Reports: Parcells to be new Cowboys coach

Jan. 1, 2003 at 12:10 PM
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IRVING, Texas, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Bill Parcells, who has guided two teams to Super Bowls, Thursday will be named the new coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

ESPN reported Wednesday that Parcells has agreed to a four-year contract worth $17 million and officially will be introduced on Thursday. The Dallas Morning News reported on its Web site Monday that Parcells has reached an agreement on the deal, but no announcement was made.

Parcells, 61, confirmed to the New York Daily News that he has had productive conversations with Jones, the owner and general manager of the Cowboys, but "nothing is imminent."

Parcells is known to be a person who gets cold feet. Last year, he agreed to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then backed out at the last minute.

The Bucs have claimed they are entitled to compensation, saying Parcells signed a four-year contract with them before he changed his mind. The NFL has yet to make an announcement on the issue, but will likely not grant Tampa Bay compensation if a contract with Parcells was not formally filed to the league.

Parcells, who has been out of coaching for the last three years, met with Jones on Dec. 18 for more than five hours and again on Dec. 27. It appeared to be an odd pairing since Jones constantly has meddled with his coaches and eventually drove away Jimmy Johnson, who won two Super Bowl titles in Dallas, while Parcells craves complete control.

Parcells left the New England Patriots after leading them to the Super Bowl in 1997 because he demanded final say in personnel decisions, prompting his famous quotation: "If they're going to ask you to cook the meal, they ought to let you buy the groceries."

Jones has never hired a high-profile coach with a proven NFL track record. He previously hired successful college coaches Johnson and Barry Switzer, and NFL assistants Chan Gailey and Dave Campo.

After firing Campo on Monday after a third straight 5-11 season, Jones said he was ready to embrace "a change in philosophy."

Working this year as a studio analyst on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown," Parcells last coached for the New York Jets in 1999 and said he would consider coaching again in the "absolute right situation."

Dallas is a rebuilding team, and has a hands-on owner known for walking the sidelines. Parcells directed the New York Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1986 and '90, and the Patriots to a Super Bowl appearance in 1996. He also took the Jets to the AFC championship game in 1998.

In 2003, the Cowboys are scheduled to play both New York teams and will make visits to New England and Tampa Bay.

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