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More Wade Phillips

Other sites are confirming the same thing, as soon as the details of a contract are worked out, Wade Phillips will be the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

DeMarcus Ware should be the happiest guy around today, his rise as a 3-4 OLB is going to get a boost. Wade Phillips runs a 3-4 defense that is very different from the one Bill Parcells ran. And now we all get to see the comparison to Shawn Merriman - in skill, not in steroid ingestions - play out for real. Ware is excited according to his article.

The Cowboys were drawn initially to Phillips because of his work with the 3-4 defense. Over the last two seasons, the Cowboys drafted and signed players for the 3-4, like nose tackle Jason Ferguson and bigger linebackers, like DeMarcus Ware and Bobby Carpenter.

But Phillips' version of the 3-4 attacks more than the one the Cowboys have used. Linebacker Shawne Merriman led the NFL with 17 sacks in 2006 and has been named to the Pro Bowl the last two years. In 2005, San Diego had the top-ranked run defense, and in 2006 the Chargers led the NFL with 61 sacks.

"I feel, defensively, he was one of the things we needed to come in," said Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware from Hawaii, the site of Saturday's Pro Bowl. "We have so many guys that can do good things. And Wade just has an aura about him of what to do with those guys. I feel he can come in here and teach us something."

Ware also said he talked with Merriman about how Phillips gets a defense going. Ware said he was impressed with how Wade used his personnel, especially on blitzes.

Gentleman - and ladies - we won't be complaining about the defense not being aggressive enough this season. We might complain that it isn't working - we don't know how this will play out - but the aggressiveness complaint has temporarily been shelved.

Here's a little more from the Chargers website about Wade Phillips in their bio section.

He is the architect of San Diego's 3-4 defense, and last season that defense led the NFL against the run, holding opponents to a mere 84.3 yards per game. Two years ago - Phillips' first in San Diego - the Bolts were even stingier, allowing only 81.7 yards per game to rank third in the league. Phillips' defense is centered around defensive tackle Jamal Williams, who was selected to play in his first-career Pro Bowl following the 2005 season.

One of the outstanding feats of Phillips' defense in 2005 was holding three different opponents to less than 40 yards rushing: Oakland (39 yards), Philadelphia (24) and Indianapolis (24). That hadn't happened in San Diego since 1965 and it was only the third time it occurred in team history.

The Bolts' aggressive defense also cranked out 46 sacks last season, its most since 1992. The Chargers and Indianapolis tied for the fifth-most sacks in the league. Rookies Shawne Merriman and Luis Castillo combined for 13.5 sacks in 2005, the most by any rookie duo in the NFL.

When the Chargers won the AFC West and qualified for the playoffs in 2004 on the heels of a 4-12 season in 2003, Phillips kept his streak intact of helping to turn teams with non-winning records into playoff participants the following year. The last six times Phillips has taken over as a defensive coordinator or head coach for a team that had a non-winning record, his new team went to the playoffs in his first year.

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