DESTINED FOR THE RING OF HONOR: Right or wrong, releasing DeMarcus Ware had to be difficult | Special feature
This was different. Yes, it was still business, no way around that, but this was also personal.
DeMarcus Ware wasn’t other people. He was a face-of-the-franchise guy, one who took that role quite seriously. He was the anti-diva, too, one who almost never declined a charity event or the signing of an autograph. The fans came first.
Ware, as much as any athlete I’ve covered, never forgot who he was. He was the kid no one wanted coming out of high school, the kid who used to clean out chicken coops. There was no diva in Ware. He just wanted a chance.
Amazingly, Ware was offered just a single football scholarship, that being from Troy. We’re talking all divisions, junior colleges and everything in between. Just one school was interested. If not for some former high school teammates already playing there and convincing the Trojans’ coaching staff, who knows what would have become of Ware.
He arrived in the NFL with high expectations and a skeptical head coach in Bill Parcells. It’s no secret that the Tuna preferred Marcus Spears or Shawne Merriman with the 11th overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft in favor of Ware, and although the Dallas Cowboys were able to eventually land both Spears and Ware, Jerry Jones wasn’t budging on that first selection. The pick would be Ware.
There were many times Jones allowed Parcells to talk him into draft picks, but this wasn’t one of them. Jones and Parcells even made a little wager on how many sacks Ware would have his first five seasons. Jones won.
Parcells was tough on Ware, even more so than other rookies, which is truly saying something. Ware would bring his coach orange Gatorade during breaks in practice. Any other flavor wouldn’t suffice. Parcells would tell him how great Lawrence Taylor was back in his days with the New York Giants and that Ware was no Taylor. Not even close. There were instances Parcells would chew him out, tell him what he did wrong and on the very next snap, Ware would do exactly as Parcells said. Instead of acknowledging the positive result, Parcells would just turn and walk away, a disgusted look on his face. Ware could do no right.
The media would ask a question about Ware, mention a sack in a preseason game or how quick the rookie looked coming off the ball. Parcells would stare as only he could before saying, “Let’s not put him in Canton just yet, OK?”
Ware has told me that no one has ever treated him like Parcells did. He broke him down and built him back up and in the end, Ware gives the Hall of Fame coach a lot of credit for how his career turned out. It wasn’t easy that first season, though. Lot of tough love.
Reminded of that rookie season at his own Canton induction in 2013, Parcells said, “With this media the way it is nowadays and the internet and the social media, we’re quick to anoint these guys. You know, that’s the last thing he needed to hear, in my opinion, at the time because he really didn’t know what the hell he was doing and that was the truth. But he found out and he continued to do it well. I’m proud of him, and he’s turned into quite a football player.”
The numbers would suggest that Ware will one day join Parcells in Canton. And his career isn’t finished. So far, 117 sacks, and 32 forced fumbles. Seven Pro Bowls, four First Team All-Pro nods and a Second Team All-Decade selection for the 2000s. After a few solid seasons in Denver and the body of work should be more than enough.
This has to rank at the top of the list for most difficult decisions Jones has had to make in his 25 years of ownership, right there with allowing Emmitt Smith to sign with Arizona.
Jones adores Ware and vice versa. And they both always hoped Ware would be one of those guys who played his entire career with the same franchise. That is the ultimate honor for any NFL player, to play their entire careers with one team. Ware wanted that, told me on multiple occasions how important that was to him. In a perfect world, one without a salary cap, that would have been the case, too. Jones would have had no problems signing a few checks these last few years when Ware may have been overpaid. Cost of doing business. The salary cap made that difficult, though.
Ware earned all of the $75 million or so he made with the Dallas Cowboys. That’s a lot of dough, of course, but he never missed a practice, was never late to a meeting and never big-timed anyone, teammate, reporter or coach. The man worked every day like a rookie trying to make the team, and nothing more can be asked of an athlete.
He played every snap the same way, and he played hurt. There are at least 10 occasions in the last five years when the overwhelming majority of players would have sat. Instead, Ware took the field, most famously against undefeated New Orleans six days after being carted off the field with a neck injury against San Diego during the 2009 season. He literally cried on the field thinking his career was over and he’d never be able to play with his kids.
Then there was the finale against the Redskins in 2012, a division title on the line. Ware could barely come out of his stance, never mind make a play. There he was on the field, though. Whether he should have been or not is a debate for another day. Ware played 34 snaps and, he somehow, through sheer will, mustered a QB hit and hurry on Robert Griffin III.
Ware is one of those guys who will do anything for the team and on that day, in his mind, all he could do was take the field. Throughout his nine seasons in Dallas, he was always begging offensive coaches to let him take snaps at tight end, H-back, whatever. Let him block someone, throw him the ball, Ware just wanted to help. They never took him up on the offer, but he was willing. He was always willing for the team, for the fans, for the Dallas Cowboys. He was and is a class act.
The reaction Tuesday was rare in sports today. No one blamed Ware for leaving. Was just one of those situations in life. Not fair, not easy, it is what it is.
This was indeed different. DeMarcus Ware was and always will be a Dallas Cowboy, destined for the Ring of Honor a few years after he hangs them up. He’s just going to play for someone else the next few years.
And that sucks. No other way to say it.
Courtesy: Jeff Sullivan
CANTON, Ohio – The Dallas Cowboys had two members of this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony, including arguably the best guard in NFL history.
First-ballot inductee Larry Allen, who was one of the quietest players in front of the camera throughout his career, shocked everyone with a 16-minute speech that mixed in some emotions and humor to offset his evident nerves.
Bill Parcells went for nearly 25 minutes, the longest of the seven speeches.
Both Allen and Parcells were well represented by former Cowboys colleagues. A few former Cowboys linemen who played with Allen made an appearance, including Solomon Page, Tyson Walter, Kelvin Garmon and Nate Newton. Other Allen teammates included Russell Maryland, Darren Woodson, La’Roi Glover and Jay Novacek, along with Hall of Fame members Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin.
Here are some quotes from various former and current members of the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night’s inductees:
Nate Newton on Larry Allen:
Man, Larry was great. He did what he needed to do. He was super. I really loved it. He opened it up with a joke. He closed it out with seriousness. He handled it, man. It was great. I loved it – that 40 ounce was cold-blooded.
I was nervous for him. The bet was, how long he was going to go. I had nine minutes. He did a good job. That was always the Larry that we knew. He was quiet, short on words, but he got his point across. When we had some private moments with just he and I, he talked more. But he wasn’t that boisterous guy but you knew he would do his job. I’m so proud of him. I’ve always said he was the best football player I’ve ever played.
Darren Woodson on Bill Parcells:
I tell everyone that ever listens, in my one year with Bill, I learned more from Bill in that season than I had in all of my career. When he came in, it totally changed the way I looked at the game. I tell him all the time and every time I see him, he showed me how to study film and what to be looking for. In my opinion, he was the best coach I ever played for.
We were wondering if it would be 30 seconds? A minute? 90 seconds? I was getting texts from teammates all day about it. But he was tremendous. I think he captured what made him great. He is such a prideful person. That was the biggest contributing factor to how good a player he was.
I knew he had a lot of people to thank. I think he did a great job. I’m proud of him. I’m very happy for him. He was a funny guy. He was just a great guy. We battled every Wednesday and Thursday during the week. Then on game day it was easy because we practiced each other so hard.
Jason Witten on Bill Parcells
It was a special feeling. Obviously coming into the league under a guy like him, you learn so much. He was a legendary coach before he got to Dallas, but he had a huge impact on a lot of us. I think I’m the player I am today because of the impact he had. It was neat to see him at this moment.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones on Larry Allen:
What I love is that everybody got to see what Larry Allen was all about. That’s probably more than he said in 12 years with the Cowboys. It was amazing.”
IRVING, Texas – Now down to just a handful of days before the start of training camp, the questions, projections and predictions of the Cowboys’ 2013 season are starting to surface even more.
This is the time of year for that. Forecasting and finger-pointing go hand and hand. And for the Cowboys, the person that gets most of the criticism, if not the vast majority, is owner/general manager Jerry Jones.
The Cowboys have won just one playoff game since 1996 – that stat gets pointed out in just about every setting possible – and the man behind it all is Jones.
Publicly, he’s the man who fired Tom Landry. He’s the one who couldn’t get along with Jimmy Johnson and he’s the one making all the decisions – especially the wrong ones – that have prevented the Cowboys from climbing that proverbial mountain.
But according to one of the more well recognized coaches that ever worked for him, there is a big misperception to how things operate at Valley Ranch.
Bill Parcells, who is about to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month, coached in Dallas four years and said his time with the Cowboys was “enjoyable.” He also spoke of that misperception between Jerry and his head coaches.
“Oh yeah, definitely. I think it’s distorted,” Parcells said. “I think there’s a definite misperception. I just think everyone thinks things are a certain way. I didn’t see it to be that way. I think Jerry is a good businessmen and a good listener. What you have to do is make sense to him. You’ve got to make sense to him. If he thinks you’re making sense, he’ll alter his opinion. I enjoyed him. I like him. I like him a lot.”
Parcells coached the Cowboys from 2003-06, putting them in the playoffs twice with three winning records. Although he decided to stop coaching the team in 2006, Parcells said he remains friends with the Cowboys’ owner to this day.
“I liked my experience there,” Parcells said. “It didn’t turn out perfect from a record-standpoint. I understand all of that. But I learned a lot and I enjoyed working there.
“Jerry and I are pretty good friends. I don’t know whether or not people know that. We talk a little bit. I wouldn’t say frequently. We talk a little bit. We talked recently. It’s good. And I’m close with Stephen [Jones], too. I enjoyed working there with the Joneses. They were supportive and tried to help.”
One of things Jerry gets criticized for the most is the way he apparently dabbles into the Cowboys’ every-day business, although as the general manager, it is certainly within his job description. Jerry is a hands-on owner and GM but according to Parcells, that passion is what drew him to the Cowboys job in the first place.
“We had some mutual friends. I was very close with Al Davis and I know Jerry was, too,” Parcells recalled. “I had a little background information from Al – not about working for the Cowboys, just about what they were trying to do. I knew he had a lot of passion for his work and his job and his organization. I could name a few organizations I don’t feel that about. The owner is just blasé about ‘if we win we win, good; if we don’t, that’s all right.’
“But Jerry isn’t like that. You want to be somewhere where it’s important to the people and certainly it’s a high-profile franchise without question. I just felt like those are the kinds of things I look forward to. I was trying to do something at a place like that. I like them. I think they’re a good group. I think they’re passionate. I think they’re trying to be successful in the business. Hey, that’s all a coach can ask for.”
If there is anyone who might be able to compare coaching situations, it would be Parcells, who led four different teams: the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys. Parcells also worked in the front office of the Dolphins.
But although the NFL doesn’t make players or coaches distinguish what team they are associated with for the Hall of Fame the way baseball does, Parcells makes it clear.
“I’m going in as a Giant,” Parcells said. “That was a place I spent 10 full years, two as an assistant and eight as a head coach. I certainly didn’t spend more than four years anywhere else. I think, identification-wise, I’m more with the Giants than any other franchise, just because of longevity.”
Parcells also says he was ahead of the time in terms of NFL coaches today. He sees coaches and players bouncing around from team to team much more than they did in the past.
“I was a product of what you see around the league now,” Parcells said. “When I first came into the league, the league wasn’t as transient in nature – players or coaches. Coaches stayed at one place and players stayed in one place. But with free agency and different ownership, the dynamic of the industry has changed a little bit. It’s become more transient in nature. You see a guy like Mike Shanahan … he’s a head coach in three different places. You see more of that than what you used to. It’s just the nature of the business. It’s a little more volatile and a little more transient. Change is a little more on the forefront than it was 30 years ago.”
Parcells showed he was never one to avoid change. He actually embraced it. And while he’s gone through many stops along the way, his time in Dallas gives him fond memories.
Although the Cowboys might have several problems facing them as they head into this season, there are many pundits who believe the GM might be the biggest issue.
There is one soon-to-be-inducted Hall of Fame coach who would disagree.
Courtesy: Nick Eatman | Dallas Cowboys staff writer
IRVING, Texas — If you haven’t had the opportunity to read Nick Eatman’s interview with Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, you need to find time to do so.
The piece was well written and points out the relationship that Parcells had with Jerry and Stephen Jones during his time as the head coach of the Cowboys. I thought his answers were honest and truthful but more importantly, accurate about his feelings toward the Joneses.
Bill Parcells was not an easy man to work for, but neither was Tom Coughlin, and I respected what they accomplished in their years in the NFL. Parcells was unique because he always had a plan in mind.
If you remember those teams under Dave Campo, we had no plan nor did we have any direction. During his seasons in Dallas, Parcells gave us both. Sure there were times he was stubborn and his ego got in the way, but it was honestly for the betterment of the team.
I have always said that one of Jerry Jones’ greatest traits was his ability to listen, but you can also say that it’s one of his greatest faults. Parcells had Jones’ ear, but in turn, Parcells was the same with Jones.
What Parcells did better than anyone I had ever worked with is that he understood how to play the game. Parcells was a master at getting what he wanted but he also knew that getting what he wanted also came with a price.
In my time with both of these gentlemen, it was always interesting to see that dynamic at work. There was a huge amount of give and take between these two, and both of them went to work each day with that understanding.
If there was a buffer between Parcells and Jerry Jones, it was Stephen Jones. I have always called Stephen the voice of reason, who is a clear thinker and always has the big picture in mind. Parcells showed a great deal of respect for Stephen, and, when he became frustrated with Jerry, would knock on Stephen’s door and voice his views.
Stephen had a way of calming Parcells down and working through the issues with him. Stephen was also able to take Parcells’ ideas to Jerry and explain them in a way that would help him understand where he was coming from. Stephen was outstanding for both parties and the reason why many things were accomplished between Bill and Jerry.
Parcells was absolutely correct in his assessment of Jones as an owner. He is willing to do everything in his power to give the head coach the opportunity to win. In my time with them both, it was rare that Parcells didn’t get the players he wanted.
Huge free agency dollars were spent on guys like Marco Rivera, Anthony Henry, Jason Ferguson — all Parcells players. Money was spent on Ryan Young, who was broken down but Parcells wanted to sign.
Terry Glenn, Ritchie Anderson, Drew Bledsoe and Vinny Testaverde were all players brought in by Parcells. I remember the previous year in 2004, during free agency, when Parcells didn’t want to sign anyone because there was no value there to be signed, although Jones was willing to spend the money. We were coming off a playoff season but Parcells wanted to stand pat, and Jones granted the wishes of his coach.
In looking back during those years Parcells was here, Jerry Jones made the right decision in hiring a big-time coach but more so, he hired a man who brought us creditability.
Jerry Jones helped Bill Parcells and Parcells did the same for Jones. It wasn’t always easy but it was truly necessary at the time. There were so many that believed this partnership would have never worked but to both men’s credit, it did. It’s nice to see that the respect still remains throughout the years.
Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst/Scout
In his 25 years as Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones has hired seven head coaches. One becomes a Hall of Famer next month.
Bill Parcells spent four years with the Cowboys and still speaks fondly of Jones despite the differences they had, among them the signing of Terrell Owens.
“He’s a straightforward, honest guy,” Parcells said of Jones during a conference call about his induction into Canton. “He really is. That’s all I look for. He was very supportive of me as a coach. Now were there things going on that occasionally I didn’t like? Yeah, there were, but that didn’t inhibit me from going to him, talking things out. He’s really great about that.”
The Cowboys have won three Super Bowls since Jones took over ownership in 1989, but their last championship season was in 1995. The Cowboys were 34-30 with Parcells as their coach from 2003-06 with two first-round playoff losses.
But Parcells’ tenure helped usher in Cowboys Stadium as Arlington voters approved a tax increase in 2004 to pay the city’s $325 million share of the billion-dollar project. The stadium opened in 2009 to rave reviews.
Parcells defends Jones, citing the owner’s passion for winning.
“I have a high regard for him,” Parcells said. “He has a tremendous amount of passion for the franchise, and I think the people are lucky to have him, lucky to have him as an owner, because [owners are] not all the same. I can tell you that. Having a guy like that and what he tries to do on a yearly basis there is great.”
Parcells, 71, was 65 when he resigned as Cowboys coach after a heartbreaking loss to the Seahawks in 2006 when Tony Romo’s botched hold denied Martin Gramatica a chance for a 19-yard, go-ahead field goal with 1:14 remaining. The Cowboys went 13-3 the next season under Wade Phillips but were upset by the Giants in a divisional playoff game.
Parcells, though, doesn’t look back with any regret on leaving when he did. He never returned to the sideline, though he was executive vice president of football operations for the Dolphins from 2008-10.
“I was at a different age,” Parcells said of leaving the Cowboys. “To me, I’m trying to win the championship, and when you lose like we lost that game, and I’m down the road coaching-wise and age-wise and quite frankly energy-wise at that time, I think about all the things that you’ve got to do just to get back to where you were at that moment, and sometimes it’s a little bit overwhelming. I just decided, you know what, that’s enough, and I’m getting off the field, and this time I stayed off the field. I still like football I still watch it and with interest and all those things.”
We still aren’t sure what teams will open up the NFL regular season, but we know how the preseason will start now.
The Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys will play in this year’s Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio on August 4 at 8 p.m. ET. The Cowboys organization will be on hand the day before to see one of their great players, guard Larry Allen, get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Dolphins also have a connection to this Hall of Fame class: Bill Parcells finished his career as Executive Vice President of Football Operations. (Parcells also coached the Cowboys to the playoffs in Tony Romo’s first season as a starter.)
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin spoke about the game on NFL Network’s “NFL AM” on Tuesday.
“We have 11 draft picks, we have a young football team, so I think this will be a good opportunity for us to get a little more game experience for some of our guys, get a chance to evaluate our rookies one extra time in a game atmosphere.
“It’s a privilege, it’s an honor for our organization to take part in the festivities surrounding the 50thanniversary of the Hall of Fame Game,” Philbin said.
The game will be the first chance to see Mike Wallace and all the other Miami signings as the Dolphins play in Miami’s new uniform for the first time. (The new uniform and logo will be unveiled officially on April 18.)
Playing in the Hall of Fame Game means that the Cowboys and Dolphins will play five preseason games in 2013, instead of the usual four. They will also be allowed to start training camp early.
MOBILE, Ala. – The switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense will come into effect next season for the Cowboys.
Now the challenge becomes fitting the current personnel into that scheme, but defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and owner/GM Jerry Jones aren’t concerned about growing pains or the subsequent changes that alteration could cause for the Dallas defenders.
“I think the personnel, looking at it, we looked at some things that might fit a 4-3,” Kiffin said. “I don’t believe we were going to hire a 4-3 coach. I don’t think that was ever the plans for Coach (Jason) Garrett. He just wanted to get the coach he thought would fit.”
That coach would be Kiffin, and now the job of fitting people into place belongs in large part to the defensive coordinator. He must figure out which players are suited best for a move to the 4-3, the same way he did masterfully in his 13 seasons as Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator. The head coach for the Bucs at that time was Tony Dungy, who said he thought it might take a couple years and drafts before Kiffin gets the right personnel for his scheme in Dallas.
Kiffin isn’t planning to wait that long for his defense to work.
“We were starting from scratch there at Tampa Bay,” Kiffin said. “It’s a process, but we want to hit it running. This isn’t a rebuilding four or five-year plan type deal. So hopefully we can get the process, speed it up a little bit.”
It’s possible Kiffin slightly tweaks his schemes to fit the Cowboys’ defense, which isn’t completely foreign to using four down linemen. As Jones mentioned, this defense has utilized more of a hybrid scheme in recent seasons than a straight 3-4.
“In training camp last year, I was asking some of the coaches, I said, ‘OK, let’s identify what we are,’ and they just wouldn’t go there,” Jones said. “They said, ‘We’re a combination of 4-3 and 3-4.”
Kiffin said it’s the coaches’ job to be able to fit his players into whatever defense he wants to call. He said a good coach should be able to lead any scheme.
“I totally believe that,” Kiffin said. “You could run a 4-4. As long as you’ve got 11 guys. Just make sure you don’t have 12. If you have 10, you’re not very smart.”
The Cowboys have utilized the 3-4 defense since Bill Parcells made the switch during his coaching tenure. Jones said he’s known “for some time” that he’s had the personnel to switch to the 4-3 defense, and the down linemen and linebackers have gone into a 4-3 defense “a reasonably good percentage of the time” in recent years.
He indicated there could be changes in technique and how the new defense is implemented, but he remains confident his current personnel can handle the switch.
“When we drafted (Tyrone) Crawford last year, we knew he could be an outstanding 4-3 lineman, not just handling the 3-4,” Jones said. “I look at who we drafted over the last several years, and we don’t have anyone that doesn’t fit in both schemes. (Kyle) Wilber, our linebacker, could easily be a Sam linebacker in the 4-3. We’ve always tried where we can to keep our options open there.”
The Cowboys hope a change in defensive philosophy might help stop division rivals in Washington and Philadelphia, both of which now have the personnel or coaching staff to implement fast-paced rushing schemes.
Kiffin said the read option is “making a name for itself,” but he’s more concerned with his own team’s staff and players than he is about his NFC East competitors at the moment. He said he’s in the process of figuring out where his front seven can play, and he emphasized the importance of finding the right fit for each player. But he doesn’t want to rush that decision.
If he doesn’t like a certain fit with his current personnel, he said the Senior Bowl offers a few prospects that could properly fit into the 4-3 scheme he wants to implement.
“To tell you the truth, we’re just trying to get our staff together and get the players in the right place,” Kiffin said. “We’ll run a 4-3, and we’re not going to make any quick decisions. We want to make sure we get the right people, the right place, and of course down there at the Senior Bowl, we’ve got some good players there. You’re always looking to upgrade, so we’re kind of busy with that right now.”
The race to the postseason presses on, with some teams vying for playoff spots while others deal with the walking wounded and the disappointment only a lost season can bring.
That’s the basis of the NFL — competition. So it should come as no surprise that when it comes to celebrating the all-time greats of the game, a certain level of competition exists before determining just who those "greats," or, as it were, Hall of Famers, are. This competition doesn’t take place on the playing field; rather, it’s a game of survival of the fittest in the Hall of Fame voters’ hearts and minds. Who will make the cut?
Well, much as with the playoffs, there’s an elimination process. A giant initial list is reduced to 25 (plus two Senior Committee nominees), with the next big cut paring the group down to 15 finalists early next month. With that in mind, evaluate the field to determine who makes the next jump.
Here are a couple of notes to get you in line, with regard to handicapping the field of outstanding former players looking to don the coveted yellow jacket:
» Only consider what occurred on the field. Can’t guarantee that same stipulation is made by every voter.
» Pro Bowls mean very little, especially in the Y2K era, when a trip to Hawaii was more about reputation and popularity than it had ever been.
» Some guys dominated for a short period of time; others excelled for more than 10 years. Both types of legacies are valuable to these eyes.
Semifinalists are broke up the into five categories, according to their likelihood of making it to the next stage. Here goes …
Larry Allen (G/T, 1994-2007) and Jonathan Ogden (T, 1996-2007): Both are first-ballot Hall of Fame players all the way. It would be shocking if both don’t make it to Canton right away. Allen was dominant at two line positions and has a Super Bowl ring. So does Ogden, who, along with Walter Jones, was the dominant left tackle in pro football during the Y2K era.
Tim Brown (WR/KR, 1988-2004): A finalist last year, Brown, who retired with more than 1,000 career pass receptions, has gotten some juice in the media. What shouldn’t be forgotten is what a good returner he was out of the gate. He’ll be a finalist again this year.
Cris Carter (WR, 1987-2002): Like Brown, Carter was a finalist last year and also has more than 1,000 catches to his credit. This is the year the former Minnesota Vikings great gets in. Of all the Hall of Fame "injustices," Carter is the new Art Monk, i.e., the guy who must not wait any longer.
Bill Parcells (head coach, 1983-2006): Parcells should be a shoo-in. Winning two Super Bowl rings and taking four franchises to the playoffs should be enough. And what about spawning Bill Belichick’s career? He’ll be a finalist again this year. (Prediction: The Tuna goes all the way.)
Andre Reed (WR, 1985-2000): So many fans feel sorry for Reed, particularly those in Buffalo. He’ll make the finalists’ cut again, but I’m not convinced he’s a Hall of Fame player. Evidently, the voters aren’t, either. The wide receiver tally reads Carter, Brown … and then Reed.
Warren Sapp (DT, 1995-2007): One of the dominant defensive tackles, if not the dominant DT of his era, he should be a finalist in his first year of eligibility. Bear in mind the fact that Sapp won a Super Bowl on a team known for its defense. That’s key.
Will Shields (G, 1993-2006): This guy was about as premium a player as a club could have on the offensive line. Take a look at Priest Holmes’ insane numbers from 2001 to 2003, or Larry Johnson’s campaign in 2005, when he gained 1,750 yards. During Shields’ last season, Kansas City ranked ninth in the league in rushing. The year after? The Chiefs finished 32nd. He was a great offensive lineman, but with Allen and Ogden locks, this might not be his year.
Jerome Bettis (RB, 1993-2005): Bettis is a sure bet to make the finalist list, due to his popularity and his status as the NFL’s sixth all-time leading rusher. He’s a 50-50 proposition for enshrinement this year.
Edward DeBartolo, Jr. (owner, 1977-2000): The recent "A Football Life" documentary gave DeBartolo some run, but the concern here stems from the well-documented issues surrounding his involvement with former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards and a river-boat casino controversy. He makes the finalists’ list. DeBartolo was too influential — and too successful (five rings) — not to be considered a strong candidate.
Kevin Greene (LB/DE, 1985-1999): Like Bettis, Greene is probably a 50-50 proposition to make the Hall, if his odds aren’t a little lower. The man with 160 sacks (third all-time) was a finalist last year and should be again.
Charles Haley (DE/LB, 1986-1996, 1999): If there’s one guy you can’t believe is not yet in the Hall of Fame, it’s got to be Charles Haley. Haley has five Super Bowl rings, and he was a disruptive force, the linchpin that pushed the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s to the highest levels of success. Those factors easily push Haley into the finalists’ group … again.
John Lynch (S, 1993-2007): Lynch was an incredibly popular player. His pedigree and affable nature, and the fact that he — like Sapp — was a key cog on a Super Bowl-winning team known for its defense, will easily be enough to get him on the finalists’ list. Lynch brought a Ronnie Lott-type mentality to the safety position.
Aeneas Williams (CB/S, 1991-2004): The NFC’s second-best corner (behind Deion Sanders) of the 1990s will eventually get in the Hall of Fame, because there aren’t many corners of his ilk not already in.
Don Coryell (head coach, 1973-1986): Coryell was a master innovator whose tweaks to offensive football, as well as the numbering system used for route trees, made the modern passing game simpler for quarterbacks. He turned around two franchises – the Cardinals and the San Diego Chargers — and will eventually have a bust in Canton. It’s a matter of when, not if.
CLOSE … BUT NOT THIS TIME
Morten Andersen (K, 1982-2004, 2006-2007): The NFL’s only player to be the all-time leading scorer of two franchises, Anderson probably won’t make it — rightly or wrongly — because he was a kicker.
Steve Atwater (S, 1989-1999): Atwater would knock your lights out. Sometimes, he’d inadvertently destroy his fellow DBs in the process. The former Denver Broncos great was impactful from his first training camp on, something that can’t be said about everyone on the semifinalists’ list. Projection: Atwater’s votes are cannibalized by another heavy hitter, John Lynch.
Terrell Davis (RB, 1995-2001): This is Davis’ seventh year of eligibility. That should tell you something. All those Mike Shanahan-coached running backs who’ve gained 1,000 yards — like Alfred Morris — aren’t helping Davis’ cause. It’s unfortunate.
Joe Jacoby (T, 1981-1993): Teammate Russ Grimm was inducted into the Hall in 2010. Grimm is still coaching in the NFL, which probably kept him on the radar. The pantheon of Washington Redskins greats includes a few names before we get to Jacoby, despite the fact he was quietly effective for the better part of 13 years.
Art Modell (owner, 1961-2011): The recently deceased owner will probably fall short. The fear is that when he moved his team from Cleveland to Baltimore, where they became the Ravens, will never be overlooked. Modell did much for the league in six decades of service. It won’t be enough.
Michael Strahan (DE, 1993-2007): Strahan’s popular, he’s in the public eye, and he was an outstanding pass rusher with 141.5 career sacks. This is the toughest former player to project, but with Haley and Greene still waiting, Strahan may be the odd man out.
Paul Tagliabue (commissioner, 1989-2006): Back in the public eye due to the New Orleans Saints’ bounty fiasco, the former de facto CEO will eventually reside in Canton. Voters haven’t been impressed enough by Tagliabue’s contributions to push him forward in the selection process.
Steve Tasker (ST/WR, 1985-1997): The greatest special teams player in the modern history of the league, Tasker’s viability doesn’t improve … because he is the greatest special teams player. The reason he could be a possible Hall of Famer is the same factor that keeps him out. Odd.
George Young (contributor, 1968-2001): "Contributor" is hard for some fans to contemplate and, at the end of the day, appreciate. The former New York Giants general manager drafted Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor, and built excellent football teams in the 1986 and 1990 Giants. Still, is he among the top 15 names mentioned? Don’t imagine the voters lean that way.
HALL OF VERY GOOD
Roger Craig (RB, 1983-1993): Craig was a fantastic all-around player and, ultimately, a Hall-of-Very Gooder. He was a three-dimensional running back, much like Walter Payton, but without the far-reaching numbers. With just three 1,000-yard rushing seasons (and another receiving), Craig faces a long road to enshrinement.
Karl Mecklenburg (LB, 1983-1994): Versatile and consistent, Mecklenburg was the kind of player who could play with his hand in the dirt, stand up at outside linebacker, or play inside, like Sean Lee. Call him an athlete who defensive coordinators in 2012 could wrap their arms around. Nonetheless, the Hall of Fame is for the elite of the elite.
Albert Lewis (CB, 1983-1998): Albert Lewis was a remarkable football player. At 6-foot-2, he could lock up with the giants of today, like Brandon Marshall. Besides having 42 career interceptions, and starting at corner until he was 38 — 38! — Lewis blocked an astounding 11 kicks in his career.
Courtesy: Elliot Harrison
Former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Larry Allen was among the 27 Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalists announced Friday.
Allen was joined on the list by former Cowboys defensive lineman Charles Haley and former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, both finalists last year.
Allen is among six first-year eligible candidates, joining kicker Morten Andersen, safety John Lynch, offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, defensive tackle Warren Sapp and defensive end Michael Strahan.
In addition to the six first-year eligible nominees, one other previously eligible candidate, cornerback Albert Lewis, is a semifinalist for the first time.
Each of the remaining 20 nominees on the selection committee’s list has been a semifinalist at least once before this year.
Haley, who played for the Cowboys from 1992-96, has been eligible eight years and a finalist the past three years. Parcells, who coached the Cowboys from 2003-06, was a finalist last year.
The list of 27 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists. That list increases to 17 finalist nominees with the inclusion of senior committee nominees defensive tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson.
The results of the modern-era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced in early January 2013.
The Class of 2013 will be determined at the selection committee’s annual meeting Feb. 2, the day before Super Bowl XLVII, in New Orleans. The Class of 2013 will be enshrined Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.
Former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson is raising questions about the atmosphere at Valley Ranch. Johnson called Valley Ranch a "country club" during an interview on the Dan Patrick Show.
"All the players in this league think they’re self-motivated and that’s a bunch of bull because there are only a handful that are self-motivated," Johnson said. "So you’ve got to motivate these players through some respect but the No. 1 motivator is fear. Fear of letting down your teammates, being embarrassed or fear of losing the job. Where is the fear in Dallas? There’s no fear in Dallas. It’s a country club where everybody is buddies."
Coach Jason Garrett has changed the climate at Valley Ranch sharply from how it was under Wade Phillips. Of course, Phillips changed the atmosphere from how it was under Bill Parcells.
Garrett was asked about Johnson’s comments.
"I don’t really have any comment on that," Garrett said. "We do things the way we do things here and from a football standpoint we believe we practice the right way, we meet the right way and create the right atmosphere of urgency for our players it’s what I learned as a player and coach in this league. And that’s what we’re trying to create with our football team."
And a players’ view, courtesy of Jason Witten:
“I didn’t hear about it, but obviously he’s a great coach here in this franchise and won a lot of Super Bowls,” Witten said. “I haven’t seen him around a lot. The guys are working hard. Ultimately (talk like Johnson’s) is going to happen, but I don’t think as a player you can worry about that. You’ve got to fix it. We know the expectations. Trust me, we feel it every day and so I don’t think you allow that (talk) to get in but obviously got a lot of respect for him.”
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was asked about Johnson’s comments Thursday.
"When you’re out here, when you’re involved in it, and you’re here every day, i think you understand the importance of each football game," Romo said. "All I can speak about is me, the grind and the way it works on you when you don’t win a football game, it’s just enormous. The way you constantly evaluate and think about how to improve and get better and take the next step. it consumes your thoughts. That’s really what happens after a loss, so I don’t know what anybody else feels or thinks, but that’s absolutely what you try to do to improve and get better."
Johnson has formed a good relationship with Garrett in terms of being a mentor. In the same interview with Patrick, Johnson questioned whether Garrett would remain the man in charge at Valley Ranch.
"Jason Garrett is probably coaching for his job for the rest of the year," Johnson said. "This game with Philadelphia on Fox may decide the future of coaches and players with those two teams."
Maybe Johnson was channeling Bob Arum, the boxing promoter who hypes fights. And with the Eagles and Cowboys at 3-5, the loser most likely will see their playoff hopes disappear. So creating media drama is expected.
The quarterback, Tony Romo, who’s got one year left on his deal, might also be on the way out according to Johnson.
"I would extend Tony Romo unless I had somebody better, and they don’t have anybody better," Johnson said.
EDITORS COMMENT: At The Boys Are Back blog we are always interested in your view. I agree with Jimmy Johnson on his point of most players needing motivation. Jason Garrett has had many influences in his career as a Dallas Cowboy player, offensive coordinator, and head coach. He uses a hybrid style that blends those influences (Tom Landry, Bill Parcells, Jimmy Johnson). Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells were more outwardly aggressive and verbally expressive on camera. Tom Landry more reserve publically, but privately critical and a strict disciplinarian. Jason Garrett’s style falls somewhere in the middle. He’s young and still figuring out his style and approach. As fans, we do not know what happens behind closed doors at Valley Ranch or in the locker room. We do know that the players seem to be behind him and appear to be buying into his system. When the day comes when they don’t … that’s the day to begin worrying. Jason Garrett is evolving … and like the Dallas Cowboys, he’s a work in progress.
RELATED: Dallas Cowboys VP Stephen Jones stops by practice, defends Garrett
Stephen Jones visited practice and ran into reporters, one of whom stopped him to get his thoughts on the topics of the day. Before long, everyone with a notepad and camera had surrounded the Cowboys’ executive vice president.
Is Jason Garrett coaching for his future?
“I won’t even comment on that. Period. That’s ridiculous,” Jones said.
Any comment on Jimmy Johnson saying there is a country-club atmosphere at Valley Ranch?
“Don’t have one.”
A comment or a country club?
“Don’t have one.”
“Any serious questions?”
What kind of job do you think Garrett is doing?
“First of all, I think Jason is incredibly smart. No one understands the game more,” Jones said. “He grew up at a breakfast table knowing about the NFL. His father was a coach. His father was a scout. He understands the league. He is a great leader. He leads our team in a great way.
“I think he understands the game. He has been a very success offensive coordinator. He started having success immediately. It wasn’t like there was a huge learning curve for him as a play caller. We have had a lot of great offenses here under Jason. We are moving the ball good this year for the most part. The players respect him. He demands accountability.”
Jones agreed that turnovers are a problem this year. The Cowboys have 19, tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for second-most in the NFL.
“We have to do better there. I think we are improving,” Jones said. “We protected the ball against the Falcons. They are a good football team. We are doing some things to cause turnovers. We are tipping balls. They just didn’t come our way. We were hitting the quarterback hard. The ball was on the ground. We just didn’t recover it.
Asked if the Cowboys were underachieving at 3-5, Jones said, “Absolutely. We had higher expectations than this. We are disappointed with our record. We have to play better. We have to finish.”
Tony Romo’s first career start came in Carolina in 2006.
"Obviously, it was a really long time ago," Romo said Thursday. "You always appreciate that time."
He replaced Drew Bledsoe in the second half of the previous week’s game against the Giants. He completed 14 of 25 passes for 227 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in the 36-22 loss to the Giants before coach Bill Parcells handed Romo the job the next week against the Panthers.
"It was good," Romo said of the week leading up to his first start. "It was one of those moments where you feel prepared. You do everything you can, and you don’t really know what to expect. Then, when your team wins the ball game it just feels great."
It was the first of 49 career victories for Romo as he went 24-of-36 for 270 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the 35-14 victory over the Panthers. The Cowboys, who were 3-3 entering that game, won five of six and finished the season 9-7.
Four of Jason Garrett’s worst losses as Cowboys head coach have come in the team’s last six games. The Cowboys have lost those four by an average of 16.5 points.
In a league structured for parity, those lopsided defeats to the Bears, Seahawks, Giants and Eagles are somewhat alarming.
Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager says he doesn’t see it that way.
“I could go into each game and see how we got on a lopsided score,” Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “But I thought, candidly, one of the worst games we’ve played is against Tampa. We didn’t play well against Tampa, so the score can be misleading. For instance, I can say turnovers last week against Chicago. I can say we really did become generally careless, I guess would be the word. But once we got three scores down, we were running out of time (and) we certainly did cut and chew and basically throw into … coverage. Chicago’s real good, so those last two interceptions were right into the teeth of what they do the best. They’re a Cover 2 team. You do those outside, little elongated throws in there and you’re going to get them intercepted against Chicago. I look at that. That’s a couple of scores right there. … That’s a couple right there that contributed to the lopsidedness of things.”
Is there too much on Garrett’s plate? With Garrett being both head coach and offensive coordinator, Jones was asked if there has been any talk of handing the play-calling over to offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who also carries the title of offensive coordinator.
“No, there haven’t,” Jones responded.
Entering Friday, the Cowboys ranked last in the NFC in points scored, averaging 16.2 per game. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only NFL team averaging less at 15.5 per game.
“I believe in a head coach being one of the coordinators,” Jones said. “That’s debatable. I’ve had people say the head coach needs to be what I call a walk-around head coach, and that is he just looks at everything. We’ve had at least two of them in Bill Parcells and Tom Landry — of course I wasn’t here when Tom was here — that did everything. They ran the whole thing. Although they had coordinators or run coaches or passing coaches. I’m sounding a way that I don’t want to sound because it can work.
“I like the coach being one of the coordinators, preferably the offensive coordinator. But of course in Wade Phillips’ case, he was the defensive coordinator. When you do that, you’re going to get in down times, loss times. You’re going to get people to say, ‘They do too much. They’ve just got too much on their plate.’ You have to look at that. Jason has huge capacity to cover a lot of ground, so if anybody can do it, or look to the future, he can.”
SOURCE: The Jerry Jones Show on 105.3 The Fan
Click on the PLAY button to listen to the entire show. Several issues are covered, including ‘being in the stew’. Enjoy!
IRVING, Texas – Owner Jerry Jones recently sat in a suite in Seattle almost directly on top of where quarterback Tony Romo fumbled the field goal snap that sent the Dallas Cowboys packing in the first round of the 2006 playoffs.
Jones said he still remembers that bird’s eye view well, but the resurgent Romo who took over as the Cowboys starter that season is a much different player than the one returning to Seattle this weekend for the first time since the Wild Card defeat.
“You have seen, in his case, a person and a player that is continually striving for ways to get better,” Jones said. “It’s one of his best qualities. He never sits still or thinks in the now. He’s always trying to think ahead, getting better in different circumstances, how he can be a better player for the Dallas Cowboys.
“Just the time that has passed and the nature of Romo says probably all you need to say. As far as learning lessons from experiences, again, he’s excellent at that and incorporating the negatives in his game as well.”
Jones said he felt like Romo was coming into his own as a quarterback when the playoffs began that year. Romo made his first Pro Bowl despite starting just 10 regular season games, after taking over for Drew Bledsoe at halftime in Week 7 against the Giants.
Romo became the first starting quarterback in Dallas to throw for more than 220 yards in his first eight career starts that year. He finished second in the NFL with a 65.28 completion percentage.
“That was an early preview of what you have in Romo, relative not necessarily to the dropped ball, but just what Romo can bring to the table,” Jones said.
But the season will forever be marred by the fumbled field goal snap, which resulted in a shoestring tackle stopping him two yards short of the end zone and one yard short of a first down late in the fourth quarter.
Head coach Bill Parcells, who came to Dallas in 2003, retired after the 2006 season. Jones said the loss to the Seahawks wasn’t the cause.
“I had always had a good understanding and good feel for where Bill was relative to his motivation and relative to his clock,” Jones said. “His decision to not coach anymore wasn’t just a shock to me. I wanted him to continue if he wanted to continue, but I knew kind of a timeframe he was looking to when he took the job.”
The Seahawks lost in overtime a week later to the Bears, 27-24. Jones said he thought if the Cowboys could have found a way to beat Seattle, they’d have a good chance to make a playoff run.
“It was very disappointing,” Jones said. “But not nearly as disappointing as last year.”
IRVING — The Dallas Cowboys are being stricter about who they consider drafting.
In turn, they’re being stricter about who they consider signing after the draft.
The result of the approach, born under former coach Bill Parcells, appears to mean a higher quality of undrafted free agent is going to training camp with the team lately, and so more are making the squad.
Former SMU receiver Cole Beasley made the Cowboys’ 53-man roster this week as an undrafted rookie, joining four such players who made it in 2011 and four in 2010. In the three years before that, Kevin Ogletree was the only undrafted rookie to make the team.
"We used to put 250 players on the board, however many get drafted. Now we put about 100, 120 players on our board, and they’re just the players we want," pro personnel director Stephen Jones said in training camp at Oxnard, Calif., last month.
"We don’t think about, ‘That guy is going to get drafted,’ so we put him on our board. If he doesn’t fit what we want, even though he may get drafted in the first or second round, we don’t put him up there. It keeps us focused not only all the way through the draft, but also through college free agency."
Last year, the leading scorer on the team came out of the leftover draft pool. Kicker Dan Bailey had the second-highest field goal percentage by a rookie in team history, making 32 of 37 kicks, and set an NFL record for consecutive kicks made by a rookie (26).
Guard Kevin Kowalski played in 11 games, linebacker Alex Albright played in all 16 and running back Phillip Tanner played in eight and scored a touchdown.
The undrafted class of 2010 has yielded a starting safety, Barry Church, and the starting center, Phil Costa.
"I just think if you have an attitude that it doesn’t matter where players come from, it matters what they do once they come here, I think you’re more susceptible, or more able, to find some of those guys, and that’s been our approach," coach Jason Garrett said.
Jones said the approach is a holdover from Parcells’ days as head coach (2003 to 2006). He drafted to a template and paid no mind to players who didn’t fit it.
"He may not fit from a scheme standpoint or from a cultural standpoint or a character standpoint, and those guys, we don’t want them on our football team," Jones said. "So let’s focus on guys that we do like. I think that’s the biggest change is the philosophy there — let’s go after Dallas Cowboys."
The Cowboys’ biggest hits with undrafted players came while Parcells was head coach.
Under his watch, the team found Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo and Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin. Nine other undrafted players made the initial 53 in Parcells’ four seasons.
"We’ve evolved from a personnel department, I think, when you look back at the way we used to do it versus the way we do it now," Jones said. "We’ve got better scouts, better people. We’ve got better philosophies.
"And pretty much every time we sign those 15 to 20 guys, we sign them from our draft board. I think that’s why we’ve had some really good success with players who weren’t drafted."
Jerry Jones took about thirty-minutes to speak with Dallas media members about all things Dallas Cowboys, and all things offseason.
RELATED: Jerry Jones believes Bill Parcells’ return ‘would be outstanding’
PALM BEACH, Fla. — The last coaching stop for Bill Parcells was in Dallas and, despite not winning any playoff games, he’s given credit for turning the Cowboys franchise around after three consecutive 5-11 seasons.
Now Parcells is thinking about returning to coach the New Orleans Saints while Sean Payton serves a one-year suspension for his role in BountyGate.
Jerry Jones thinks Parcells’ return would be good for everyone.
"First of all, I thought it would be outstanding for the Saints and the NFL," Jones said. "I see it all there. Now he has got the credibility to take it. If he came in and didn’t do as well as they were supposed to, he’s got the credibility to live with that. And he’s got the confidence and reputation, if he comes, to say its Sean’s team and to live with that. And I do respect him as being one of the best there is in coaching."
Jones is very close to Parcells and Payton. He even talked to Payton twice during the owners meetings.
"I feel terrible for the fans of New Orleans," Jones said. "But it is what it is. The fans of New Orleans have had to take it on the chin a lot. If anybody can handle this, they can. It still doesn’t make it any easier. I feel terrible for them."
The Cowboys are scheduled to face the Saints this season at Cowboys Stadium. The NFL schedule won’t be released until April.
The New Orleans Saints are still far from deciding how to replace coach Sean Payton during his one-year suspension, league sources told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Wednesday. People familiar with the situation also told the newspaper that Bill Parcells has yet to be offered a position with the team.
Parcells, who has two Super Bowl victories under his belt, told USA Today on Wednesday that he feels "an obligation, a responsibility to help" Payton, his friend and former colleague. But he has also indicated that he and the team are just having preliminary discussions at this point.
Though Parcells went golfing with Payton and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis on Tuesday, Parcells characterized the outing as merely an attempt to get to know Loomis better.
A source who was familiar with the trip seemed to corroborate Parcells’ account, telling the Times-Picayune that Tuesday "was really more about golf than coaching, nothing final was even mentioned."
Payton was suspended for all of next season by the NFL because of the "bounty" program that the team implemented under the direction of former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
It has been speculated that Parcells could fill in for Payton as an interim coach. Parcells’ friend, NFL.com’s Gil Brandt, said that eligibility for induction into the Hall of Fame — which would be delayed by an additional five years if Parcells were to return for the 2012 season — would have an impact on his decision. Parcells, however, told Newsday on Wednesday that worries about the hall are "not even a factor right now."
IRVING, Texas – A few of you waving #BobbyCarpenter hashtags have disagreed with me on Twitter already, but I would be glad to see former Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells back on an NFL sideline.
By my estimation, the Big Tuna is one of the most fascinating personalities in the history of not only football, but sports in America. The 2012 season would be better, more interesting, if Parcells were involved. And while the New Orleans Saints haven’t officially reached out to Big Bill as an organization, Parcells’ quote to Newsday that "Everything is hypothetical at this point" makes it pretty obvious that he’s interested in what Sean Payton has been selling.
It sounds like the kind of thing he was saying about the Cowboys job right at the end of the 2002 NFL season, after reports emerged that he had met with Jerry Jones on the owner’s private jet at Teterboro Airport.
If the memory of that news doesn’t make you appreciate Parcells, you’ve obviously forgotten just how bad the Cowboys had it before he got here. After three straight 5-11 seasons, he came in, kicked the players’ butts and led a team quarterbacked by Quincy Carter to the playoffs.
Allow me to repeat myself. He led a team quarterbacked by Quincy-freaking-Carter to the playoffs. It’s got to be one the greatest coaching jobs in league history.
There’s something wrong with any Cowboys fan who doesn’t have great respect and admiration for what Parcells did here. Nevermind the fact he rode Troy Hambrick and Richie Anderson into the postseason, but in the process he built a team that had been in the hunt, if nothing else, since he left.
It makes no sense to hold Carpenter and Julius Jones over Parcells’ head when during his tenure the Cowboys added Tony Romo, Marion Barber, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Jay Ratliff, DeMarcus Ware, Terence Newman, Bradie James, Marc Colombo, Kyle Kosier and Mat McBriar among many, many other crucial parts of these teams. And no, the Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl with the group Parcells assembled, but he at least turned the thing around. For the first time since Jimmy Johnson left, the arrow for this franchise began to point up as soon as Parcells arrived.
He did the same thing for the Cowboys, the Jets, the Patriots and the Giants. Rescue ops have been his specialty, so it would be really intriguing to see what he could with a team that actually has talent when he arrives.
Though New Orleans has a ton of good players, the team is a mess right now in the wake of this bounty situation. If Parcells were to come in and quickly do what he’s done four times already, you’d have to think it would erase any doubt about his candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Not that putting him into the Hall should’ve been much of a question, anyway.
Courtesy: Josh Ellis
Could former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells be returning to the sidelines?
If it’s up to Sean Payton, that could happen this year for the New Orleans Saints.
Payton, who was recently suspended for the entire 2012 season after his involvement in the Saints’ bounty scandal, wants Parcells to fill in for him during his year-long suspension, according to a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortenson.
The report states that Payton and Parcells have "spoken numerous times" since Payton’s suspension was announced. Payton was Parcells’ quarterback coach during Parcells’ head coaching tenure in Dallas from 2003-2006. He won two Super Bowls as head coach of the New York Giants.
Bill Parcells says the Saints haven’t contacted him about possibly coaching the team. Parcells did say, however, that Payton has spoken to him about how to handle the season.
The Saints have yet to announce their future coaching plans. Payton’s agent said Monday “no decisions have been made about an appeal.”
Donald Yee says Payton “fully supports the league’s player safety goals” and that Payton “probably won’t address the entire league” Tuesday when he arrives at the NFL owners meetings.
When Parcells was asked if anyone in the Saints organization had talked to him about coaching the team in 2012, he said “No,” prior to the New York Mets spring training game Monday against St. Louis.
The Cowboys and Saints will meet this season. Dates and times are yet to be determined.
Jerome Bettis, RB – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jack Butler – CB – 1951-59 Pittsburgh Steelers
Cris Carter, WR – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
Dermontti Dawson, C – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner – 1979-2000 San Francisco 49ers
Chris Doleman, DE/LB – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
Charles Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
Cortez Kennedy, DT – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
Curtis Martin, RB – 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets
Bill Parcells, Coach – 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys
Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Willie Roaf, T – 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs
Will Shields, G – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
Dick Stanfel – G, 1952-55 Detroit Lions, 1956-58 Washington Redskins
Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams
Former Cowboys defensive end Charles Haley and head coach Bill Parcells are among 15 modern-era finalists for the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
The full finalist list is 17 with the inclusion of two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee, Jack Butler and Dick Stanfel.
Parcells, the Cowboys’ head coach from 2003-06, joins guard Will Shields as one of two first-year eligible candidates. Parcells has been a finalist twice before (2001, 2002) following his retirement as Jets head coach in 1999, but at the time, the Hall of Fame by-laws did not require a coach to be retired the now mandatory five seasons.
Parcells won two Super Bowls with the Giants (1986 and 1990) and compiled a 34-32 record with the Cowboys, becoming the first head coach in NFL history to lead four different teams to the playoffs (Giants, Patriots, Jets, Cowboys).
Haley won an NFL player-record five Super Bowls in 13 NFL seasons — two with the San Francisco 49ers from 1986-91 and three with the Cowboys from 1992-96. He finished with 100.5 career sacks and was inducted into the Cowboys Ring of Honor last November.
The Selection Committee will elect the 2012 Class on Feb. 4 in Indianapolis, the site of Super Bowl XLVI.
Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of six or seven can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected.
The complete list of 17 finalists, courtesy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
Former Dallas Cowboy star Charles Haley poses at his Dallas home with his unprecedented five Super Bowl rings and trophies, won while playing first in San Francisco (two on the left), then Dallas (three on the right). Haley is up for admission to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.
IRVING, Texas — Will Charles Haley again get one step closer to the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
Fifteen modern-era finalists for the 2012 Class will be announced this Saturday. Haley and former Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells (2003-06) are among 26 current semifinalists. It is usually limited to 25, but this year there are 26 resulting from a tie for the final position.
A finalist the last two years, Haley won an NFL player-record five Super Bowls in 13 NFL seasons – two with the San Francisco 49ers from 1986-91 and three with the Cowboys from 1992-96. He was inducted into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor this past November.
Parcells won two Super Bowls with the Giants (1986 and 1990) and compiled a 34-32 record with the Cowboys, becoming the first head coach in NFL history to lead four different teams to the playoffs (Giants, Patriots, Jets, Cowboys).
The finalist list will increase to 17 with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee, Jack Butler and Dick Stanfel. The 2012 Hall of Fame Class will be determined and announced Feb. 4 on Super Bowl weekend.
In the ESPN Sunday studio there was plenty of critism of Jason Garrett’s handling of the final minute of regulation in last week’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals and his subsequent unwillingness to claim blame.
Bill Parcells: "You have to be accountable. Everybody knows what happened. You have to stand up. You have to reiterate to them, ‘Listen, I made a mistake. This is a game that’s not without human error. But this situation goes back to situational football. You have to prepare for it in the summer. Go over these kinds of things repeatedly during summer and then on Fridays, periodically during the season, you have to take time to review them."
Herman Edwards: "When this situation occurs and the game is lost, as the head coach, you don’t wait until the middle of the week. When the game is over, as soon as it is over, you come to the locker room and you gather your football team together and you tell them this: ‘Look, I hold you guys accountable to play and preparation during the course of the week. I hold myself accountable as to what happened today. I didn’t manage the clock correctly. I screwed it up. It was all me.’ Then you go through the process of what you were thinking and why it happened…You want to hit it right after the game. That let’s your team know, I’m accountable to you guys as well as you guys are accountable to me."
Mike Ditka: "You can’t undo what happened. You’ve got to go to your football team, you’ve got to tell them very simply, ‘My bad. Here’s what I’m going to do from now on guys. I’m going to trust you because you are the players on the field. I’m going to put you in the best position I can for you to play your best football. I’m going to trust you to win the football game because players win football games.’"
Jimmy Johnson rips Jason Garrett’s timeout technique
The old Cowboys coach thinks his former backup QB isn’t on top of the timeout game. Of course, Johnson thinks Garrett shouldn’t be calling the plays AND managing the game. Johnson thinks he did it better, Here’s what JJ had to say on Sunday’s Fox pre-game show:
"Last Sunday I wanted to scream at the end of the Arizona-Dallas game because the hard work put in by all those players was for naught because of a split-second screw up at the end.
"I would have thought the Cowboys rectified their timeout issues, it was just three weeks ago when Romo called a timeout he didn’t have only to be saved when Washington’s Mike Shanahan called one first. When I coached, I managed the clock and every game situation.
"I coached two great quarterbacks, Troy Aikman and Dan Marino, but I never allowed them to call a timeout unless it was an emergency and preferably when they were looking at me. The biggest deficiency in a lot of head coaches – I’d say more than half the league – is their faulty use of situational football, clock management and the use of timeouts. Believe me, a screw up like that could cost the Cowboys a playoff berth."
Let’s do a quick flashback to a month ago and a three-way verbal exchange among famous local football names:
Jimmy Johnson, giving opinions weekly on the Fox-TV pre- and postgame Sunday NFL show, said as a fan of Jason Garrett, he would suggest the Cowboys’ young head coach hire an offensive coordinator for next season and concentrate on being a full-time head coach.
Garrett was asked about the opinion, and while pledging his respect for Jimmy, said he would continue as head coach/offensive coordinator in the future.
Jerry Jones was asked for his thoughts on the subject, and immediately shot down the Jimmy idea, saying he didn’t approve of a "walk-around head coach," although not mentioning he’s had three of them — Johnson, Barry Switzer and Bill Parcells, a trio with five Super Bowl titles combined.
Jimmy’s zinger reply to Jerry:
"He doesn’t like it because Jerry thinks he’s the walk-around head coach."
So it ended it with that chuckle-moment, and we all moved on.
For those already doubting Jason Garrett, and for those who have already dismissed Garrett as another Jerry-hired head coaching doofus, it’s not too late to repent.
Reach right out there and grab yourself a handful of reality. Go ahead, do it today. Do it before it’s too late.
You people … (I love a good you people.) … need to immediately accept one fact of local football life.
There is no Cowher, Fisher, Saban, Gruden, etc. waiting eagerly to ride in here and rescue the Cowboys, or better yet, rescue Jerry.
That’s not to say Jon Gruden wouldn’t take the job, or that Jeff Fisher would turn it down.
But based on track record, the quirky Gruden (I do love him, but he’s way out there) wouldn’t last five minutes with Jerry, and a solid guy like Fisher would be shocked to learn that his previous owner, Bud Adams, would be considered a rock of stability compared to you-know-who.