Wade Phillips has a new two-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys, a deal that indicates owner Jerry Jones is encouraged but not satisfied.
“This contract represents that,” Jones said Thursday after signing Phillips through the 2011 season. “Two years in the NFL is an eternity, but it has to be urgent and it has to be addressed as if there is no tomorrow.”
The Cowboys have won two NFC East titles in three years under Phillips, and two weeks ago got their first playoff victory since 1996, which was the season after their last Super Bowl.
While Phillips is 34-17 in Dallas (playoffs included), there had been speculation about his status since Jones had failed to pick up the 2010 option that was part of the deal Phillips got when he replaced Bill Parcells after the 2006 season.
“We want to build on the foundation we have put in place over the last three years,” Jones said. “I want to take advantage of the continuity.”
Instead of picking up the 2010 option, though, Jones gave Phillips a new contract. One that doesn’t include an option past the next two seasons.
“As long as the team knows I’m going to be here this year with this team, that’s all I need as a coach,” Phillips said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s one year or 10 years. With this team right now, I feel very comfortable. I think we can go further and we will go further.”
In Phillips’ first season, Dallas was 13-3 and the No. 1 seed in the NFC before losing its opening playoff game. The Cowboys were 9-7 and missed the playoffs a year ago before an 11-5 record this season earned them the NFC East title. They beat Philadelphia in the NFC wild-card round before a 34-3 loss at Minnesota last weekend.
Jones refused to give any specifics about the financial terms of the deal, but said it was “serious money” while making clear there would be a hefty bonus for reaching a Super Bowl.
“Is he being overpaid? Not one penny,” Jones said. “Is he being underpaid? Probably, for what I think he is.”
Just three days away from the NFC title game, the Minnesota Vikings’ injury situation isn’t looking any better. Defensive tackle Kevin Williams and defensive end Ray Edwards missed practice a second straight day because of knee trouble. Receiver and kick returner Percy Harvin also was not present. After practicing on Wednesday, he got another migraine headache, a problem that has plagued him all season. … Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurode has pulled out of the Pro Bowl, giving up his starting position on the NFC team because of a right knee injury that will require arthroscopic surgery. Gurode was replaced on the NFC roster by New Orleans center Jonathan Goodwin, who earned his first Pro Bowl selection in his eight seasons. … Al Everest has been hired as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ special teams coordinator after being let go by the San Francisco 49ers. … The Washington Redskins hired Chris Foerster to be their offensive line coach, replacing the retired Joe Bugel. The Redskins also added two other assistants to head coach Mike Shanahan’s staff Thursday: defensive line coach Jacob Burney and defensive backs coach Bob Slowik. …The Carolina Panthers have hired Tyke Tolbert as receivers coach.