COMMENTARY: Snooker(ed) Time

The Cowboys' head coach is many things. The list of deficiencies is long and distinguished, but his personality ranks high on the shortfall ledger as to reasons why he should be moved along.

Why Jerry Jones continues to wait and coddle this prima donna is beyond comprehension. Parcells' days should have been numbered immediately following the Christmas Day loss to the Eagles. Jerry's disposition and anger should have carried right through to the opening round playoff loss to the Seahawks. Unless there is a monstrous secret under wraps, it certainly appears Jerry Jones is ready to ride with Parcells in 2007.

The question to be answered is "why?"

What possibly can be gained by a Bill Parcells' return? Was that Mike Zimmer or Mike (as in Michael) Johnson bolting for Atlanta? Reports have it being Mike Zimmer, the former defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, but the exit pace was definitely reminiscent of Michael Johnson, the 400 meter king. In no time flat, Zimmer was out the Valley Ranch door and riding a lateral move to A-town. In December, Zimmer admitted, "I saw both my defense and my career going down the tubes." How much of this was the product of Parcells' antics, demeanor and manipulation? Here's to betting the Atlanta Falcons defense is more than respectable next year. Just watch. Once the shackles come off, watch Mike Zimmer thrive.

Last year it was Sean Payton sprinting out of the blocks when given the opportunity to vacate the stockade. A number of assistants, mainly Tony Sparano, would have loved to follow. Gary Gibbs was fortunate to flee, but the selfish Parcells blocked Payton's request for Sparano's services. So, what did the change of environment due for Payton, Gibbs and a fistful of former Cowboys' players? How about taking a 3-13 ball club, coupled with teaching and coaching, and running the squad to the NFC Championship game? Wasn't this the Parcells' mission upon arrival 4 years ago? While close, the pre-Parcells' teams were never 3-13. How did Sean Payton do it? What changed from Dallas to New Orleans?

The Cowboys have been a lame duck coached team for the last three years. Every year it's the same, tired (as in…I'm) act and con job from Parcells. The nauseating, annual medley always leads to fleecing Jones for more money. At 34-32 over four years, Parcells' should be locked away for Grand Larceny. When Corporate America operates in this fashion, you get Tyco and Enron. Mega structures ruined and driven into the ground. Hovering around the Mendoza Line doesn't automatically equate to organizational bankruptcy, but where are the concrete indicators showing this team is headed in the right direction? By the coach's own admission, he called his team "non-competitive." How reassuring is that?

Parcells' act, on and off the field, is musty and stale. His curmudgeon demeanor and ancient style of play are best suited for a museum. The students are absolutely schooling the teacher. His NFL moniker is Mr. Predictability. The Cowboys were lucky not to confront the Patriots, Jets and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame this season. Innovation might as well be a foreign language for this organization. Regardless of who replaces Zimmer, the hand cuffs and leg irons will be firmly affixed. Once you escape the Parcells' tutelage, the creativity soars. Exhibit #1 is Sean Payton

While he may incorporate some aspects he learned under Parcells, Sean Payton came to life once he departed the Dallas sidelines. His creativity and innovation are shining brightly, and it will be on display in the NFC Championship game. He has accomplished in one year something Bill Parcells hasn't sniffed in four consecutive seasons. How and why does that happen? No limitations. No squashing ideas and valued input. No unconditional trust issues. Watch Payton spread out the Bears and exploit their deficiencies. He'll send Brian Urlacher 15-20 yards deep on most every play. He'll be covering TE's running decoy routes.

So, here sits the organization and fan base waiting for "The Almighty" to make his annual decision. What is wrong with this picture? No, Jerry Jones doesn't want to be the architect and sculptor of a legendary Mount Dismiss-A-More (the credit going to The Ranch Report's own Mike Fisher and The Dallas Observer's Richie Whitt). He has already chiseled Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson into stone, and the Parcells' bust would bookend "The Jimster" quite nicely. Jerry would prefer not to have this distinction on his resume as he, too, desires Hall of Fame induction. Is this why Parcells is allowed the space and latitude to make his annual decision?

First and foremost, Jerry Jones is a businessman. While his loyalty and support are noteworthy, even commendable, they could also ruin the future of this franchise. Today's NFL has nothing to do with loyalty. Nothing at all. Here today, gone tomorrow. If owners continue to thrive economically, the measurement will always be the bottom line. Jerry, future HOF consideration aside, Bill Parcells is not contributing to your bottom line. Some would argue he's actually detracting from it. Mr. Jones, where is your return on investment?

In Bill's annual "hold the franchise hostage" maneuvers and salary negotiations, one can only hope Jerry Jones slides a little piece of paper across the table during the sit down. On it is contained some very important monetary figures. Parcells inquires, "What's this?" Jerry's response is simply "What you cost me in not hosting one, possibly two, playoff contests at Texas Stadium. Put that in your hostage negotiations pipe and inhale deeply. Either you're coaching for free this year, or you can start the payback process any time now. Of course, neither is going to happen, and that's truly unfortunate. If it's incentive that's desired, maybe Jerry should make Parcells' pay contingent. You name the contingency, but pay for performance is one novel idea, especially as it relates to the New Jersey con man.

As time passes, so do the opportunities to hire a new face. If Parcells was any type of team player, he'd both recognize and comply with this dynamic. If he ultimately desires and decides to hang it up, he needs to be "spitted," smoked and carved up one side and down the other. Is the organization really going to sit patiently until February 1st waiting for the larcener to lament the inevitable? His delayed decision is both criminal and unforgivable. What possible reason does Parcells have to leave? Where else are you going to find absurd, free money? For barely marginal results? And the organization wonders why it's continually the punch line in League-wide comedy circles? Have you heard the one about the obese head coach and his cat? Yeah, his cat. That alone should call for immediate dismissal.

The feline presence in Parcells' life is not only a home front matter. It also symbolizes his "bully first" attitude and conservative approach to the game. While felinity is probably not on Jerry Jones' list of Parcells' shortcomings, he remains the only one positioned to show Parcells the street. That being the case, Cowboys' faithful, brace yourselves for another year of setbacks and delays in organizational development. Mee-freaking-ow to that!!

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