If you tried for a week to imagine the most inane compliment Cowboys coach Wade Phillips could lob to his team, you still wouldn't come up with anything more precious than this, uttered by Phillips during his Monday press conference at Valley Ranch.
"We have the best walkthrough team I've ever been around."
Thank God and Jerry Jones for the 2008 Dallas Cowboys, the perfect confluence of sports and entertainment.
On Sunday – one week after a home loss to the Redskins brought on the first drama of the season – Dallas allowed the winless Cincinnati Bengals to climb back from a 17-0 deficit to make it 17-16 early in the fourth at Texas Stadium.
That the Cowboys ultimately won 31-22 took a backseat to the fact that the most talented team in the NFL had a chance to pound the Bengals so badly their team plane would be curled into the fetal position on the flight home. And they didn't do it.
But that story has now taken a backseat to the fact that Phillips is constitutionally incapable of seeing his team as anything less than 53 perfect little football players.
He opened his Monday press conference with more than two minutes worth of compliments to every facet of the team. A single cloud passed briefly through his remarks when he mentioned the secondary had problems with "bunch routes" then Phillips resumed the team-wide praise festival.
Over the next 30 minutes, the assembled Cowboys media prodded and cajoled Phillips in an effort to figure out why he believes it necessary to blow sunshine up his team's posterior on a round-the-clock basis.
Phillips said that he does speak to players when they aren't performing well (whoa, easy there General Patton!). But he also burped out quotes like these.
That last one hit me because on Sunday, quarterback Tony Romo – a player whose overall brilliance is frequently dulled by asinine and risky decisions – said: "I am pretty sure we won the game. It's not always the prettiest win. But we did win. I am sorry that I am not sorry that we won."
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
But that's not Phillips. Last year, the Cowboys limped through December, staggering around in a fashion that foretold playoff doom.
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