Phillips' son to coach special teams

Updated: December 28, 2009, 9:21 AM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

LANDOVER, Md. -- Cowboys' special teams coach Joe DeCamillis has gone through a difficult year physically.

Sunday night, DeCamillis underwent an appendectomy at a Virginia hospital, about 90 minutes before kickoff between the Cowboys and the Redskins.

DeCamillis experienced pain on Sunday and then was rushed to the hospital. He will not coach in Sunday's game. DeCamillis' status for the rest of the season is uncertain. The Cowboys leave for Dallas after the game and it's not determined if DeCamillis will be on the team charter.

Wes Phillips, head coach Wade Phillips' son, will take over the special teams duties. Other coaches will also help Wes Phillips.

On May 2, DeCamillis suffered a broken vertebrae when he and several others were injured when the Cowboys practice facility crashed because of a severe storm.

After undergoing surgery, doctors told DeCamillis his return for the regular season was in question. But DeCamillis coached in the summer during organized team activities and minicamps with a neck brace and took painkillers.

DeCamillis hasn't missed a game as he recovers from his neck injury.

Wade Phillips and several players said DeCamillis inspired the team during the season because of his return from the neck injury.

DeCamillis has also pumped up the team before games. In a team meeting, the night before the Cowboys-Saints game last weekend, DeCamillis showed the players a tape of former NFL coach Tony Dungy saying the Cowboys had no chance to win the game.

Dallas would win the Saturday night game in New Orleans, and several players noted how DeCamillis gave the team the edge it needed.

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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