Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has decided that head coach Wade Phillips will return next season despite the team's 34-3 loss Sunday to the Minnesota Vikings, a high-ranking team source said Monday.
There has been no decision on whether to negotiate an extension of Phillips' current contract, the source said. The Cowboys control Phillips' fate because they have an option for the 2010 season under terms of Phillips' original contract that will pay him close to the $3 million he earned this season when he served as the league's only head coach-defensive coordinator.
The Cowboys have made no official announcement on Phillips' future.
Jones has indicated for weeks that Phillips was likely to return but remained noncommittal following Sunday's lopsided defeat that eliminated the Cowboys from the NFC playoffs.
A Cowboys spokesman said the head coach is not expected to speak to the media Monday and nothing has been scheduled for him to speak the rest of the week.
"His record speaks for itself," quarterback Tony Romo said outside the Cowboys' locker room Monday. "He's done a great job, kept the team together through a lot of tough times this year. He's done a fantastic job as coach of the Cowboys."
Phillips won the first playoff game of his head-coaching career when Dallas beat the Philadelphia Eagles in a first-round game. It ended the Cowboys' 13-year streak without a playoff victory
"It just wouldn't make any sense to let him go right now, with just the way that we played, the way that we ended the season," linebacker Bradie James said. "I don't think that's broken."
Under Phillips, the Cowboys are 33-15 in the regular season and have claimed two NFC East titles in three seasons. This year, his defense allowed the fewest points in the NFC.
"I think it's always important to continue to have the same system in place," Romo said. "For players, it goes a long way to continue to build and continue to improve, because the system is a big part of it."
Added strong safety Gerald Sensabaugh: "He does a great job of coaching. You've seen the strides this team has taken from the beginning of this season to the end. He's a great coach. It's good to play for a guy like Wade."
The source also said that disappointing wide receiver Roy E. Williams — who made $9 million this season — is certain to return after a lackluster first full season with the Cowboys. Williams' season ended with him failing to make a single reception against the Vikings. Romo threw his direction only once, a throwaway under pressure.