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Testy Jerry Jones emphasizes Wade Phillips, staff to return next season

IRVING — Owner Jerry Jones has grown weary of questions about coach Wade Phillips' future with the Dallas Cowboys.

Jones has said more than once in the past few weeks that he does not plan to make a coaching change at the end of the season regardless of whether the Cowboys made the playoffs.

Asked again Friday about Phillips' job status heading into Sunday's must-win game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Jones grew a little testy.

"Look, can y'all not understand statements?" Jones said. "What the [expletive] is going on here? Really. I really don't understand what is going on. The coaching staff is in place. The coaching staff is in place. The building is here. You want to ask the question, 'What if it blows down?' "

OK, so what if the building blows down?

"We'll build it back up," Jones responded tersely.

Jones, however, did allow that the game against the Eagles could be the defining moment of the season and could possibly be the team's biggest regular-season game in more than a decade.

Win, and the Cowboys make the playoffs and get a chance to realize their Super Bowl-or-bust dreams.

Lose, and this could be the most disappointing and underachieving season in franchise history.

Jones compared it to a 1995 playoff game against the Eagles when Deion Sanders scored on a reverse to spark the win. The Cowboys went on to win the Super Bowl, the most recent of their five Super Bowl titles.

"I've always looked back at that as a defining moment in us getting to the Super Bowl at that time," Jones said. "A defining play and defining game is when we beat Philadelphia out there. This one would be no less than that. It will be if we would make that run because we [otherwise] are not going to get a chance to do it."

Briefly

■ Quarterback Tony Romo is feeling better and ready to go after missing Wednesday’s practice with a viral infection, coach Wade Phillips said.

■ Running back Marion Barber (dislocated right pinkie toe) practiced Friday, but he will be a game-time decision on Sunday.

■ Tight end Jason Witten (ankle) practiced Thursday and Friday on a limited basis. Phillips expects Witten to play against the Eagles because he has played through injuries all season. But he said there is a question as to what extent. The Cowboys signed tight end Rodney Hannah from the practice squad in case Witten is sidelined.

■ The Cowboys placed receiver Isaiah Stanback (shoulder) on injured reserve.

■ Left guard Montrae Holland (sprained ankle) did not practice and will not play Sunday.

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