Parcells: Don't Live in the Past

IRVING, TX. - Bill Parcells said Thursday that the Cowboys' 33-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles Oct. 9 does not give his team any kind of psychological edge heading into Monday night's game at Philadelphia.

"High ankle sprains didn't exist when I started coaching," Parcells said. "It was just an ankle sprain. A lot of things didn't exist that exist now. If you're asking about (running back) Julius (Jones), he'll be fine. I'm going to use all three (running backs: Jones, Marion Barber and Tyson Thompson)."

Parcells was responding to questions about his certainty over the running back position, which was an area of concern before Jones emerged in the second half of last year.

"I think we have more gifted ball carriers than we did last year," Parcells said. "I don't worry about Barber any more on production -- I think he knows what he's doing. And Tyson's really coming along.

I've had situations before when I had as many as four running backs. One was (Dave) Meggett, so he was going to be in on third down and on special teams. But I also rotated Ottis (Anderson) and Spencer Tillman -- and one year, Rodney Hampton. The best (current) example in the league of a two-back offense is what Denver is doing (with Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell). They've both been pretty effective."

Parcells said one of the ways that the trio benefits the team is by keping the others fresh when they're able to rest.

"You've heard be talk about 'give-up' runs," Parcells said. "Sometimes you get better effort (from a player) when you don't have to worry about saving gas.

"It's a good situation, we've got depth there. We've withstood an injury there for several weeks with Julius. (Now) I think Julius is fine. I think he can get going right away."

While Jones, Barber and especially Thompson all have speed, Parcells said it was inaccurate to compare any of the three to Meggett.

"Meggett is different from those guys -- completely," Parcells said. "These guys are a little bigger. He was dangerous in space. If we could get him in space, he made a lot of guys miss."

Parcells said that the Cowboys' 33-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles Oct. 9 does not give his team any kind of psychological edge heading into Monday night's game at Philadelphia.

"I think when you look at it like last year, when they beat us down here, and with a minute to go, we were ahead up there," he said. "The outcome of the first game will not have anything to do with the outcome of the second game."

Parcells then pointed out what everyone who has watched the Terrell Owens saga unfold already knows.

"Things have changed since then," he said, "for both teams."

Parcells said Thursday's practice was less than impressive.

"We haven't been in pads for 10 days," he said, "and it looked like it. I haven't overworked them during the bye week, I can assure you."

The Cowboys have done some running and practicing, but have not gone through overly physical workouts since last week's win over Arizona.

"We looked 'not sharp,' " he said. "And 'oh by the way,' we looked tired, too. I asked them what they want me to do. Do we rest them more, and then they'll be duller? Or do I get them sharp (through a more rigroous workout), and then they'll be more tired?"

Pressed for a synopsis of how the players responded to the conversation, Parcells indicated they were not eager to respond either way.

"They were like Penguins," he said. "They just looked at me.

"I don't know what I'm going to do. That's something I'm going to talk to the coaches about."

While the majority of players did not impress their coach in Thursday's morning practice, one did .... sort of.

"Terrance Copper," Parcells said when asked who looked good in an otherwise sluggish session. He looked pretty quick.

"Of course, the way we practiced, that's not too hard."

Parcells talked about how Wednesday's signing of former Kansas City (and Philadelphia) Linebacker Quinton Caver gives the Cowboys three recent ex-Chiefs (Caver joins linebacker Scott Fujita and Pile as the former Chiefs now suiting up in silver and blue).

"Our farm team," Parcells jokingly said of the Chiefs. "I'm very close to Dick Vermiel. In fact, he called me last night, and we talked -- not about these three players, but just about defense. He knows we practice pretty much the same way, and he just asked if we were cutting anything back at this point in the season, that kind of thing."

Fujita agreed that the coaches have similar practice regimens, but said that their coaching styles are very different.

"They're both real business-like, real old-school," Fujita said. "Coach Parcells, he's more hands-on. He'll talk to everyone, get in your face if he needs to, while Coach Vermiel is more hands-off. He lets his assistant coaches do most of the coaching. He'll come around and ask how you're feeling more, what's on your mind.

"But they're both obviously great coaches. Their records speak for themselves."

While his numbers have not matched those of last year, Parcells said tight end Jason remains a viable weapon in the Dallas offense.

"Jason's doing a good job," Parcells said. "He's still a threat, he's still a factor in the passing game."

Parcells said that because of Witten's Pro Bowl performance from last year, defenses are paying more attention, in an effort to limit the third-year target's touches.

"That's really all I care about," Parcells said, "that he's enough of a threat that other teams have to pay attention to him."

"(Defensive backs Willie) Pile and (Anthony) Henry missed part of practice," head coach Bill Parcells said. "I think they'll be able to go tomorrow. At least that's what the trainers are telling me.

CowboysHQ Top Stories