The Dallas Cowboys, led by Wade Phillips, went 11-5 this season and won the NFC East Division. They earned the third seed in the conference, which got them a home playoff game. They won their first playoff game since Dec. 28, 1996, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 34-14. Yet, for some reason, people think Phillips should be fired.
Last season, the Cowboys saw their season end in disaster, when Philadelphia kept them out of the playoffs in an embarrassing loss. Phillips made some changes because of the loss, and the players responded. Phillips took over calling defensive plays this year, and they have improved dramatically.
In mid-December, after suffering back-to-back losses, it looked like the Cowboys were going to tank, and Phillips would most likely be the next coach to get the boot out of Dallas. However, Phillips’ players love him, and with his job at stake, they defeated the best team in the conference, the unbeaten New Orleans Saints. After a huge win, Phillips led his defense to shut out the Redskins and the Eagles in the final two weeks of the season.
The Cowboys somehow went from an improbable situation to winning the division and earning a home playoff game. Phillips played a big role in the Cowboys’ success.
I know Dallas fans can be brutal. I also know getting knocked out of the second round of the playoffs is not the ending anyone wants. However, for what the Cowboys accomplished this year and for what Phillips means to this organization, he earned another year as the coach of America’s team.
If the Cowboys don’t improve next year, then maybe you look at other options, but for now, the Jolly Coach in Big D has one more year. And Cowboys fans — and Phillips — hope next year will be the year the Cowboys will finally return to the Super Bowl.