Former Cowboys Head Coach Bill Parcells Announces Permanent Retirement from NFL

According to a story from NFL.com Wire Reports, former head honcho Bill Parcells is done for good.

"I'm done," he told reporters Monday on a conference call regarding his New England Patriots Hall of Fame nomination. "... I think I'm going to leave the NFL to someone else right now."

Parcells, most recently the executive Vice President of the Miami Dolphins, was the Cowboys head coach and main decision maker from 2003-2006. He had previously won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, been to another with the New England Patriots and also coached the New York Jets. In his first season in Dallas, he led a Cowboys team coming off of three successive 5-11 campaigns to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth. More amazing, he did this with quarterback Quincy Carter and his 71.4 passer rating as his field general. Even though Parcells was a 3-4 guru, when he took over the team he knew that the team didn't have the personnel to move to his preferred scheme. He retained Mike Zimmer as the defensive coordinator and the two defensive minds constructed a scheme that led the league in least yards allowed.

On the offensive side of the ball, Parcells and coordinator Sean Payton started their tenure by finding a little known quarterback prospect from Eastern Illinois named Tony Romo. Payton, who was allowed to come over to join Parcells after having his play calling duties stripped away in New York by Jim Fassell, was the first in the new wave of BP coaching disciples. In this current stint, he has spawned Payton, Tony Sporano of the Dolphins, and Todd Haley of Kansas City. He also helped start the careers of Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Al Groh, Chris Palmer and Eric Mangini.

That first Parcells draft netted Terrence Newman (1st, 5th overall) Jason Witten (3rd, 69th overall) and Bradie James (4th, 103th overall) in addition to Tony Romo's free agent signing. He also signed former players Richie Anderson and Terry Glenn, one of my favorite Cowboys of recent lore.

Follow the jump for more...

Parcells then led the transition to the 3-4 defense, one which Jerry Jones later would come out and say he was sticking with for the foreseeable future. Jones was a man of his word and hired 3-4 guru Wade Phillips in 2007 as the head coach.

During training camp before the 2004 season, Parcells shocked the world and released Quincy Carter. It was allegedly over a failed team-administered drug test, a policy forbidden by the league. Some say that this release paved the way for Tony Romo's place on the roster, however in hindsight you'd have to think that Romo could have beaten out Chad Hutchinson.

Parcells teams missed the playoffs in 2004, and again in 2005 but this time by only one game. In those years, Parcells brought in Vinny Testaverde, Drew Bledsoe, Keyshawn Johnson, Jason Ferguson, and other ex-players to mix in with his draft picks. Having full control over personnel matters, Parcells had spent three seasons molding the Cowboys with a mix of "Parcells-Guys" vets and young players. He changed the culture of the franchise that had been long suffering since the Michael Irvin injury and gave renewed hope to the fanbase. With the team on the cusp of the playoffs again, it appeared that Jerry Jones decided to go for broke; a move that may have led to the early departure of Parcells.

It is said that Jones hated not being in full control of all things Cowboys, and it appears that free agency 2006 was the tipping point. Jones signed wideout Terrell Owens, a move not exactly blessed by Parcells. BP famously called Owens "the player" for the entire season they spent together in Big D. This led to the release of Keyshawn Johnson, a former #1 overall draft pick of Parcells with the Jets. Parcells followed this undermining with one of the worst drafts in recent Cowboys history. Famous bust Bobby Carpenter in the first round led many to wonder if Parcells was using other tools to build his big board, in lieu of player talent.

During the season, in Week 7 against the Giants, Parcells forklifted the statuesque Drew Bledsoe from the lineup and inserted his quarterback project Tony Romo. Romo would lead the team to a victory in his first start against Carolina, and then forward to the playoffs.

Parcells final game as coach of the Cowboys came against the Seattle Seahawks in the 'tournament' as he often referred to the postseason. His famous stubbornness seemed to come home to roost, as he refused to attack a depleted Seahawks secondary that had to reach out to the insurance industry for replacements. Former Cowboy Pete Hunter was pulled off the scrap heap to start at safety for Seattle due to injuries, but the Cowboys inexplicably never adjusted their game plan to take advantage of the situation. We all know the other transgressions of that game.


Parcells only had one year remaining on his contract, Amidst reports that he was shopping himself for the New York Giants GM position, Parcells retired from the Cowboys on January 22, 2007.

All in all though, I think most Cowboys fans are thankful for the time that Parcells had in Dallas. His press conferences were comedy hours, and after four years of Phillips pressers, growing in their legendary status. Take a look below at the roster transitions, "churn" as he would call it, and see how he affected change in the organization. An NFL without Bill Parcells is a lesser NFL, in my humble opinion.

2003 2004 2005 2006
terence newman julius jones demarcus ware bobby carpenter
al johnson jacob rogers marcus spears anthony fasano
jason witten stephen peterman kevin burnett jason hatcher
bradie james bruce thornton marion barber skyler green
bj tucker sean ryan chris canty pat watkins
zuriel smith nathan jones justin beriault montavious stanley
justin bates patrick crayton rob petitti paul mcquistan
tony romo jacques reeves jay ratliff ej whitley
richie anderson mat mcbriar LP Ladoucceur shaun suisham
terry glenn vinny testaverde marco rivera kyle kosier
dan campbell drew henson scott fujita terrell owens
al singleton eddie george anthony henry  
  keyshawn johnson aaron glenn  
  quincy morgan marc colombo  
    jason ferguson  
    drew bledsoe  
    peerless price


Rookies highlighted in yellow. If you notice anyone I missed let me know.

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