Parcells to coach Cowboys

Published: Thursday, January 2, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 2, 2003 at 3:07 a.m.
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New York Jets head coach Bill Parcells coaches on the sidelines against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Nov. 23, 1997, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Parcells is returning to the NFL. Really. The coach known for walking away from agreements will join the Dallas Cowboys, telling ESPN on Wednesday that he's leaving the network to try to turn around America's Team.

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
IRVING, Texas - Tuna is heading for Texas. Or so he says. Bill Parcells, known for winning Super Bowls and, more recently, for walking away from deals that seemed done, told ESPN Wednesday that he was leaving the network to become the Dallas Cowboys' coach.
``I'm going to do it,'' Parcells said, according to
Despite widespread reports that Parcells would be introduced formally by the Cowboys today, spokesman Rich Dalrymple said Wednesday that no announcement was scheduled.
Calls to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Parcells' agent, Jimmy Sexton, weren't returned.
``Jerry has invested a lot in the Cowboys and the thing that drives him more than anything else is his desire to win,'' Parcells said. ``That's the biggest common (denominator) we both have.''
The 61-year-old Parcells, whose nickname is Tuna, will be the sixth Cowboys coach but the first with experience as an NFL head coach.
The last of Parcells' 15 NFL seasons was in 1999 with the New York Jets. He also jilted Tampa Bay twice and Atlanta once.
When Dave Campo was fired on Monday after three straight 5-11 seasons, Jones said he wanted to hire a proven coach. The Cowboys owner had already spoken to Parcells for about 11 hours on two occasions.
All three franchises Parcells coached had losing records before he took over and made the playoffs in his second season.
Parcells won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants and took the New England Patriots to an NFL title game before coaching the Jets. His career record is 138-100-1 (.579 winning percentage).
Only Tom Landry, the first Cowboys coach, Don Shula, Chuck Noll and Joe Gibbs have more postseason victories than Parcells, who has an 11-6 postseason record.
Jones wants Parcells so much that he's apparently willing to allow the new coach more authority than anyone since Jimmy Johnson, the first coach he hired after buying the Cowboys in 1989.
A league source told ESPN that Parcells will have control of his coaching staff, the 53-man roster and will be involved with Jones in evaluating and making any changes to the team's scouting department.
``I just needed to think some things over and sleep on it one last time,'' Parcells said. ``All these other reports were premature until this morning. You know, this is important to both Jerry and me. We don't want to fail. It's got to work, and I feel good about it.
Citing an unidentified source, ESPN reported Parcells signed a four-year, $17.1 million contract. The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported earlier in the week that the team offered a four-year contract worth about $4.5 million a season.
Last year, he was so close to joining the Buccaneers that he signed a contract, and now Tampa Bay wants compensation from any team that hires him. The Bucs will present their case to the commissioner's office today.
Two sources within the league told The Associated Press that the Bucs would not receive any compensation because the deal Parcells signed was not forwarded to the league office and therefore never approved by commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

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