Our ex-coach - no, not Wade Phillips - but the guy before that, Bill Parcells, recently talked to the media about the lockout, and a little about the Cowboys. Love 'em or hate 'em, The Tuna has been around the NFL for years and years, so he does come with some experience behind his proclamations.
When asked about the lockout, and how it's going to affect teams in terms of preparations for the season, Parcells took the opposite route from the conventional wisdom. We've lamented many times the problems with having so many new coaches in the organization and having to teach their philosophies and schemes to the players. While Parcells didn't address this problem in particular, he did offer some words that might give us a little encouragement.
Make the jump...
What would your strategy be to get your team ready in a short amount of time if the lockout were to be lifted?
"Coincidentally I always felt like you really do a better job with less time than more time because when you have less time and you have to decide what is really of the utter most importance and you focused immediately on that. Whereas when you have a lot of time to time deliberate as to what to do a lot of times you kind of get off on little tangents. You’re trying to work on stuff that you’re not really sure of yet. I think when time is of the essence you make decisions that are important [saying] ‘We have to absolutely do this’ and you kind of get to it, so I think that’s probably the way I would approach it. I would be kind of writing down ‘Okay I need to get this done. This done. This done’. However long this list is and these are the important things and then these are the ancillary things that I’m hopeful that I could work in, but I just think you approach it with what’s important or most important. You try to put the emphasis there."
I can take some solace in that answer, having a limited amount of time and a sharp deadline does tend to focus the mind on the important tasks at hand. But, I still have to say that having a new defensive coordinator teaching a new scheme still puts the Cowboys at a disadvantage going into the 2011 season - if we do have a 2011 season.
Later, Parcells was asked about something much more directly related to the Cowboys.
The last game you coached was the infamous Tony Romo botched snap against the Seahawks [1/6/2007] in the playoffs. Let’s say the snap wasn’t botched. How much longer would your coaching career have been extended?
"That’s a good question. Obviously that is a memory that is a difficult one for me. I remember flying back from Seattle and I was at the age of 66 or so. It’s another off-season, regular season, pre-season, just to get to that opportunity and when you’ve been doing it since 1964 and it’s 2006…that’s a long time. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to do it. I wouldn’t say that that one game really had much to do with anything. It just was…I just think it was time to stop coaching because you have to get off the train sometime and I had a difficult time doing that because I do love the game, but I think as far as coaching, it’s a young man’s game and it’s for someone else now."
That game and the result still bothers me as one that got away. Not only in the direct result of letting a playoff win slip through our fingers, but because of what happened the next week. The Cowboys would have traveled to play the Chicago Bears, and I still consider the Bears as one of the weaker teams to make a Super Bowl run in recent times. I'm still convinced the Cowboys of that season could have taken the Bears in that playoff game, and who knows what would have happened from there.
But, it wasn't to be, and we'll never know. An opportunity missed.