Deadspin has an excerpt from the new book by Los Angeles Rams Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips that details his time as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys from 2007-10. It’s a great, light look at his relationship with Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, WR Terrell Owens and then-OC now-HC Jason Garrett:
When I joined the Cowboys, they already had an offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett. He had been the quarterbacks coach for the Miami Dolphins before they fired their entire coaching staff, which made him available. Once the season began, I liked what we had on both sides of the ball. We went 13–3, which was the best record in the NFL, and had a top-ten defense. We lost to the Giants in a home playoff game. We had the ball at the end of the game with a chance to win, but they stopped us. The Giants went on to win the Super Bowl, so you’ve got to think if we would have won that game, we might have won it all. You never know, because we had a really good year.
One of the things I love about Wade? The lack of pretension. There’s 0 air of primadonna, of a guy who wants things his way...this despite his experience, reputation and the fact that he helped guide the Cowboys to three winning seasons in his first three years at the helm. In those first three years, the Cowboys went 13-3, 9-7 and 11-5. The 2007 season was a mess with QB Tony Romo injured. The three years after Wade left? 8-8 every year. Just saying.
Phillips doesn’t even express a pettiness in how things went down. Sure, there’s an obvious thread of regret that he wasn’t able to see things through and get to the Super Bowl. That’s likely the case for any coach who gets fired. If your mentality isn’t strong enough to think that you’re the right candidate to get your team the trophy, it’s probably not strong enough to land the job in the first place.
There’s just a matter-of-factness to his worldview that’s refreshing. That’s not a Jeff Fisher subtweet. Wade is his own coach.
I’m glad he’s on our staff. If this passage is any indication, his forthcoming book will only reinforce that.