When Wes Phillips joined the Cowboys staff as a quality control coach/offensive assistant in 2007 there was no secret to how he got the job. His father Wade was the team's head coach.
Six years later and two and a half years after his father was fired, Phillips was introduced to the media Thursday as the team's new tight ends coach.
His ascension up the ranks of the Cowboys coaching staff from a guy who broke down film who helped out with receivers to a guy who helped out with special teams to a guy who was the assistant offensive line coach to a full-fledged position coach under a new a different staff, without the hint of nepotism, is no secret either.
It's the result of Phillips' hard work and the respect he earned from coach Jason Garrett.
"I'm absolutely proud of it," Phillips said. "That was my goal when I was hired here. I understand I got the opportunity cause my dad was in this league. My main drive was to prove I belonged here and I could do the job and do it well. I wanted to work hard and show people I can do it as well as anybody."
It's also a testament to Phillips' work ethic and professionalism as well as that of Garrett, considering the emotional experience of his dad getting fired after three and half years in 2010 and then going and work for his replacement. He said his life as the son of a coach and the grandson of legendary Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips prepared him for the ups and downs of coaching.
"Well, I think it’s tough any time someone you look up to gets fired or does not have the success that you hoped they would have," Phillips said. "I experienced that growing up, but this time I was a part of it and had a hand in it. It was definitely difficult for all of us, but you move on, keep working. I grew up in this business and had seen dad get fired before, you kind of keep that under your hat that good coach’s get fired, too. You keep believing in that and believing that you’re doing the right things."
Phillips has done the right things in Dallas and said no one is more excited for him than his dad.
"He’s happy for me," Phillips said.
"Obviously, very encouraging. He’s given me some good words of wisdom
through the years."