Poor Wade Phillips. The guy’s done a heck of a job this year but he’s one playoff loss away from having his credentials questioned again. Sadly, I can kind of see the point. Dallas had a tremendous regular season punctuated by a 13-3 record and top billing in the NFC Playoffs. Yet, if Wade and the Cowboys don’t win their first playoff game in over a decade, the doubts about Wade will surely come to the forefront again. While piling up a very respectable regular-season record, Phillips has been a bust in the playoffs. JJT picks up the theme:
But his reputation - fair or not - will be based on how the Cowboys perform in the playoffs, where he is 0-3 for his career.
Dallas has been average in December for a variety of reasons, but all of that can be erased with one good playoff performance. The 10-year drought without a playoff win must end this year.
Anything less would represent abject failure, kind of like the Mavericks' loss to Golden State last year.
It would render all the records and feel-good moments useless and it would taint Phillips for years.
All year Wade has defended his coaching career, not in a mean-way, but in a matter-of-fact way telling everybody that would listen, his career as a head coach has been a successful one. But that is generally in the regular season, his post-season record is a sore point that he would like to remedy. Especially after the Music City Miracle debacle which ranks with the Romo Bobble as one of the most excruciating ways to lose a playoff game.
Rightly or not, I have to agree with JJT here. Phillips needs to win a playoff game or all types of scenarios could be on the table. I don't think Jerry Jones would do anything rash but the Jason Garrett situation muddies the waters.
Comeback Player: Cowboys linebacker Greg Ellis. Who? When you see this player in the postseason, consider what he overcame to be a difference-maker for Dallas - a torn Achilles last season kept him out the first three weeks of 2007. Ellis returned in Week 4, reclaimed his starting job in Week 7 and finished with a career-high 12 1/2 sacks.
Terry Glenn, WR, Cowboys. After missing the first 15 games recovering from knee surgery, Glenn returned in the regular-season finale. His raw speed allows him to stretch the field better than any Dallas receiver, including Terrell Owens. And with T.O. recovering from a high ankle sprain, Glenn could add an important dimension.
It will be interesting to see Glenn’s progress in practice over the next two weeks and then see how he plays in the first playoff game. But make no mistake, he won’t be able to replace T.O. and that’s the guy we absolutely need to make a play for the Super Bowl. In fact, his health is the singular determining factor for me as to how far the Cowboys will go.
2. DALLAS. When everyone is healthy, the Cowboys are the NFC’s best team and capable of winning Super Bowl XLII. But they need wide receiver Terrell Owens. He has a high ankle sprain, and if he can’t play, Dallas probably won’t win the NFC.
The Cowboys have no weaknesses. They ranked second in the NFL in scoring and third in total offense and yards per play. They ranked ninth in total defense. They have playmakers on both sides of the football.
The Cowboys should benefit from their bye this weekend. It will give Owens more time to heal and NFC playoff bye teams are 30-4 in their first playoff games since 1990 (including 8-2 since 2002). BOB’S ODDS: 3-to-1.
There are rumblings that the Ravens are looking strongly at Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who might be at the most-wanted assistant this offseason.