Phillips to return

Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips will be back next year.

Jerry Jones has not made an official announcement, but it's all but a done deal.

Make no mistake about it; Jones and Phillips are joined at the hip. The only decision left is whether Jones will pick up the option for next year or give Phillips a legitimate contract extension.

But as far the Cowboys are concerned, they are going forward, looking to build on the success they had this year with the central theme of continuity, and that includes the head coach.

Both Jones and Phillips spoke to the Cowboys at length Monday morning, one day after their 34-3 divisional playoff loss to the Vikings. Both talked about keeping things together.

The Cowboys are all for the message and for keeping Phillips as their coach.

"His record speaks for itself," quarterback Tony Romo said "He's done a great job, kept the team together through a lot of tough times. He's done a fantastic job as coach of the Cowboys."

That was certainly the message sent by Jones and Phillips when they spoke to the team Monday morning about keeping everything together and building on the continuity for next season.

Linebacker Bradie James was even more emphatic about keeping Phillips, who has won two division titles in three years and is the all-time winningest coach in Cowboys history.

"He's our head coach," James said. "In three years we won two division championships. I think that's a pretty good resume. It just wouldn't make any sense to let him go right now. Just the way that we played, the way we ended the season. So I don't think that's broken."

NOTES

—LB Keith Brooking already has his calendar circled for next year's rematch with the Vikings. Brookings thought the Vikings ran up the score at the end of the game when they threw a touchdown pass on fourth-and-3 in the final two minutes. He yelled at the Vikings' sideline and let them know he thought it was classless and unprofessional.

"I thought it was totally classless and disrespectful. This is the NFL, that's not what this is about. I don't think there's a place for that. I was looking for (coach Brad) Childress. I didn't think it was right.

"They get to see us (next season) so you better believe I will have that one circled on the calendar. I say we get paid to stop them, I don't care what's called, but there comes a time. I just think there wasn't much class involved in that decision."

—Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was a hot coaching candidate following his first two seasons on the job in 2007 and 2008. This year, however, following the Cowboys' most successful season offensively in team history, Garrett might not even get a sniff. Part of the reason is there were few jobs open. Another is that he was busy with the Cowboys in the playoffs. Garrett's season is done and the only head coaching job left open is the Buffalo Bills. But it seems they are down the road in their process and don't expect to give Garrett a look.

Still, Garrett has a bright future as a coach and will likely be a head coach soon.

"It's like a really good player," coach Wade Phillips said. "He's got great potential. ... We had Tony Sparano here (in 2007), which really helped (Garrett) at that time. Then, Jason was able to take it from there.

"I think he will be a very good head coach. He's got all the tools, and the players relate well. He'll do well."

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