Bill Parcells Considering Retirement

Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells is considering retirement, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

At age 64, the toll of another long season has Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells privately contemplating a final retirement — even as team owner Jerry Jones is urging the coach to sign a contract extension.Sources tell ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that the death of Parcells’ brother at midseason is one of the events that has triggered the coach’s thoughts of retirement.

If Parcells stays in Dallas, it’s because he truly likes the team he has assembled, even though his work is not complete.

The Cowboys (8-6) are coming off a 35-7 humiliation in Washington that marked their third loss in four games. They’ll have to recover in time to play Saturday at Carolina (10-4) in a game both teams consider must-win.

The team has certainly been a disappointment, having virtually collapsed after starting the season at 7-3 and looking like a contender for home field advantage in the playoffs. Parcells decided not to clean house the first year and took a team that had gone 5-11 three straight seasons to the playoffs with a 10-6 record. The team reverted to form at 6-10 last year and Parcells decided to do it his way, shifting to the 3-4 defense and bringing in a new cast on defense this year. Unfortunately, the lack of an offense and a kicking game has crippled the team.

Parcells is headed to the Hall of Fame but he’s made some boneheaded moves since coming to Dallas, notably firing longtime special teams coach Joe Avezanno and kicking coach Steve Hoffman. Cutting deep snapper Jeff Robinson this offseason was also a headscratcher.

Still, I’d like to see Parcells stay on another couple of years to see if he can get it done. He has assembled the nucleas of a potentially terrific defense. There are some stars on offense as well, although the long-term answer at quarterback and the effectiveness of the offensive line remain major question marks.

Update: Parcells has steadfastly denied the rumors.’s Nick Eatman reports,

Despite being on the outside of the NFC playoff picture looking in, Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells seemed in a rather festive mood on Monday as the team returned to Valley Ranch following a day off for Christmas. But his mood took a sour turn when asked about the ESPN report claiming once again he is considering retirement after the season with one year left on his contract. “I’m not talking about any of that (expletive),” Parcells said rather brusquely. “When you’re 64 years old, they can say anything they want. They’re probably going to be pretty close to being right, some day.”

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who worked with Parcells during the veteran coach’s analyst days at the cable network that 2002 season, reported last week Parcells is considering stepping down after the season.

Parcells not only denied the report, but chose not to discuss the situation in further detail. “There is no one I have talked to, no one about anything of that nature, this whole season,” Parcells said. “I challenge anyone to step forward to say this guy said to me he was thinking about retirement. One guy. I’m not saying anything. All that’s going to be is a distraction to my players this week if I start talking about that. I’m not saying anything. I don’t want any more questions about that. I’ll say what I want to say when I want to say it about those subjects.”

Parcells still has another year remaining on the four-year contract he signed in January of 2003, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he has not engaged in any such discussion about retirement with Parcells. Parcells, in a complete 180, was then asked about a reported contract extension. Parcells also denied that. “I don’t want to talk about that either,” said Parcells, who said a contract extension has not been offered by Jones. “Not to my knowledge. We haven’t talked about it.”


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Doug says:

    Avazona had to go. He wanted the head coaching job, and when he didn’t get it, he would have been a cancer.

    They won today, thanks to a bad call on the Jags. Parcells will stick around one more year, Jerry will see to it.

  2. bryan says:

    I can’t see Avezano being a cancer. He was a good coach, and he honestly didn’t think he’d be a better coach than Parcells.

  3. ICallMasICM says:

    Thank God. This is the best news I’ve heard in ages.

  4. nickc. says:

    maybe we should try to bring back jimmy. one can wish can’t he!