NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 19: Head coach Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys stands on the field during thier game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on December 19, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Wade Phillips had the Cowboys practice last season on Christmas day. This is standard procedure in the NFL, perhaps spurred on in the Cowboys' case by an ugly loss to Baltimore on December 20 in the final game at Texas Stadium.
Whatever the case, either the lack of Christmas cheer or a general lack of preparation (I'm leaning slightly toward the whole 'preparation' thing) led to Dallas being slaughtered in their only post-Christmas game, a 44-6 pounding at the hands of the Eagles in Philadelphia on December 28.
Since then, apparently, Phillips has amended his stance on Christmas practices.
"I think you lose a lot [by practicing] on Christmas Day," Phillips said. "[They have] families, a lot of them have kiddos and stuff. You take that away from them, you lose a lot more that way than you would having them be there."
The NFL requires that players be given one day off a week, with most teams using Tuesday to get their guys rested. The Cowboys practiced Tuesday and will have off Friday--Christmas day--before reconvening on Saturday for a flight to D.C.
Obviously, Wade has gained quite a reputation for taking it easy on his players, particularly following a win. If the Cowboys go out and out-class the Redskins on Sunday--which they probably should--this will be forgotten about quickly, like that first 'victory Monday' that was bandied about so much.
If they lose, though, this may be taken as another piece of evidence that Phillips lacks the mentality to win as a head coach in the NFL.
So what do you think: Is Phillips' decision to have Christmas off (a) harmless, (b) bad for the team or (c) the first step toward Armageddon?
Yours in the comments.