Wade Phillips shows weakness

IRVING, Texas -- We shouldn’t be surprised by Wade Phillips’ reaction to the sideline confrontation between secondary coach Dave Campo and cornerback Terence Newman.

It’s easy to downplay the incident and blame the media for blowing it out of proportion. It’s ridiculous to insist that the media is “misinformed” about the situation, since video clearly shows Newman shove Campo after heated words were exchanged, but Phillips tends to look foolish when some firmness is in order from the head coach.

Remember his reaction to Pacman Jones’ fight with the bodyguard at the hotel? Or how about the way Phillips handled T.O. tearing his team apart the latter half of last season?

Given an opportunity to clarify what happened on the sideline Sunday, Phillips essentially excused Newman’s behavior.

“I mean, people are invading the sidelines now,” Phillips said. “These things have been going on a long time in football. Players get upset, coaches get upset. Sometimes you get upset with each other. Sometimes you’re trying to talk to each other. There’s a lot of things that go on that we get worked out, and that’s what we did.”

OK, fine, but Newman clearly has a lack of respect for the coaching staff. No matter what Phillips says, it is not typical for players to get physical with their coaches.

Newman has declined to speak to the media since the end of Sunday’s game, but he’s publicly called out Phillips’ staff before. During a December appearance on ESPN’s First Take, Newman accused the Cowboys’ coaches of failing to own up for their mistakes.

“That's what I'd like to see happen,” Newman said of coaches taking accountability. “I think as a player, you notice things like that. How can you respect someone who doesn't respect you, because he's putting the blame on someone else, rather than owning up to it?"

Furthermore, how do you respect a head coach who doesn’t demand it?