Finally, It's Here

The Cowboys are finally Bill Parcells' team. After going 6-10 in 2004, he moved in the off-season to build the team his way, something he didn't do first two seasons here.

Parcells changed the defense to his preferred 3-4. He brought in more of his former players like quarterback Drew Bledsoe, cornerback Aaron Glenn and nose tackle Jason Ferguson and he drafted bigger players for his defense, finally getting the size he likes at linebacker on the defensive line.

How it will works will be decided starting with Sunday's season opener against the Chargers.

"He has drafted a lot of guys with his ideal size," defensive tackle La'Roi Glover said. "He brought in more of his former players. Then the guys that were here before he got here have something going that he likes. He is slowly putting his team together."

Parcells doing it his way has the Cowboys excited because his way has worked so well in the past, considering his three trips to the Super Bowl and two Super Bowl titles.

"It gives us confidence because we know he knows what he is doing," Glover said. "Ultimately we have to go out there and make plays. But the players are here. The talent is here. It's going to be fun."

And while Parcells downplays the remaking of the team in his own image angle, he does acknowledge being anxious for the season to start and putting last season's 6-10 debacle behind him.

Parcells has coached and acted like he has something to prove all off-season. Now he's ready to get going.

"I don't think it's nervousness," Parcells said. "It's more of an anxiety. We all are the same. I don't think there is a coach or a player - this first game all the ears are up. You don't see any droopy ears this week. That's the way the deal is. I'm not trying to make it theatrical. But that's the way it really is. The ears are up."

Parcells is also confident in what his team will be able to accomplish.

Despite keeping 10 rookies, including many who will play important roles in 2005, Parcells expects the Cowboys to come out playing well.

Leading the rookie charge are defensive end Marcus Spears and Demarcus Ware, the team's two first-round picks. Sixth-round pick Rob Petitti is starting at right tackle. The Cowboys also expect huge first-game contributions from long snapper Jon Condo, running back Tyson Thompson, linebacker Kevin Burnett and defensive linemen Thomas Johnson and Jay Ratliff.

"I feel confident we can play well," Parcells said. "I am hoping we do play well. I think some of our young players feel confident that they can play well. I don't know that they will or not but I am confident that they can."

SERIES HISTORY - 8th meeting. The Cowboys lead the series 5-2. Dallas has won three of the last four, though the Chargers won the last meeting in 2001, 32-21. The Cowboys are 3-1 in games played in San Diego.

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