Jones Still Calling the Shots

When Bill Parcells became the sixth and richest coach in Cowboys history, there also came the perception that Parcells had replaced owner Jerry Jones as the face and ultimate decision-maker for America's team. Jones, however, says perception is not reality.

He doesn't dispute an organizational philosophy shift, resulting in Parcells being given a four-year, $18 million deal and more power than any coach under Jones since Jimmy Johnson left in 1993.

A desire to end the losing and turn the Cowboys into winners again prompted the change.

But Jones takes offense to any notion that he has taken a step back in the process.

The man who promised when he bought the team 14 years ago that his control would span from "socks to jocks" said he is indeed still on the throne of the Cowboys empire.

"I get the sense the way you are asking the questions that there has been big revelations around here," Jones said. "My role has not changed. Nothing has been different for me. I am doing exactly the same things that I did last year. I don't want to understate Bill's stature and the way he approaches things. He has created energy. I am excited about being able to win more games with him. But there has been no step back for me. I am spending as much time as ever. I will use his talent, experience and stature to do everything we can do to be a better team. I am encouraged because that is what I see."

Jones said he values Parcells' experience as a Super Bowl champion coach, abilities as a supreme talent evaluator and franchise builder.

But Jones said the perception that Parcells has had the ultimate say in free agency because of the additions of three players who played for him in the past is wrong. Just as is the notion that Parcells will run the draft.

Jones likened the signings of tackle Ryan Young and fullback Richie Anderson, who both played for Parcells when he was with the Jets, and the trade for receiver Terry Glenn, who played for Parcells on the Patriots, to former offensive coordinator Bruce Coslet bringing in receiver Darnay Scott last year.

"We signed them because of what they could do as players," Jones said. "A coach having prior knowledge of them and them already been versed in the system is even better. Obviously Bill will have input in free agency as the new guys did last year."

On the draft, Jones said it will be a "we" thing structurally because he respects what Parcells brings to the table.

"Bill has a lot of experience and has evaluated a lot of players," Jones said. "He is very much involved in what we are doing. He brings a lot of ideas and input. But we are not going to do the draft any different than when Dave Campo was here. We are doing it exactly the same. We have done it. Our people did an outstanding job last year. They will do the same thing. The scouts actually might have more input this year."

Jones said the biggest alterations Parcells has made so far have been in the climate and attitude in the locker room.

In addition to lowering the temperature in the training room to discourage players from hanging out in the sick bay, he has outlawed dominoes and cards in the locker room in an attempt to foster discipline and professionalism.

Jones said Parcells has "artfully" prompted his players to approach their jobs more seriously.

"The stature and respect the players have for him is different," Jones said. "He has a great talent in terms of communicating with players and creating incentive. If you do your work, you will have a job. But it's not a bully thing. The players respect him because they know what he says works. His way has been successful."

Parcells' reputation and past success is what prompted Jones to hire him. They are also at the root of the troubling perception that Jones is no longer in the control of the team.

But he says the biggest problem is that people had the wrong perception about him and his so-called meddlesome ways in the first place. Looking on the bright side, Jones believes that Parcells' presence might finally clear it up.

"I don't want to act defensive," Jones said. "And have to say I still own the club. I still make all the decisions. I don't want to have to sound like, `Damn it, I am the boss.' I also don't want to understate what Bill brings and the influence he has on the organization. But it seems like for him to have influence, it's implied that I have to step back. That is not the case.

"The wrong perception is that I was coaching and calling the plays to begin with. That has never been the case. If he has done anything, he may have solidified some things about me. He may have cleared up that I don't coach or call plays. But that is not to be confused with what I do in personnel as the general manager and owner."

CowboysHQ Top Stories