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DMN's Coliwshaw Rips Parcells: Parcells Hasn't Done His Job


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Tim Cowlishaw: Parcells hasn't done his job

It's uncertain whether coach Bill Parcells plans on putting the Cowboys behind him.

IRVING – Once Redskins safety Sean Taylor dived into the Eagles' end zone about 6:20 p.m. Central time, spoiling Dallas' playoff hopes, there was little to do other than wonder whether history would be witnessed Sunday night at Texas Stadium.

And it was.

Shaun Suisham made a career-long field goal ... of 22 yards.

He later missed one from 47, and that actually may have mattered in a 20-10 loss to the St. Louis Rams, but who was paying attention at the end of this awful game?

The real history – and that's whether or not Bill Parcells is history as Cowboys coach – we don't know. Neither does anyone who plays or works for the team. Neither does ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

And, I imagine, neither does Parcells.

After the game, he said he had no timetable for determining his future. He said that missing the playoffs would not affect his personal decision.

So what we know is this. His first three years in Dallas have been less productive than his two stops in New York. Arguably, they have been less impressive than his first three years in New England as well.

The Giants had won a playoff game at this point. They were a year away from winning a Super Bowl. The Jets had been to an AFC Championship Game.

In New England, the Patriots had been to the playoffs once and lost, just like Parcells' Cowboys. But the team was a year away from getting to the Super Bowl.

Anyone out there who chooses to look at all the positives on this team – the '05 draft, Julius Jones (once in a while), Jason Witten (when they remember him) – and translate that into a Super Bowl in Miami in 2007, be my guest.

Owner Jerry Jones was on ESPN, talking excitedly about Parcells' performance here, saying, "In three years, we've got a heck of a start with Bill."

I would say, in three years, they've got a start with Bill.

But Parcells is likely to stay for that fourth year on his contract for two reasons. One is that he would rather make about $4 million from the Cowboys than about $1 million from whatever TV network would choose to hire him. And no one can fault him for that.

But the other is that he cares about his legacy, whether he admits it or not. And the truth is that he hasn't done much in Dallas, not by his standards and not by the standards that come with the salary Jones is paying him.

For this team not to get to the playoffs in a conference in which teams as flawed as Washington and Tampa Bay and even Chicago are going to the postseason is embarrassing.

"I'm not overly proud of 9-7," Parcells said.

Anytime he has been asked about the job he has done, Parcells says all he knows is this team is better than what he inherited.

That's no great claim to fame. With the salary cap room he has had, in three years it should be considerably better. And it should be in the playoffs if he is going to bring in Drew Bledsoe and Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn and Marco Rivera to spark the offense.

When next season starts, Bledsoe, Johnson, Rivera and Larry Allen will be 34. Glenn will be 32. This is not a youthful offense, nor was it a very productive one in 2005.

Next season, whoever coaches the Cowboys has his hands full. The team plays eight games against playoff teams that won at least 10 games in 2005 – Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Carolina, Tampa Bay and two each with the Giants and Redskins.

Others that didn't, such as Philadelphia and Atlanta, have a chance to be competitive teams.

That Parcells didn't exact much of an effort form his team Sunday night is no great shame. When you learn you have been eliminated from playoff contention barely an hour before kickoff, that's an understandable letdown.

But he'll have to get more out of this team on a regular basis than he did this season.

All I know is this.

Mike Tice won nine games in Minnesota this year and was fired less than an hour after the Vikings had finished whipping Chicago on Sunday. Turmoil, some of it created by Tice, had as much to do with his firing as his record, to be sure.

But on the field the last two years, Tice, paid about one-fourth what Parcells makes, had more success in Minnesota than Parcells has had here.

Cowboys fans would hate to think we have reached the point here where Jones' standards are not as high as Vikings owner Zygi Wilf's.

And they would like to think Jones and Parcells really are closer to the ultimate success here than the evidence a 9-7 season presents.

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