The defense is excelling. The December Demons are exorcized. The Dallas Cowboys are in the playoffs.
But is head coach Wade Phillips back next season?
I'm sticking to Phillips being a Dead Man Coaching, short of a trip to the Super Bowl, but it's sounding more and more like owner Jerry Jones is getting caught up in the last two weeks as validation of his coach.
After last night's win in Washington Jones told reporters at FedEX Field that, at this point, he sees no reason Wade won't be back.
"I do not want to make a coaching change," Jones said."This is not the time with what we've got in place, with our personnel, with what we've got going with our schemes, with what we've got going with our staff. It's not in the best interests of the Cowboys right now to make a change."
I'm as hard as anyone on Wade. And despite the consecutive wins in December I still bemoan the lack of accountability he showed toward Nick Folk and now Roy Williams. But in the spirit of credit where credit is due, two NFC East crowns in three seasons would look pretty good on a resume.
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But would it look good enough?
"I don't want to take anything away from our players, but I think what you're seeing develop and evolve is 100 percent Wade Phillips," Jones said. "I know how hard he's working. When our defense is playing [well] and our team really realizes how much of him is involved in the defense, then it does give him huge credibility."
With a 32-16 record in Dallas but no playoff wins in his seven-year head-coaching career, Phillips is the most successful loser in the history of the NFL. Says quarterback Tony Romo, "You guys need to start giving him some praise, because he's been good."
Apparently Wade fired his team up in Washington by telling them before the game that they were "playing for the world championship." I'll give Phillips credit for yet again getting the Cowboys to the cusp of something special. But it's time to stop the teasing and deliver a happy ending.