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Why did Parcells retire?

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A few hours after Bill Parcells dropped the bombshell that he is retiring, certain narratives and theories have started to take shape. For a man who spent the last two weeks looking like he was gearing up for another season, the decision by Parcells to hang it up is not as cut-and-dry as it would've been if he had done it shortly after the Seattle loss. So here are a few theories.

The ESPN Angle - Immediately after word came down, ESPN went with its tried-and-true story-line, asking the question over and over whether this had to do with Terrell Owens and Jerry's insistence that he return. This had little to do with it in my opinion, although I think Owens did irritate Parcells.

The Occam's Razor Angle - Occam's Razor says the simplest solution is usually the right solution. The simplest solution here is that Bill Parcells just couldn't decide, that he was really torn by the decision. Finally, he came down on the side of retirement.

The Bill and Jerry Angle, Part I - Jerry was ambivalent about Parcells return, and after waiting for a couple of weeks, he nudged Parcells into retirement. I think this would be more likely if Jones had done this a few days after the Seattle game. Waiting this long with other coaches being snapped up by other teams only to open up your own team's head coaching spot doesn't make sense.

The Bill and Jerry Angle, Part II - The theory is that Bill wanted a contract extension, he wanted more money or more security and Jerry Jones balked at the demands. This one actually sounds plausible. Parcells couldn't assemble a good staff with other coaches knowing he would be leaving after one year, so he told Jerry he needed more years on the contract and possibly more money. Jones decided the time was right to part ways.

The Bill and Jerry Angle, Part III - This is an old theory, one that some people are determined to make happen. The two egos of Bill and Jerry finally weren't meshing anymore, so they mutually agreed to end the relationship. Highly doubtful.

The Misdirection Angle - Parcells has known since shortly after the season that he wouldn't be coming back, but for whatever reason didn't want to announce it. Maybe he was using his Valley Ranch office as his hub for checking out other possible jobs.

Any other theories you know about? Which one do you think is correct?

Here's the standard AP article floating around about Bill Parcells' retirement.
After speculating about Terrell Owens' future, they move to the coaching candidates.

Before Jerry Jones starts thinking about that, he'll have to find the seventh coach in team history.

If Jones wants a proven commodity, he might go after Tennessee's Jeff Fisher or Bill Cowher, recently resigned from Pittsburgh. Both are under contract for 2007, which means their teams would get compensation in addition to the massive salaries they'd command.

If Jones looks for an NFL assistant, he could go for unproven but highly sought Ron Rivera, defensive coordinator in Chicago; or for former head coaches like San Diego defensive coordinator Wade Phillips or San Francisco offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Turner would be a popular choice locally; he called plays for Dallas' Super Bowl team in 1992 and remains close to Troy Aikman.

If Jones goes after a college coach, big-name candidates would be Charlie Weis of Notre Dame, a former Parcells assistant, and Southern California's Pete Carroll, who coincidentally replaced Parcells in New England in 1997. Bob Stoops of Oklahoma and Houston Nutt of Arkansas, Jones' alma mater, also might be considered.

There do not seem to be any strong internal candidates. The closest Parcells came to grooming a successor was Sean Payton, who was hired last year to coach New Orleans and became the NFL coach of the year.

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