Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Like Rats Leaving a Sinking Ship

And then the ship sinks

Bill Parcells is out as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, retired for the third and hopefully last time. Anyone that watched the Cowboys at least twice a year could tell he was not into it for the past two seasons. The outfit he wore to the final game of the 2005 season, when the Cowboys learned moments before the game that the outcome was meaningless, just screamed FIRE ME PLEASE, a sweatshirt, too-short sweatpants, socks that showed too much dessicated ankle and dirty sneakers. This picture I dug up from that game does not do justice to how ratty he looked, like a man that was not committed to football but too honorable just to say, fuck it I'm out. He and Jerral W. Jones should have just sat down after 2005 and parted ways.

Now he leaves the Cowboys in the lurch, and it's obvious to me that the Terrell Owens factor played into this. Bill may have wanted to go another season, but not with TO there smiling at every meeting, whining after every game and trying to kill himself accidentally taking too much pain medication in the middle of every season. Bill is old school and TO is no school.

The top-drawer candidates are already committed and the Cowboys are behind the curve. This raises an interesting question I've asked over the years since Jimmy Johnson left the Cowboys. Why the hell would anybody take this job? Since Jimmy, Bill is the only serious head coach in the bunch.

Barry Switzer, who ran the team from 1994 to 1997, was a tool, an old buddy of Jerral W. Jones, and even as he won a Super Bowl for the Cowboys, he presided over a team in decline. It was during the Switzer years that Michael Irvin, Nate Newton and others bought and kept 'the White House' outside Dallas, a party house they could use because their wives were not, you know, into the whole coke and hookers thing. Michael was arrested for cocaine in a Dallas hotel in 1996, which is funny to me because he must have been doing so much coke that he couldn't even use the White House for it. That was also the year that a woman said Michael and Erik Williams raped her at gunpoint and videotaped it. It was later proven to be false, but he opened himself to credibility of these kinds of charges because it was understood by this point that the players were in charge and running amok.

Chan Gailey was the ultimate definition of, fuck it I get to be coach, and Chan made less money in his his two seasons than any other coach at the time. Dave Campo was the Colin Powell of the outfit: the loyal soldier in over his head that took one for the team. He was never qualified.

Jerral W. Jones runs the Cowboys the way Dan Snyder runs the Redskins. Or rather, Dan is running the Redskins as a tribute to Jerral W. Jones. There are no more Old Guard coaches out there that will give cover to Jerral W. Jones' imperious ways in the same manner that Bill did and Joe Gibbs does for the Redskins. Over at Blogging the Boys, owning this story, I have read about Norv Turner, Dan Reeves, Wade Phillips, Mike Martz, Mike Sherman. None of these guys at this stage in their careers would bring the veneer of independence with them. Jerral W. Jones is in charge and if you don't like it fuck it you're fired because I can find a goatherd to do the job for half your pay.

The Raiders couldn't find a credible candidate over 31 years old and the Cowboys will also look to a young and/or unproven assistant or coordinator to take the helm, with Jerral W. Jones leering over his shoulder daily, at every meeting, at every practice and making all the player decisions. That team can't do well on a long-term basis any more than the Redskins can until Jerral W. Jones and Dan Snyder get out of the way.

Redskins fans, rejoice for two to three more seasons of mediocre Cowboys football.

Bill Parcells: detail from a photo by Eric Gay / AP