- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 8, 2007

2:13 p.m.

IRVING, Texas — Wade Phillips appeared set to become the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, according to several reports.

Despite a Cowboys spokesman saying today the job hadn’t been filled, there were several reports that Phillips was to succeed Bill Parcells, who retired Jan. 22.

“The job hasn’t been offered to anyone,” said Rich Dalrymple, the team’s public relations director.

Dalrymple also said there were no plans yet for any announcement concerning the coaching vacancy.

When Phillips’ agent, Gary O’Hagan, was reached on his cell phone this morning, he said, “I’m tied up right now; I can’t talk,” before hanging up.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones arrived at Valley Ranch here this morning. While getting out of his car at a back entrance to the complex, he told KTVT-TV of Dallas that he hadn’t offered the job to anyone.

But the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on their Web sites, as did ESPN.com and NFL.com, that Phillips had been selected as the next coach. All cited unidentified sources.

Jones has interviewed 10 candidates to become the Cowboys’ seventh coach, the sixth he will hire since buying the team in 1989.

If Phillips becomes the Cowboys coach, the son of longtime Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips would join Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson as the only Texas natives to be in charge of “America’s Team.” Parcells is the only other coach who had previous head coaching experience before getting to Dallas.

The 59-year-old Phillips, who has been in the NFL 30 of the last 31 years, spent the last three seasons as San Diego’s defensive coordinator. The Chargers last month lost offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who became the Miami Dolphins’ new coach.

Phillips’ head coaching record is 48-42 over three years with Buffalo, two with Denver and season-ending interim stints with New Orleans and Atlanta. That includes 3-4 as a fill-in and 0-3 in the playoffs.

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