Dallas Cowboys: The Men Behind the Star

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Dallas Cowboys: The Men Behind the Star
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

It is fair to say that the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff was born into football. Bum Phillips, father of Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, was a coaching legend in Texas long before taking on the mantle of head coach for the Houston Oilers.

And Wade is passing the torch to his son, Wesley Phillips, who serves as an offensive assistant and quality control coach.

Highly regarded as a defensive guru, Wade helped introduce the 3-4 defense into the NFL while serving as a linebackers coach for the Houston Oilers under his father.

His first head coaching position was a brief stint as interim coach of the New Orleans Saints after his father retired. He's compiled an impressive 70-49 record during head coaching stops at five teams, including the Dallas Cowboys.

His extensive experience with the 3-4 defense and the consistency by which he's turned his teams into defensive powerhouses led to the Dallas Cowboys head coach position. In 2009, Wade Phillips will return his roots, serving as both the head coach and the defensive coordinator.

Jason Garrett's father, Jim Garrett, is also no stranger to football. Jim was a player, coach and scout, having served on the staff of the New York Giants, New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns. And Jason's brother, John, coaches alongside him as the tight ends coach.

Jason was well known in Dallas long before taking over the offensive coordinator position in 2007. Jason served as a backup to Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman from 1993 to 1999.

He was thrust into the spotlight on Thanksgiving Day, 1994. Filling in for an injured Aikman, Jason passed for 311 yards and 2 touchdowns in a comeback victory over the Green Bay Packers.

After leaving the ranks of the NFL as a player, Jason returned as a coach, serving as quarterback coach of the Miami Dolphins for two years. Though of as one of the bright young minds of the NFL, Jason has been highly sought after for head coaching positions.

Following the 2007 season, he turned down offers from the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons. He also interviewed with the Detroit Lions and St. Louis Rams following the 2008 season.

While Joe DeCamilis can't lay claim to the same father-to-son football tradition as Jason Garrett and Wade Phillips, he may very well go down as the luckiest coach in Dallas Cowboys history. DeCamilis suffered a broken neck when the Cowboys' practice facility collapsed, but is expected to make a full recovery.

DeCamilis started his coaching career in Denver, and moved to the New York Giants in 1993 where he took over as the special teams coach. After four years with the Giants, he spent 1997 to 2006 with the Atlanta Falcons.

DeCamilis spent the last two years as the special teams coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who excelled in kick coverage under his guidance. His move to Dallas reunites him with Wade Phillips, who he coached alongside in Atlanta from 2002 to 2003 and Denver from 1989 to 2002 while Phillips was the defensive coordinator.

And much of Dallas's success in 2009 will depend on the work of Joe Juraszek, the strength and conditioning coach. Offense, defense and special teams may rule game day, but it is the strength and conditioning done throughout the year that gets the team through the season.

Joe has been with the Cowboys since 1997 and works closely with players to tailor their work out program to their individual needs. Joe started out as a strength coach at Texas Tech University from 1987 to 1992 before moving on to serve at the same position for the University of Oklahoma from 1993 to 1996.

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