IRVING — Having been hired largely because of his reputation as a top defensive coach, Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips has taken a more active role in that area beginning this week. But he would not say that he will call defenses, which would mean taking away the responsibility from defensive coordinator Brian Stewart.
One player denied a report that said Stewart will no longer be calling defenses. Phillips would only say he did not want to get into all of that.
“I’m just trying to help him,” Phillips said of Stewart. “Nothing’s changed, except I’m going to be helping more.”
The Cowboys’ defense ranks 11th in the NFL. The unit has come under heavy criticism after a 20-point loss against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday in which the defense allowed 160 rushing yards to back Steven Jackson.
The Cowboys have only two interceptions this season, none by their cornerbacks.
“I can help more than I have,” Phillips said. “When I step back and look at it, I say, ‘I’m losing some of my expertise’ even though I’m in there on a lot of the meetings. I’m trying to be more proactive.”
Bollinger No. 2
Brooks Bollinger will be the No. 2 quarterback Sunday. Although Tony Romo said he could not have played against the St. Louis Rams, he was listed as the backup. But Wade Phillips said Romo would not have played had something happened to Brad Johnson.
Bollinger was signed by the Cowboys on Sept. 8 after he was cut by the Minnesota Vikings. In his career, he’s thrown for 2,155 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Cornerback Terence Newman increased his workload this week by adding jogging to his routine. Not a lot, but some. He is coming off surgery to correct a sports hernia two weeks ago.
Newman, running back Felix Jones (hamstring) and Romo are expected to return the week after the bye when the Cowboys play at Washington Nov. 16.
T.O. going with the flow
Pro Bowl wide receiver Terrell Owens has grown weary of questions about his role in the offense.
He appears to be getting back at the media after he was criticized locally and nationally for complaining he didn’t have enough opportunities after 18 passes were sent his direction against Washington.
When asked if he would like to go in motion more to free him up, he answered: “I can’t put myself in motion. I’m just going out there with the plays that are called.”
Since his seven-catch, 71 yards effort against Washington in Week 4, Owens has eight catches for 134 yards and one touchdown in the past three games combined.
The Cowboys have signed strong safety Daren Stone and placed Roy Williams on injured reserve after he re-broke his forearm against St. Louis.
Stone played 12 games with Atlanta last season. He is expected to primarily play special teams. The second-year veteran played at Maine and was born in Jamaica.
“It’s great opportunity,” Stone said. “This team gets a lot of media coverage, a lot of TV coverage.”