Dear T.O.: Jerry Has 25 Million Reasons Why…

… you should worry more about your own ability than you should about how Bill Parcells hindered your performance:

After sometimes going a week or two without talking to Bill Parcells during the season, wide receiver Terrell Owens said the coach’s retirement, which was announced Monday, was best for him and the Cowboys.

“I am just hoping his retirement brings promise to what the team has to offer,” said Owens, who is in Miami recovering from surgery on his right index finger. “This past year was a big letdown. Hopefully, the owner will hire a coach to take the team to the next level.”

Owens described the team’s locker room environment, fostered by Parcells’ old school ways, as difficult.

“Sometimes change is good,” Owens said. ” I think it was needed.”

Owens understands there will be speculation that “he ran Parcells out of here” — especially after a season that included injuries, an accidental overdose and complaints about his role.

Owens said that, after everything he had been through in San Francisco and Philadelphia, he initially thought Parcells might be good for him.

The receiver’s impression changed when Parcells didn’t offer any encouragement after Owens’ accidental overdose

“I still think he is a great guy,” Owens said. “But he is like my grandmother. You love the person, but they are stuck in their old school ways.”

He said Parcells’ coaching style “hurt us.”

“You don’t know who is doing what,” Owens said. “You don’t know who is calling plays. That is why our offense was up and down. You saw that at the end of the year. It filtered off. We as a team felt the frustration. I felt the frustration. But Bill is Bill.”

Owens caught 85 passes for 1,180 yards and had a league-high 13 touchdowns. But he was undone by a league-high 18 dropped passes.

He said hand injuries were to blame for some of the drops, but said not being made the focal point of the offense was the biggest problem.

“I was underutilized in the offense,” Owens said. “A new coach can be good for the Cowboys. It’s not just me. But my teammates know I could have done more. I wasn’t used as a No. 1 receiver.”

Hey Terrell– This does not indicate why you were unable to get off the line in press coverage. This does not indicate why you were unable to create separation against apparently inferior corners. This does not indicate why you made drops that literally hundreds of other receivers could have made. And you dropped some of those passes in the most crucial of times.


Now before I tell Mr. Owens to go to hel…Oakland, there is another small matter to address about Mr. Tuna. Mind you, I have said that I won’t criticize Parcells any longer, but this comment by Jean-Jacques Taylor today has really bothered me:

Mr. Parcells never gave his coordinators an opportunity to maximize the talent on the roster. Did the Cowboys’ offense consistently show the creativity that New Orleans did this season under rookie head coach Sean Payton, who left Dallas last year? Nope. Even this season, Mr. Parcells often kept his thumb on play-caller Tony Sparano. Ask any of the key defensive linemen or linebackers on this team and they’ll tell you Mr. Parcells forced Mr. Zimmer to play more conservatively than he wanted to.

More than once, opposing players said the Cowboys ran some of the NFL’s most simplistic offensive and defensive schemes. They had no choice because the more complicated the schemes, the less Mr. Parcells understood them. And if he didn’t understand them, then he couldn’t adequately second-guess the calls the coordinators made. And if he couldn’t second-guess them, then he couldn’t properly assign blame.

Taylor has noted several times about how Parcells hindered the playcalling, but this is the first time that I seen him state that the reason was because he didn’t understand the more complicated systems and couldn’t place blame for what he didn’t understand. Any basic business course will tell you that demonstrates incompetent leadership, and that may very well have been at the heart of the problem.

Now I’m reading that Jones is going to start the search by interviewing some of the remaining staff from the team. Are these coaches more talented than what they were allowed to demonstrate? Likewise, do we really know what kind of talent that we have on this team with respect to personnel? We keep talking about how Parcells has stockpiled such great talent, but I’ve also read where scouts have told insiders that Dallas is overrated in spots (a certain strong safety, defensive line).

All of this is to say that I think that fresh ideas are necessary in order for this team to have any shot for success. That means reevaluate the systems, reevaluate the personnel. And the trouble is that I can’t see a coach that is currently on the staff being able to do that effectively, nor do I see another coach having enough time to assemble a good staff in time to start working for next year. We may very well take a step backwards before we start moving forward again.

[I posted this comment earlier today, and you can read the comments there.]


Now back to Owens: there may be something to what he has to say. Maybe Dallas needs to run more exotic schemes in order for him to get open. Maybe it stands a better chance to win if he were the focal point of the offense. Then again, did any of the four championship teams rely on a single star receiver as the focal point of its offense? And weren’t three of the four teams pretty dynamic in terms of their ability to move the ball through the air?

Anyway, thanks for listening, Terrell. Sincerely, KnowNothing.


Blogging the Boys has a good piece about Parcells that is worth reading. Just trying to spread knowledge here.

Videos: Parcells in a Nutshell

There are quite a few videos of Bill Parcells that would be fun to show, but I found three that I think provide a good sketch of the man as he relates to the Dallas Cowboys.

(1) Tell me whether this demonstrates that Parcells is a Giants guy. I maintain that it does.

This is from Peter King:

The other night, NFL Network aired one of the shows NFL Films has done about the best Super Bowl teams of all time. Parcells was in rare form through the show, chiding Lawrence Taylor and Phil Simms in old NFL Films footage, throwing out the kind of barbs that have made him famous, and listening to Simms say that not a day goes by that he doesn’t bring up a Parcellsism, in some way or other.

(2) Parcells gets his first win as the Dallas head coach against the Giants in the Meadowlands. The Cowboys had some big wins, but they could not maintain momentum in any of the four seasons he was here.

(3) Parcells could still play the media, but he did not get a free ride, especially this year.


Miscellaneous comments from…

Frank Luska:

As of last Friday, according to people who knew, Bill Parcells leaned toward coaching the Cowboys in 2007. Yet on Saturday, he felt like retiring. So on Monday, feeling no different, he did.

Hence the time line of the private wrestling match Parcells conducted with himself. He wore down and out of the profession at age 65. That’s why he’s gone from Valley Ranch and joins an ever-enlarged list of coaches who have failed to resurrect the franchise to former heights.

Forget the inevitable conspiracy theories that account for Parcells quitting. Such as beloved owner Jerry Jones forcing the issue by demanding Parcells stop dawdling with his decision. Or that he refused to pacify Parcells on new contract terms. And finally, that Jones wasn’t overwrought to see Bill leave.

None of it is true. Neither money nor pressure from any outside source was a factor in his exit. Still, the Parcells departure registered as surprise and semi-shock to a majority of local railbirds.

Jim Reeves:

In his four years here, he was a constant study in contradictions, entertaining and personable one moment, cold and impersonal the next. We never could figure out Bill Parcells.

More importantly, he never did figure out how to win again in today’s NFL.

As we expend ourselves over the next few days in newspaper print, on the radio, on television, trying to analyze why Bill Parcells elected to announce his retirement from coaching football Monday, we have to keep coming back to the bottom line.

He didn’t win. Not enough. Not at the right times. Not when it mattered most

Rick Gosselin:

This is his fourth coaching search since Jones last hoisted a Lombardi Trophy in January 1996. None of his three most recent hires was able to win him a playoff game, much less another Super Bowl.

First Jones hired a guy who knew offense (Chan Gailey). That didn’t work. Then he hired a guy who knew defense (Dave Campo). That didn’t work, either. Finally, Jones hired a guy who knew how to win – a head coach with almost as many Super Bowl rings as the Cowboys’ owner himself.

Jones gave Bill Parcells more power than any Cowboys coach since Jimmy Johnson. He let Parcells build a roster he wanted to build and play the schemes he wanted to play.

Parcells constructed a team that leaned heavily on veteran players, much as Joe Gibbs has done at Washington in his second go-round. Gibbs won three Super Bowls in the pre-salary cap era and Parcells two. You could afford to start older players and carry veteran backups under the old system. But not under the new system.

With salary-cap limits, you must play youth. That means drafting well and playing them early on. Neither Gibbs nor Parcells grasped that. They tried to win the way they won in the 1980s – with older players.

More from King:

When Parcells decided with certainty in the last 48 hours that he couldn’t do it, he told owner Jerry Jones, in effect, that he didn’t think he could muster up the 12 months of effort needed to get to that point where Dallas was a couple of weeks ago — on the verge of winning a playoff game with a chip-shot field goal. That chip-shot field goal went awry. And Parcells, 65, realized for him to go back to the grind would mean starting today in Mobile, Ala., and going right to free-agency when he got back, and then to the scouting combine, and then to draft trips and draft meetings, and then the draft, and then to mini-camps and off-season practices.

Parcells is at the point in his life where six weeks off a year just isn’t enough, particularly when he lives 1,400 miles from the part of the world he loves the most — the New Jersey/New England/Upstate New York area. The football demands on his time are too great.

“It’s time,” he said Monday afternoon from his office at Valley Ranch. “It’s a young man’s game. I’m in good health, but it’s time to give someone else a chance. I’m looking forward to whatever life has in store for me, and right now I have no idea what that is.”

Super Bowl XIII Airs Tonight

While the announcement of Bill Parcells’ retirement is going to be the subject of debate for some time, note that NFL Network is airing the full broadcast of Super Bowl XIII tonight. My copy is in such poor shape that parts of it are unwatchable, so I am very much looking forward to it. As […]

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No More Tuna Bashing

As of about two hours ago, it is no longer proper to criticize Bill Parcells, who has announced his retirement. After four seasons, the Bill Parcells era here in Dallas is over. The Cowboys’ head coach for the last four years officially announced his resignation here Monday morning. “I am retiring from coaching football. I […]

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Is It Treasonous to Adopt a Team?

Just an open question to the Cowboys faithful: Is it an act of treason not only to root for another team but also to get emotionally behind them? If it is, my only saving grace is that due to some Patriots fans on the official Cowboys message board (e.g., here), I really wanted to see […]

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A Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft Index: Justin Blalock is the Early Leader

Here is a link to a list of the various mock draft sites. Dallas Cowboys Fan Zone also has a sticky thread focusing on mock drafts. Texas offensive guard Justin Blalock is the big winner thus far, with 16 of the 46 mock drafts guessing that he will be taken first. Another lineman, Levi Brown […]

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A Fine Kickholder Picture

I’ve been using the same boring avatar (below) all season, but thanks to The Botch by Tony Romo, I get to use a new one (see further below). Thanks also to my mother for sending this, which is rather ironic because she much preferred my role as a kickholder to other roles due to her […]

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The Great… Um… Tuna Debate. Again.

There is a good chance that I am going to create a Know Your Dallas Desperados feature to this blog, because apparently I am going to be reduced to talking about: (a) trivial historical facts about which nobody cares; (b) some obscure items that I keep finding when I browse through Commission Junction and LinkShare, […]

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Some Presents That Keep on Giving

You know how the winners of the conference championships and the winner of the Super Bowl have championship gear already made for them to wear at the end of the game? And you know how sickening it must be for the opposing team to know that they too have gear already prepared that falsely indicates […]

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Now Here is a Great Video

Found another video that is really excellent, especially if you like watching clips of the old Dallas Cowboys. Tweet

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