And The Curtain Falls

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages." Willie Shakespeare said this centuries ago. Further in the past than the Dallas Cowboys have had a winning season.

And it seems like seven ages since events changed the face of the team in such a drastic fashion as today.

Dave Campo was fired as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. The drama that wasn't, finally played its final act at a press conference with Jerry and Dave parting company. With a bit of emotion, Dave left the organization he has been with for fourteen years, with class and dignity. He can hold his head up and know in his heart he is a competent defensive coordinator but not a head coach. A hurdle he won't be asked to jump ever again.

Jerry Jones has played many parts and worn many hats in the organization since buying same in 1989. To the boos and bane of the fans, he has called the shots or the very least been in the loop of the decision-making since 1993. Coincidentally the exact date in which the demise of the team Jimmy wrought took wing.

With the cameras rolling and the press writing down every word, Jerry Jones took the blame for the failure of his philosophy and the team by suggesting things will change. He stepped up to the plate and shouldered the responsibility for this franchise being a perennial 5-11 team over the past three years.

Times they are a-changin'. And change they will. Jones named two coaches he has interviewed that he sees can alter the future of the team. Bill Parcells and Dennis Green both possess the type of coaching talent to mold this franchise back into the winner it was in the early nineties, Jones admits.

But only the naive will believe that Parcells is not Jerry's focus. Any tipping of the Jones Stetson to Green is merely a token gesture to the slings and arrows tossed Jones-ward by the Johnny Cochran's of the world.

It has already been reported both the Dallas Morning News and the Ft. Worth Star Telegram will file columns tomorrow that Parcells will accept a 4 year 18 million dollar contract to coach the Cowboys. Once again Jerry Jones shows that when he wants something he will move heaven and earth and a ton of money to get it.

But what is more significant is Jones making the necessary changes once again to vault the team and franchise into the national spotlight and back to respectability. So many words have been written about Jones and his resistance to change when it comes to ceding power to anyone. But all those nay Sayers will now have to come to terms with both Jones altering the chain of command and Parcells less-than-blushing relationship with the press.

Jones not only realized he was not achieving the results he had hoped for, but he also understood there were only a hand full of men that he could trust with his business. The respect factor Jones has for Parcells prompted his quick action. A respect that is well founded in that Parcells has turned around four franchises and placed them into meaningful games in December and January. Results that eclipse even the Sainted Jimmy Johnson.

Yet while the front office will operate in a different manner, the real proof will be on the field. A field where a team laid down and quit in early December. A field where teammates get into a shoving-match over a blown assignment during a game.

Parcells will not tolerate lack of effort or missed assignments for long. And there will not be instances of Kareem Larrimore being fined 12 times before he was released. Parcells will cut players and motivate with a just but iron fist. My way or the highway is a term coined by Parcells.

Parcells also has an eye for talent and this will change the fortune of a club that has drafted the Kavika Pittman's and Shante Carver's of the NFL. Bill's track record of choosing solid football players upgraded more than one team. The draft day mistakes and long shots will be a thing of the past.

There won't be a radical change here. The scouts will still report to Lacewell who will send a report to Parcells. Coaches will be dispatched and when the draft day rolls around Jerry will endorse whatever the head coach wants.

A peripheral change here will come in articles written about the team and who makes the call. Jones will not be mentioned as the ochestrator of the draft and Parcells will receive all the praise for anything positive done at Valley Ranch. Whether this is reality or myth we will never know. But my crystal ball suggests Jones takes a backseat in the eyes of the world and Bill gets all the glory. The press in Dallas will have to do a little work for a change.

The Bard once mused, "O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!" Bill Parcells will change the face of the Cowboys to a smile and the fronts of Dallas sports pages. I guess Jerry won't be the villain any longer.

I wonder if somewhere in bars there are journalists cursing the fact they don't have Jerry to kick around anymore. Hoist another round boys. Coffee break is almost over.

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