
young players -- Buehler, Lee, Scandrick --
it's great to see those guys play well and
have big plays in games," Phillips said.
"They have a bright future, too."
With Garrett as
the coach, numerous things have changed at
Valley Ranch. The players practice in full
pads on Wednesdays, overall intensity has
increased, timing has been emphasized, and a
dress code was established.
have also changed their overall defensive
philosophy under new coordinator Paul
Pasqualoni, who took over when Phillips was
fired. The Cowboys play more zone and don't
blitz as much under Pasqualoni, who would
rather have an offense grind itself the
length of the field instead of going for big
pass plays against man coverage.
stressed to the players about being
accountable and to forget about wins and
losses very quickly. He also doesn't like to
talk about statistics, saying the only two
that matter are the won-loss mark and how
teams do when they force turnovers.
changes instituted by Phillips remain,
including having officials at practice in an
effort to cut down on penalties.
As he reflects
on his nearly four years on the job, where
he won two NFC East titles, a playoff game
and went 34-22, Phillips said he can learn
from the past.
But he has no
"No, I don't
look back," Phillips said. "I just look
forward. You do the best you can do and work
as hard as you can and try to do your best.
If that's not good enough, that's not good
enough. It was good enough for me.
"I don't look
back [and say], 'I should have done this. I
should have done that.' You learn from the
past, but you look forward to the future."
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