Anyone remotely associated with the Cowboys at the time Parcells was hired began getting quizzed right away about how long he and Jones could co-exist. Reading between the lines, that meant, "How long till Jerry meddles Bill right out of town?" Anyone asking that didn't know Jerry Jones.
Parcells is brilliant at what he does. By any measure, he's a Hall of Fame coach. He's also, as he told us on his first day here, an acquired taste. "I know," Parcells said that early January day three years ago, "I'm not for everyone." There was only one way to make Jones-Parcells work: Jones had to do it. Bill Parcells wasn't changing for anyone. Not then and not now.
So Jones changed. That didn't mean cede control. It meant taking a different approach. The fact that you don't know about the screaming matches they've had as well as the times they've been completely in concert is proof Jones not only knew a different way to do things was needed, he did it.
Spend money on what Bill wants money spent on? Reach for the checkbook.
In fairness, Parcells, exceptionally smart, has also accommodated Jones. He knows he has an owner who wants to win and, most of all, an owner who appreciates his - Bill's - ability to help make it happen. Parcells has been smart enough to work with Jones. The difference is Parcells gets the credit.
As former Cowboys' great Blaine Nye once said, "It's not whether you win or lose, it's who gets the blame."
Jones went to great lengths to make sure the Parcells deal got re-done quickly and quietly. It wasn't always as easy as it looked. It helps to have what Jones calls a "high tolerance for ambiguity."
Parcells being here was the right thing three years ago and remains that way now. The man who has made that happen, who has made fundamental changes in himself to make sure his organization improves, the man who had to admit things weren't working and that he was part of the reason and who changed that, that fella deserves more credit than he'll probably ever get.