Kevin Blackistone notes something that many of us have been wondering: Where exactly is Bill Parcells?
There was a lot of buzz over the fact that he was not at the press conference announcing the signing of controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens. Then again, Parcells didn’t show up for the Drew Bledsoe conference last year, either, and we know Bledsoe is one of “his guys.”
But Parcells was nowhere to be seen at yesterday’s draft, either. And that’s unusual.
You’d be hard-pressed to find an NFL franchise Saturday when the draft started, whose coach wound up unavailable to talk about the new charges he was adding to his arsenal. You’d be hard-pressed to find such a precedent with the Cowboys for that matter. This doesn’t happen. And it shouldn’t have. But moments after [team spokesman Brett] Daniels redesigned Valley Ranch’s interview theater, Jerry, sporting a blue jacket with a silver star in the lapel, strode in. And when asked about his coach, Jerry responded: “He’s doing fine, but he’s gonna let me do the talkin’ today.”
You get the feeling that if you ran into Jerry and Bill dining somewhere, they’d look like a couple in the last throes of a bad marriage. Not speaking. Making little eye contact. Just stabbing at their food with heads down, hoping it would just disappear so they’d have no more reason to be there in public together. You get the feeling that Bill is off in a room somewhere, arms crossed tightly across his chest, shaking his head from side to side refusing to do anything the boss wants because he’s being made to eat something he doesn’t like, a petulant player.
Jerry even sounded Saturday like a partner in a troubled union who was trying to do everything he could to please the other half. He pointed out how the first two players the team drafted Saturday, linebacker Bobby Carpenter from Ohio State and tight end Anthony Fasano from Notre Dame, were selected specifically to continue the overhaul of the Cowboys’ offensive and defensive models to the desire of his coach. Out is the old offense with a fullback and in is Bill’s preferred scheme with two tight ends and one back. Out is the traditional 4-3 defense and in is Bill’s preferred 3-4.
You could almost hear Jerry’s back breaking as he explained how much he was bending over to appease his coach. And you couldn’t help but hear Bill screaming in silence.
Randy Galloway is also concerned.
Landry, Jimster, Switzer, Chan, Campo and, until Saturday, Bill Parcells himself the last three Aprils, had always willingly addressed the first-day haul with the local media. Forty-seven years, and no head coach ever ran scared of media questions on Draft Day. But it’s been nearly four months now, and Parcells continues to be in his bunker, ducking local reporters.
So what’s the problem here? Easy answer. Parcells has Eldorado Owens-phobia. Big Bill is not yet ready to tell the world why he approved the acquisition of Mr. Owens.
Instead, Parcells continues to lurk in the Valley Ranch shadows, wearing his own self-devised muzzle. Jerry Jones now does the talking for the Cowboys, and did so again on Draft Day. Meanwhile, Parcells gives the impression he’s a lame-duck coach, hoping for one last splash in his one last season before he takes a hike out of town.
I must admit, Parcell’s silence is quite bizarre. He agreed to a new two year deal this offseason, despite already being under contract for 2006. The signings and non-signings made were all in accordance with Parcell’s philosophy. Parcells has had carte blanche to hire, fire, and reassign coaches.
The T.O. signing certainly looks more like a Jerry thing than a Big Bill thing, to be sure, but I can’t imagine it was done with Parcells objecting too awfully much.
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