Jerry Jones is unique in that he is both the owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys. Some people view that as a positive, while others view it as a negative.
Wade Phillips, who was Dallas’ head coach from 2007-10, thought it was a positive.
“In some of the situations I’ve been in, there’s a general manager between you and the owner,” Phillips, now Rams defensive coordinator, said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “So the good thing was he was the general manager so you could go straight to him if you wanted to get something done or ask for something or a player or whatever. You talked directly with him. In the other cases, you didn’t really talk directly with the owner very much. Normally there was a general manager that you discuss things with, so it was harder to get things to the owner that maybe you wanted to get to him. In that respect, it was pretty good.”
Phillips, though, didn’t always agree with Jones. He didn’t like, for example, that Jason Garrett made more money as an offensive coordinator than Phillips made as a head coach.
“It bothered me a little bit for a while,” Phillips said. “I talked to my dad, and my dad said, ‘Hey, if you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about it. Just do the best you can.’ It worked out really well for Jason, certainly. He now is the head coach and did a great job for them. He did a great job for me when I was there. We were a top offense the whole time I was there. He got the job and he’s done well since then.”
Phillips’ father, of course, is Bum Phillips, who coached in the NFL for nearly 30 years. Phillips recently wrote a book, Son of Bum: Lessons My Dad Taught Me About Football and Life.
Phillips, who has coached in the NFL since 1976, was asked several rapid-fire questions. For example, who was the best defensive player he ever coached? Answer: Reggie White.
“I’ve coached Bruce Smith and I think 31 Hall of Famers, so it’s hard to pick out one,” Phillips said, laughing. “But Reggie was really the most dominant guy of his era that I coached.”
As for the best offensive player on any team he ever coached, Phillips wasn’t certain but said John Elway and Jim Kelly were possibilities.
And, believe it or not, the proudest moment of Phillips’ career was not winning Super Bowl 50 with Denver. It was the time he spent on the sidelines with his father, who passed away in 2013.
“I was able to coach with my dad,” Phillips said. “That was really special for me.”