Wade Phillips spoke to the press today about making major changes in personnel and staff to improve the Dallas Cowboys. He said he will make a plan and stick to it and he will start on it this week. He said the loss last night was one of the worst of his career.
He avoided answering questions about players criticizing the game plan and schemes. Phillips said he will not resign and he can see offensive coordinator Jason Garrett remaining on the staff.
He focused on the turnovers the Cowboys committed this year, second most in the NFL. He blamed that for much of the difficulties the Cowboys had this year.
Here is a summary of the press conference:
We fell short of goals, battled through some adversity but did not get it down. We know things must improve. We’ve got to get better results and the only way to doing that is changing things. It starts with me. If you are not going to change the coach and you don’t get the result you want then the coach needs to change some things. I have to look at myself first, from how I deal with things from how we have training camp, how we have practices, Whatever. We need to alter some things. Obviously, our turnover situation hurt us throughout the year. We’ve got to get that changed. There are only two teams in the league that made the playoffs with minus turnovers and we were second in the NFL with turnovers. To get to the standard we want, our fans want, I don’t see another way. If it means being more demanding, more whatever, I’ve got to get it down. I am going to get a plan together. This is the process and we need to start it as quickly as possible. I am still really disappointing, one of the worst losses I have ever been around. I don’t have an explanation of it.
Timetable to evaluate staff?
Pretty quickly. Within this week. Will evaluate players and staff. The next season starts right now for us so we’ve got to go forward.
Jerry said he is taking everyone to woodshed. Has Wade been there?
We talked. Jerry has a right to take people to the woodshed.
Did Jerry ask Wade to be more demanding?
No I thought about it after the game. I am going to put a plan together. I think there are some misconceptions about me but that is neither here or there, because we say camp cupcake, or whatever we say, but we’ve come out from training camp every year and won at least the first three games and played well.
Can you recall a time when you figured you needed to change and actually did it?
In San Diego, they were 4-12 and then 9-7 and missed playoffs. Marty said we needed to make changes and we went 14-2 the next year. Marty led that, but Wade made changes, too. He has been with Marv Levy, Marty Shottenhiemer, Dan Reeves, and some of those people I will talk with and see if we can get better.
When you came here you said it was a players team. Do you need to take that back from the players?
Well, I don’t know if it is players only. Certainly coaches have a lot to do with it. I think it is both. Maybe team needs more guidance and he will do it.
Too much trust in players?
Some things I don’t know how much change there will be. I am going to think about whatever and I am going to have a plan of what I am going to do and stick to that.
Did this Eagles loss prompt the need to change?
No, it was entire season. Turnovers. Second in the NFL in turnovers. To win nine games and turn it over as much as we did, not many teams can do that.
Some players thought accountability is a problem?
You have to take over. Certainly.
Should you have been there sooner?
If I could have done anything about it I should have, but I didn’t
Is that fair assessment, a lack of accountability of players?
I don’t want to comment on that. I want to evaluate it all and get some input from all of my coaches and people in the organization and go from there.
Are you surprised Jerry is not making changes?
No. I have some confidence in my self. I think he has some in me Football coach is not only football. It is how you handle a lot of different things. part of it comes with I think I can do the job and that is what I am going to do.
Your resignation is not the on the table?
No, I am not going to quit.
We didn’t have the chemistry we had the year before. There wasn’t that feeling.
How can head coach fix that?
Sometimes it is a change of personnel. Some times you have to change people around and change personnel.
Can you envision making dramatic top or middle personnel changes?
Some you don’t and some you won’t need to. We need to get some of the players playing to the caliber they were playing at. To do that, we are going to have discuss all of that and try and get that done also.
Have you told team this?
Did you agree with Tony and Terrell comments that Eagles figured out Cowboys scheme?
We will evaluate that and if that is the case we will have to change.
Get tougher? How hard will that be to sell on players?
Players react to whatever you do and that is the nature of it. It is not necessarily being tough. It is paying more attention to details. If it is for the good of them, they will do it. We’ve seen it from both ends of the spectrum. Wade mentioned something about penalizing players for penalties.
Did you trust this team too much?
I made mistakes obviously. I have to evaluate it myself and see what mistakes I made.
Did Jerry ask you to come up with a plan to rebuild?
No. When you go through some thing like we went through here and the expectations for me were just as high and how we went in there and lay an egg like we did then you’ve got to do something.
Can Terrell and Tony continue together?
Yes. He saw no problems going into that game. I am confident in that feeling. Wade refused to comment on player tiffs.
Can you be more specific on change?
Team. Practices. The off season. Whether it is rules, whatever. Again I have to put all of this together. Wade said he will still be characterized as “laid back” but he will make changes.
You are not changing coordinators, you are not changing major players and you are remaining coach. You confident this will lead to success?
Yes. I am.
Romo was in bad shape after game. How bad was he?
He had a rib cartilage, I am not sure what they called it. It pops in and out. It did twice during the game and then in the shower, which causes pain.
What caused the breakdown in chemistry?
Every team is different. The Giants are the only team to make the playoffs again in the NFC. Even though they are the same players, any team can change.
How do you explain Tony Romo and Roy Williams not clicking?
Roy came in late. Terrell was Y receiver and Roy was X. We tried to get Terrell the ball more. I think it is just timing with the quarterback and being with him.
What was Jerry’s demeanor like when you met? We talked man to man.
Did you talk to Jerry about changes HE should make?
We had a good conversation about all of that and I think he agrees with me. We agree with each other. He may make some changes, I don’t know.
Do you want Pacman Jones back?
I am not going to comment on any of the players right now. We’ve haven’t evaluated the season yet as far as players are concerned. Wade said it is possible some star players may be traded.
Did Tashard Choice prove himself?
Well sure. He had some good games in there. The three running backs, I think that is instant improvement in our running game if we can keep all three of them healthy. I think that overall can help you with the turnovers, just the mentality that we can and will run the ball more effectively.
Can Tony Romo be an elite player?
I see too many good, great things that he does that other people can’t do so I think he can be an elite quarterback and a Pro Bowl quarterback and a top player.