According to several sources and published reports, owner Jerry Jones is already negociating with San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to become the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
While a formal announcement will likely not occur until Thursday, here's a look at Phillips and his prior experience in the National Football League:
Phillips has a wealth of NFL experience, both as a defensive coordinator and head coach.
During the 1998-2000 seasons as head coach in Buffalo, the Bills compiled a record of 29-19. Phillips took the reigns after a disappointing 6-10 finish in 1997 and reversed the team’s fortunes by leading it to a 10-6 record and the playoffs in 1998. His 1999 team led the NFL in total defense, went 11-5 and earned another trip to the postseason.
In the three seasons in Buffalo (1995-97) before he became head coach, he delivered solid returns as defensive coordinator. In 1996, the Bills led the NFL with 49 quarterback sacks and Bryce Paup was named MVP after leading the league with 17.5 sacks. Buffalo’s defense allowed a league-low 22 touchdown passes and 3.4 yards per carry, while ranking second in sacks (48), yards per play (4.3) and opponent completion percentage (.520).
Phillips went 16-16 in two seasons (1993-94) as the head coach in Denver, but the Broncos failed to reach the postseason and he was let go following the ’94 season.
With the San Diego Chargers the last three seasons, Phillips has been the architect of one of the up-and-coming units in the league.
Three years ago - Phillips’ first in San Diego - the Bolts allowed only 81.7 rushing yards per game a number which ranked third in the league.
One of the outstanding feats of Phillips’ defense in 2005 was holding three different opponents to less than 40 yards rushing: Oakland (39 yards), Philadelphia (24) and Indianapolis (24). That hadn’t happened in San Diego since 1965 and it was only the third time it occurred in team history.
The Bolts’ aggressive defense also cranked out 46 sacks in 2005, its most since 1992. The Chargers and Indianapolis tied for the fifth-most sacks in the league. Then rookies Shawne Merriman and Luis Castillo combined for 13.5 sacks in 2005, the most by any rookie duo in the NFL.
Last season, San Diego finished seventh in the NFL in scoring defense, giving up just 18.9 points per game, and also seventh in rushing defense, giving up just 100.8 yards per game.
Phillips’ NFL coaching career began in Houston in 1976 under his father, longtime NFL coach Bum Phillips. Bum was the Oilers head coach from 1975-1980, and Wade coached linebackers for the Oilers in 1976 before taking over as defensive line coach from 1977-1980. Before becoming the head coach in Houston, Bum Phillips was a Chargers assistant coach from 1967-1973.
Wade Phillips was born June 21, 1947 in Orange, Texas. He was a three-year starter at linebacker for the University of Houston from 1966-68 after a standout career at Port Neches-Groves High School in Port Neches, Texas. Phillips and wife Laurie have one son, Wesley, and a daughter, Tracy.
Wade Phillips’ Coaching Experience
2004-06 - Defensive Coordinator, San Diego Chargers
2003 - Head Coach (Interim), Atlanta Falcons
2002-03 - Defensive Coordinator, Atlanta Falcons
1998-2000 - Vice President of Football Operations and Head Coach, Buffalo Bills
1995-97 - Defensive Coordinator, Buffalo Bills
1993-94 - Head Coach, Denver Broncos
1989-1992 - Defensive Coordinator, Denver Broncos
1986-88 - Defensive Coordinator, Philadelphia Eagles
1981-85 - Defensive Coordinator, New Orleans Saints
1977-1980 - Defensive Line, Houston Oilers
1976 - Linebackers, Houston Oilers
1975 - Defensive Line, University of Kansas
1973-74 - Linebackers, Oklahoma State University
1970-72 - Defensive Coordinator, Orange High School
1969 - Graduate Assistant, University of Houston