- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 9, 2010

IRVING, TEXAS (AP) - Jason Garrett stood behind a lectern for his first news conference as the interim coach of the Dallas Cowboys. That alone sent the message there’s a new way of doing things around America’s team.

Wade Phillips, you see, always sat behind a table.

Rearranging the furniture isn’t going to revive the 1-7 Dallas Cowboys, but team owner Jerry Jones is hoping the switch in leaders will. He fired Phillips on Monday and promoted Garrett from offensive coordinator to “affect a culture change” for a team that’s been playing worse each week.

The swing from Phillips to Garrett isn’t as drastic as when Jones went from Bill Parcells to Phillips.

But it’s still a big shift.

Phillips is 63 and was reared on defense. Garrett is 44 and versed in offense.

Phillips had been a head coach twice before, four times including interim stints. This is Garrett’s first time in charge at any level.

Phillips never played in the NFL and never was part of a Super Bowl champion. Garrett was a backup quarterback in the NFL for 12 seasons, mostly to Troy Aikman in Dallas, and was part of two Super Bowl champions with the Cowboys.

Then there’s their personalities.

Phillips is folksy and laid-back. Garrett, a Princeton grad, comes across more like the Ivy League image. Take the lectern, for instance. Or this description of how he’s going to run the team: “One of the things that we’re going to focus on going forward is the process.”

“I believe you give yourself the best chance of winning by focusing on doing things the right way each and every day,” Garrett continued. “We’re going to emphasize that in meetings, in walkthroughs on the practice field and hopefully take that to the game field on Sunday.”

Phillips talked about that, too, using the pet phrase, “Not just right, exactly right.” But sloppiness was the one constant thing for his Cowboys this season _ well, that and losing.

What drove fans bonkers was the lack of repercussions. Starters weren’t demoted, backups weren’t released. Phillips defended his guys at every opportunity, a player’s coach to the bitter end.

Garrett declined Monday to discuss any lineup changes. But he made it clear that players will be held to a new standard.

“I think it has to be very clear as to what you expect from everyone in your organization, then hold them accountable to those expectations,” he said. “We will do that on a daily basis.”

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