CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 29: Tony Romo #9 talks with head coach Bill Parcells of the Dallas Cowboys after defeating the Carolina Panthers 35-14 during their game on October 29, 2006 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo By Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Drawing comparisons between Bill Parcells and Wade Phillips is always inviting because, besides holding the job of Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys and man-boobs like half-deflated beach balls, they have absolutely nothing in common.
Parcells was a strict disciplinarian, a tough, gruff, sometimes-vindictive authoritarian of the old school. Phillips is what's referred to as a "player's coach," a term that is usually used with a negative connotation--basically inferring that a given coach is soft to a level of placating the members of his team, justified or not.
Dallas fans have, in the last decade, witnessed the more regrettable manifestations of each scenario.
In Parcells case, it was making players (ahem, Terrell Owens) hate him, and charges of being stubborn in his antiquated approach to football. In Wade's case, it's a happy locker room, little accountability (which has admittedly been better this year) and a woeful lack of 'fire' (read: not being visibly tough enough).
Three years ago, anyone in Dallas would've told you that Parcells' way, the tough-guy-approach, had to go the way of the dinosaurs; now, those same fans find themselves wishing for even a hint of that authoritative toughness to show through Phillips' doughy exterior.
But according to Tony Romo, it has, via the bye week.
"Wade does a good job of working you throughout the bye week more than people know," Romo said. "You know, we work harder in the bye week under Wade than we did under Bill, and I think that maybe that's a benefit for our team, in the sense that guys, there's no slippage when they come back, and I think that's a positive."
Of course, this is the bye week, no fans will see this, and unless this hard work manifests itself in some convincing wins, most of Dallas will remain up in arms over Phillips' mere presence. At this point though, the third-year head coach will likely take what he can get.