And knowing that his time is running out in Dallas, Phillips didn't mess around with his special teams hire. He went and brought in a guy that he not only is familiar with and has coached alongside in two other stops, but a league-respected coach in Joe DeCamillis. Wade must have figured, if he's down to his final strike, he better pick out a good pitch.
DeCamillis is not the only change on the coaching staff, but it's certainly a big one. However, the most notable personnel changes occur with the players. And you can see a couple of trends with the free-agent moves that were made.
For starters, high character and less drama became a priority. T.O, Pacman, Tank and even Greg Ellis and his constant media-driven complaints, were removed.
Secondly, most of the players who were added have some background with the coaches. Either Wade Phillips knows them and trusts them, or one of the coaches he knows and trusts, knows and trusts these players.
Phillips has coached Igor Olshansky in the past. The same with Keith Brooking and Matt Stewart. He trusts Dave Campo and DeCamillis, who know all about Gerald Sensabaugh. Not sure what the connection was to Jon Kitna. But he's been around forever so it's likely those defensive coaches have seen, and been beaten by him enough to figure he could fit in nicely as a backup to Tony Romo. Of course, it wasn't too difficult to upgrade that position anyway.
But you get the point. Phillips is surrounding himself with players that he believes in - guys that have worked hard for him in the past.
And those guys aren't just relegated to the new players. With two seasons under his belt, these veterans are now becoming Wade guys, too.
"I don't know if he's changed a whole lot," wide receiver Patrick Crayton said in between practices on Wednesday. "He's never going to be a guy that just berates you in front of everyone. But then again, if you mess up, he'll let you know. But he's not a soft guy or anything like that.
"I'll tell you this," he added. "We're practicing later on today. He didn't cancel this last practice for us. So that should tell you something right there."
Whether the changes or small or noticeable, at least there are changes. For some of you guys, Wade Phillips can do nothing right unless he wins a playoff game. Fair or not, that's reality.
But he can't win a playoff game now. All he can do is make enough changes to put the team in a position to do that, come December and January.