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New Coach Preview - Wade Phillips

Wade Phillips - Dallas Cowboys

Résumé Highlights:
1989 - Def Coord, Denver Broncos
1993 - Head Coach, Denver Broncos
1995 - Def Coord, Buffalo Bills
1998 - Head Coach, Buffalo Bills
2002 - Def Coord, Atlanta Falcons
2003 - Head Coach, Atlanta Falcons
2004 - Def Coord, San Diego Chargers
2007 - Head Coach, Dallas Cowboys

Impact: Phillips sure knows how to get himself a head coaching job.  Maybe it's telling that the Chargers didn't offer him their head coaching job though.  While Phillips has proven himself as a defensive expert in the NFL, he's equally proven himself as being unable to successfully handle the duties of a head coach in the NFL.  This isn't meant to be a hit piece on Phillips; I'm not a Cowboys-hater and I don't have any ill will against Phillips.  I also recognize that coaches grow and change over time.  But I think that Phillips probably has done all the growing and changing he's likely to do.  He now has to take over a team with an inexperienced QB, two wide receivers with past behavioral problems, a brewing running back controversy, a dictatorial owner, and the expectation (if not demand) that last season's 9-7 record will be improved upon.  About the only thing he doesn't have to do is build the new stadium with his own hands.  Not yet at least.

Fantasy Summary: Let's start with the positive: The Cowboys defense should continue to provide excellent fantasy options.  Linebackers Bradie James, Akin Ayodele and DeMarcus Ware should continue to excel.  Roy Williams will be an excellent fantasy DB and fellow safety Ken Hamlin should provide value as well.  Phillips knows how to get the most of defenses and should provide Dallas with one of the best units in the league.  Now the negatives: Phillips tends to lose control of his teams.  Controlling Owens and Glenn is hard enough for anybody, but if Phillips lets them get moody and give up on the season a lot of fantasy seasons will go up in smoke.  There's no way to know how he'll handle the RB situation between Julius Jones (1084 yds, 4 TD) and Marion Barber (684 yds, 14 TD).  Fantasy players need Phillips to make a decision and stick with it.  Finally, what about Tony Romo?  Phillips doesn't have a history of good quarterback decisions - he decided to make Rob Johnson the starter in Buffalo and look how that worked out - but other than Romo the `Boys don't have a lot of options.  I have to admit that I'm torn between Romo being a fantasy bargain or a fantasy wipeout this season.  Having a strong QB-focused head coach would help, but they don't have that in Dallas.