Victory Of A Higher Order

really," or how "I feel fortunate." His eyes were red, bloodshot really. Maybe it was the wind, but really, it wasn't that windy. Maybe it was the cold, but it was 54 degrees at kick off. 

No, you don't think Bill Parcells was really . . . . 

And then he, and I'm guessing he felt the need, let us in where few are allowed, saying of his own volition, "Anyways, there was a lot of emotion here for me today, and I didn't . . . ." 

He paused, seemingly long enough for you to think, no, he's not going there, not Bill. No way can he pull this off. 

But you knew this had been a tough day for him. He had traveled to New Jersey for his brother Don's funeral in the morning. Don Parcells, just 20 months younger than Bill, had died Wednesday night at the age of 62, having fought a brain tumor for longer than medical logic said he had any right. But I'm guessing those Parcells boys are pretty stubborn. That's what you get for having an Italian mother. 

There he was, burying his brother one hour, and walking out onto Lincoln Financial Field to go to work around the 7 o'clock hour. He was stoic as he walked to midfield, maybe even wondering himself if he could do this, if he could do what 53 guys, a coaching staff and you guys, too, were counting on him doing Monday night. His job. Coaching at night after crying all day I'm guessing is not very easy. 

And don't think Bill said anything to the guys beforehand. Oh no. Some had no idea he was even leaving. 

"You just knew the day was heavy," a compassionate Jones would say. "He likes to focus so much on the game, getting here early on game days, and today, you knew he was grieving, it was just not how he gets his mind ready for a ball game." 

Jones said Bill got back to Philly around 3:30 p.m., after having left real early in the morning to be there with his family. 

"It was a hard day for him, a very hard day for him," Jones said. "It was very fitting the way it ended." 

What Jerry, as if there was an angel in the end zone, over there where Terry Glenn, who had caught one ball all night long, hauled in that 20-yard heave-up of Drew Bledsoe's in the face of a blitz to draw the Cowboys within 20-14 with 3:04 left? 

The same end zone Williams ended his 46-yard romp with the Eagles only turnover of the game, having intercepted that ball thrown more to him than any Eagle in his neighborhood, to give the Cowboys a 21-20 lead with still 2:43 to play? 

So see, me, I can't tell you why these final three minutes unfolded the way they did, and evidently I wasn't alone, either, because some Eagles fan, just beside himself, could be heard saying as an elevator door was closing for the ride down from the press box, "I can't believe this." 

Maybe you guys were with me, too. 

The players, they understood what this probably meant to Parcells, and it wasn't as if they were going overboard, saying anything so hollow as if they were playing for their head coach, because if they were, those opening 56 minutes would have been shameful. 

But they just knew how tough the day had been, and if a team truly is an extension of their coach, than maybe some life had been sucked out of them, too. 

"A very emotional day for him," Williams said, still wearing his grass-stained No. 31 jersey while at the interview podium. "But he did not say anything about it. We did not know he went to Jersey to bury his brother. We got Coach Parcells' back, we love him." 

Evidently, someone else just might have had his back, too. 

So Bill finally completed his thought, and it nearly was more than he could do, but you had the feeling he felt compelled in some small way to say something, however small, maybe for Don's sake. 

"I'll tell you what I told the players," Bill said, staring blanking at us, making eye contact with no one. "I got a message today, it said, 'Don't have a troubled heart.' And I don't. I got those guys in there." 

That was it. He rose slowly, and walked back into the locker room, his emotional asylum. It was as if this guy who will cajole but at times berate, who will confront but at times console, who some out there think is a big, ol' bully at times, just needed someone to put an arm

MICK SHOTS

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