Wade Phillips has a new two-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys, a deal indicating that owner Jerry Jones is encouraged but not satisfied.
“This contract represents that,’’ Jones said yesterday after signing Phillips through the 2011 season. “Two years in the NFL is an eternity, but it has to be urgent and it has to be addressed as if there is no tomorrow. [The contract] addresses the urgency of where we want to go from here.’’
The Cowboys have won two NFC East titles in three years under Phillips, and two weeks ago got their first playoff victory since 1996.
While Phillips is 34-17 in Dallas (playoffs included), there had been speculation about his status since Jones failed to pick up the 2010 option that was part of the deal Phillips got when he replaced Bill Parcells after the 2006 season. Jones repeatedly indicated he wanted Phillips back, but didn’t make it official until now.
“We want to build on the foundation we have put in place over the last three years,’’ Jones said. “I want to take advantage of the continuity.’’
Instead of picking up the 2010 option, though, Jones gave Phillips a new contract, one that doesn’t include an option past the next two seasons.
“As long as the team knows I’m going to be here this year with this team, that’s all I need as a coach,’’ Phillips said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s one year or 10 years. With this team right now, I feel very comfortable. I think we can go further and we will go further.’’
Phillips, 62, just finished his 33d year in the NFL, 28 of them spent as a defensive coordinator or head coach.
In Phillips’s first season in Dallas, the Cowboys were 13-3 and the No. 1 seed in the NFC before losing its opening playoff game. They were 9-7 and missed the playoffs a year ago before an 11-5 record this season earned them the NFC East title.
Jones refused to give financial terms of the deal, but said it was “serious money’’ while making clear there would be a hefty bonus for reaching a Super Bowl.