Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
I don't think Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was prepared to fire coach Wade Phillips had the team lost to the Bucs on Sunday, but at 4-4, he would've been in desperation mode. Instead, the Cowboys escaped with a 13-9 victory, and Phillips received the game ball from Jones.
"Quite a few people had our coach fired this week, but it was never going to happen," Jones told Peter King. "No one's as responsible for this win as him."
As I wrote in my game column Sunday, Jones took several stabs at paying Phillips a compliment after the game, but a lot of it came across as back-handed. In four different media sessions, he attempted to say that Phillips had been making head coaches look good for years. He was pointing out that Phillips made himself look good in Sunday's 13-9 win, but the praise seemed a bit forced. Jones knows this team's playoff hopes are hanging by a thread as it prepares for a trip to the Meadowlands this weekend.
The Giants (6-1) and Redskins (6-2) are clearly the best teams in the division and the Eagles (4-3) looked like a rejuvenated team in a 27-14 win over the Falcons. If the Cowboys (5-3) went on another two-game losing skid, they'd pretty much fall out of the playoff race. That's why Sunday's win was so huge. The goal is to stay afloat until quarterback Tony Romo returns from injury.
And for one week, that's exactly what the Cowboys did.