not really in 2008 after you had won 13 games.
But that's not the case in 2009. The Cowboys need to make changes and they've done that. And they've been able to make changes that suit the coach. The phrase "Romo-Friendly" has been used and overused a lot this off-season. It even resurfaced here at the press conference, and still no one really knows exactly what it means.
But maybe, just maybe, we're not talking enough about things being "Wade-Friendly."
OK, let's throw out the Terrell Owens move. That doesn't seem to have a huge effect on Phillips, who handled him as well as any other coach has in the past. In fact, Phillips repeatedly said it was his job to make sure the offense got the ball to their best players and did they ever do that with T.O. So his release obviously had more to do with other aspects. And since that's old news now, let's move on.
But the additions of guys like special teams coach Joe DeCamillis, who worked with him in Denver and Atlanta was a Phillips move. He knows special teams was pretty awful last year and if this is indeed his last chance to save his job, he better get the right guys around him. So he adds DeCamillis, one of the most respected and hardest-working special teams coaches in the league.
When it comes to free agency, it's certainly not a coincidence that Phillips added guys like Igor Olshansky, Keith Brooking, Matt Stewart and Tim Anderson - all of whom have played for Phillips in the past. The Cowboys also signed safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who didn't play for Phillips, but for Dave Campo and DeCamillis in Jacksonville. And obviously, Phillips has much respect for those guys.
We all know the deal. The Cowboys had high expectations last year - Super Bowl expectations - and they didn't even make the playoffs. And that was after a 13-3 season in which the year also ended so abruptly.
So to be back in 2009 as the head coach, Phillips knows his job is on the line. Of course it is, all football coaches, at some point, have to think their job is on the line.
But it doesn't seem like it's overwhelming Phillips. Although he wasn't asked about his future directly, he did comment on the question that Jones received, with a rather simple approach.
"I'm not in the prediction business, and as far as my job is concerned I don't worry about my job, I worry about the job I'm doing," Phillips said. "That's where my emphasis is, it's how good of a job I'm doing for Jerry, how good of a job I'm doing getting this football team ready to play and then playing and doing well this season. That's the way it's always been with me, and it isn't any different now."
That approach may not be different, but so many things are different heading into this year's training camp. And for Phillips' sake, they have to be.