Cowboys won't name coach until after Sunday


Published: Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys won't name Bill Parcells' replacement until after the Super Bowl.

In his first public comments since Parcells retired Jan. 22, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Wednesday he wouldn't have a decision on a new coach until next week. Jones has already interviewed eight candidates, and might add to that list.

"We've got a good football team, and I've got to get this right," Jones said. "We've got to make a good decision when we select the next coach. We're going to have the opportunity and a plan in place that will allow us to do that."

By waiting until after the Super Bowl on Sunday, Jones could interview Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera and Jim Caldwell, the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts. NFL rules prohibit teams from talking to those coaches until after the Super Bowl.

When asked if the possibility of more interviews meant he would talk to coaches from the Super Bowl teams, Jones responded, "Not necessarily." He is scheduled to travel to Miami for the Super Bowl on Thursday.

Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary, the assistant head coach for the San Francisco 49ers, interviewed Tuesday. That came two days after 49ers offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who was the Cowboys' offensive coordinator for two Super Bowl victories and a two-time head coach.

Singletary and Turner are both expected to be at the Super Bowl. Singletary played for the Bears when they were last in the Super Bowl 21 years ago, and Turner's brother, Ron, is Chicago's offensive coordinator.

"We'll probably be bumping into them, and it would be impossible not to be talking about some of the things that we've discussed in the interview," Jones said.

Jason Garrett was hired last week for an unspecified role on the Cowboys staff, likely as offensive coordinator, after he interviewed for the head coaching vacancy. Garrett, who was Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman's backup for two Super Bowl titles, is still a candidate for the top job. He was the Miami Dolphins' quarterbacks coach the past two seasons — his only coaching experience.

Defensive coordinators Wade Phillips of San Diego and Gary Gibbs of New Orleans have also interviewed, as did three of Parcells' assistants.

Jones said he hasn't eliminated any of the candidates from consideration.

CHARGERS

Linebacker Steve Foley sued the city of Coronado and the off-duty police officer who shot him three times outside his home, his attorney said Wednesday.

The civil suit accuses Officer Aaron Mansker of negligence and excessive force, and seeks unspecified damages from the officer and the city.

Foley was shot early Sept. 3 near his home in suburban Poway by Mansker, a 23-year-old rookie Coronado police officer who was off-duty at the time and suspected the linebacker of drunken driving.

Mansker told investigators that he shot Foley after the player reached for his waistband. Investigators said Foley was unarmed.

Foley missed the season and wasn't paid his $775,000 salary.

The linebacker was flying to Miami on Wednesday and wasn't immediately available for comment, said his lawyer, Jordan Cohen. The suit was filed Friday in San Diego Superior Court.

A Coronado city official didn't immediately respond to a phone message.

AWARDS

San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson and New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees were honored Wednesday as the NFL's players of the year, while the Saints' Sean Payton picked up another coach of the year award.

Tomlinson, who won The Associated Press' MVP award by a wide margin over Brees, rushed for 1,815 yards and a league-record 28 touchdowns this season, plus he set another NFL record by finishing with 186 points and 31 overall touchdowns.

"This means a lot to me," Tomlinson said in video remarks shown at a news conference at the Super Bowl.

Brees threw for a league-best 4,418 yards in the regular season, earning him All-Pro recognition in his first year with the Saints. He helped lead New Orleans to the NFC title game, where the Saints lost to the Chicago Bears.

"It's an award that really belongs to the city as well, after everything the city of New Orleans has gone through," Brees said. "The support we were able to get this year was tremendous. ... The excitement and energy and electricity was unbelievable."

Payton, in his first year as a head coach and the AP's coach of the year winner, led the Saints to a 10-6 record, the NFC South title, and a berth in the conference championship game. He was also hailed for helping to revitalize New Orleans as it recovers from Hurricane Katrina.

"We certainly, on a week-to-week basis, feel the support in New Orleans for our team and regionally for our team," Payton said. "And it's always exciting when something is voted on by the whole country. ... I'm proud to accept this award on behalf of everyone in our organization."

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