My Way or the Highway

New Cowboys' head coach Bill Parcells delivered his message loud and clear this week at Valley Ranch. The old way of doing things has long since departed. It's time for a new era for America's Team, and it starts right now. "Every player on this team has to understand I'm trying to find somebody, that's the way I do it," said Parcells.

Bill Parcells is now entering this third week on the job at Valley Ranch, and after hiring a new coaching staff and evaluating more than half the team, people are starting to take notice.

The newly appointed head coach of the Dallas Cowboys held his first press conference yesterday afternoon since his hiring back in early January. It came in his new locker room after a brief introduction of his 14 assistant coaches.

"What sets him apart from most coaches is his passion, his desire to succeed he's demanding, and he pushes his people to the limit. Yet, players want to play for him, and they definitely don't want to disappoint him," said offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon.

Parcells has made it crystal clear that he won't accept the only way of doing things at Valley Ranch. That goes from the practice squad to the star players, all the way to the coaching staff.

"Even if you're a veteran player, at some point in training camp you're going to have to prove to me that you can still do it," Parcells said in his first press conference yesterday. "And that goes from the top on down to the last player on the practice squad."

The former Coach of the Year also indicated that he'll do everything he can to make sure that starting left tackle Flozell Adams resigns with the Cowboys this offseason.

"I haven't gone any further with any other player, but that particular player, we've talked about that a little bit. I had a good meeting with him and I like to work with him," said Parcells.

The quarterback situation was also a big topic of discussion, however Parcells remains unwilling to show his hand at this point in the game.

"Like I've always said, it's good to have options, but that doesn't mean I'm going to replace who we have already. We are still involved in the evaluation process."

While Parcells is keeping quiet, it's no secret that the organization is targeting several players, including Jake Plummer and Vinny Testeverde. An extensive meeting has yet to take place between Chad Hutchinson and Parcells, although the two are scheduled to meet next week.

Of course, Quincy Carter is already preparing to go elsewhere. He's expected to be released from the Cowboys on February 1st.

Another order of business that seems to be on the mind everyone at Valley Ranch continues to be that of future Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith.

Parcells said yesterday that Emmitt's decision will ultimately rest in the hands of owner Jerry Jones.

"It's in everybody's best interest for it not to go on longer," Parcells said. "Jerry asked me to let him handle that one. They're going to talk it out, but I honestly don't know what he is going to say."

Rumors are running wild at this point in the game. Sources close to Cowboys have indicated everything from he's coming back to play one more season, to he's going to leave to play with Arizona, Tampa Bay, or even the Detroit Lions.

With Jones calling the shots, and the Super Bowl now behind us, only one thing remains certain- a decision on Emmitt Smith may not be that far away. In fact, don't be surprised to see something announced early next week.

Parcells' first news conference was anything but ordinary. For the first time it what seems like ages, there is an excitement surrounding this team again.

Even with last year's success in the NFL Draft and the preseason talks of a playoff berth, as a fan, you still didn't feel confident about Dave Campo and Bruce Coslet calling the shots.

With Bill Parcells running the show, you have a proven winner who has rebuilt teams in much worse shape than the Dallas Cowboys. You have a coach that can evaluate talent, and then develop that talent to help his team out for the next 5 to 10 years.

Make no mistake, it's good to be a Cowboys' fan again, and we can all thank Bill Parcells for that.

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