Wade Phillips left Dallas an unpopular man. The gifted defensive coordinator served as head coach of the Cowboys from 2007 to 2010, and despite leading the team to three winning seasons, early playoff exits in both of the team’s postseason appearances—combined with a disastrous 1-7 start to his final season, which saw him fired in November—meant that Cowboys fans were happy to see him go

Phillips—son of legendary former Oilers coach Bum Phillips—revived his career after he was hired by the Houston Texans as defensive coordinator. Under his guidance, the Houston defense became one of the premiere units in the league, and the word “redemption” started getting tossed around to describe his career. 

But when Texans head coach Gary Kubiak collapsed at halftime on Sunday after suffering a mini-stroke, Phillips stepped in to manage the rest of the game—and Cowboys fans, no strangers to late-game collapses under Phillips’ tenure in Dallas, got to see the same thing happen to Houston, as they blew a 21-3 halftime lead to lose to the Indianapolis Colts 27-24. 

Today, the Texans made official that Phillips would be serving as interim head coach of the team while Kubiak recovers. And Cowboys fans on Twitter, who still seem to harbor some ill feelings for their former coach, took the opportunity to offer snark, condolences, and gloating. 


Still, there were a few Cowboys fans who seemed to have softer feelings for Phillips (perhaps spurred on by feelings for current coach Jason Garrett, who’s not much more popular in Dallas these days) than their peers.
Phillips’ tenure in charge of the Texans will likely be short-lived: Kubiak has already been released from the hospital, though there’s no timetable for his return. In the meantime, the Texans have winnable games against the struggling Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders, and Jacksonville Jaguars ahead of them this month. Phillips could well get all the redemption he needs by coaching against any or all of those teams—though if the team loses, Texans fans will probably only hear more gloating from their Dallas friends and family. 
(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)