IRVING, Texas -- If you haven't had the opportunity to read Nick Eatman's interview with Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells on DallasCowboys.com, you need to find time to do so.
The piece was well written and points out the relationship that Parcells had with Jerry and Stephen Jones during his time as the head coach of the Cowboys. I thought his answers were honest and truthful but more importantly, accurate about his feelings toward the Joneses.
Bill Parcells was not an easy man to work for, but neither was Tom Coughlin, and I respected what they accomplished in their years in the NFL. Parcells was unique because he always had a plan in mind.
If you remember those teams under Dave Campo, we had no plan nor did we have any direction. During his seasons in Dallas, Parcells gave us both. Sure there were times he was stubborn and his ego got in the way, but it was honestly for the betterment of the team.
I have always said that one of Jerry Jones’ greatest traits was his ability to listen, but you can also say that it's one of his greatest faults. Parcells had Jones' ear, but in turn, Parcells was the same with Jones. What Parcells did better than anyone I had ever worked with is that he understood how to play the game. Parcells was a master at getting what he wanted but he also knew that getting what he wanted also came with a price.
In my time with both of these gentlemen, it was always interesting to see that dynamic at work. There was a huge amount of give and take between these two, and both of them went to work each day with that understanding.
If there was a buffer between Parcells and Jerry Jones, it was Stephen Jones. I have always called Stephen the voice of reason, who is a clear thinker and always has the big picture in mind. Parcells showed a great deal of respect for Stephen, and, when he became frustrated with Jerry, would knock on Stephen's door and voice his views.
Stephen had a way of calming Parcells down and working through the issues with him. Stephen was also able to take Parcells' ideas to Jerry and explain them in a way that would help him understand where he was coming from. Stephen was outstanding for both parties and the reason why many things were accomplished between Bill and Jerry.
Parcells was absolutely correct in his assessment of Jones as an owner. He is willing to do everything in his power to give the head coach the opportunity to win. In my time with them both, it was rare that Parcells didn't get the players he wanted.
Huge free agency dollars were spent on guys like Marco Rivera, Anthony Henry, Jason Ferguson -- all Parcells players. Money was spent on Ryan Young, who was broken down but Parcells wanted to sign.
Terry Glenn, Ritchie Anderson, Drew Bledsoe and Vinny Testaverde were all players brought in by Parcells. I remember the previous year in 2004, during free agency, when Parcells didn't want to sign anyone because there was no value there to be signed, although Jones was willing to spend the money. We were coming off a playoff season but Parcells wanted to stand pat, and Jones granted the wishes of his coach.
In looking back during those years Parcells was here, Jerry Jones made the right decision in hiring a big-time coach but more so, he hired a man who brought us creditability.
Jerry Jones helped Bill Parcells and Parcells did the same for Jones. It wasn't always easy but it was truly necessary at the time. There were so many that believed this partnership would have never worked but to both men's credit, it did. It’s nice to see that the respect still remains throughout the years.