not only won the AP's award, but six others from various media sources.
That year, Parcells led the Patriots to a 10-6 record in his second year in New England. Coming off a 5-11 campaign the previous year, Parcells' troops obviously weren't expected to do much the next year. But they shocked them all, and guess what, Coach of the Year went to Parcells.
But despite the expectations this year, which even included a possible trip to the Super Bowl for the Cowboys, Parcells should definitely be considered for the award.
The reasons aren't countless. There isn't a long list why Parcells should win it. I only need three.
First, the quarterback.
Here is an old coach, supposedly with stubborn ways, who had to bench the quarterback he basically molded from a rookie to a savvy veteran. And while it appears Parcells probably could've made the move a few weeks earlier, it still wasn't easy to sit Drew Bledsoe in favor of Tony Romo, who at the time had never started a game in the league.
Personally, I don't think Parcells waited too long. Bledsoe deserved the chance to start the season. He played well last year. He played well in the preseason and he deserved the chance to play in an offense that featured Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn and Jason Witten.
Parcells gave him that chance, letting him start six games. But when he finally realized that Romo gave this team a better chance to win, he made the move.
Gutsy move. Denver's Mike Shanahan made one, too, pulling Plummer in favor of rookie Jay Cutler, who lost his first start last week to Seattle.
But right now, Parcells looks brilliant. Romo is 5-1 and even had the team in position to win in that one loss to Washington.
Secondly, the kicker.
Another gutsy move by Parcells, who just had to go on instincts.
This one might have been an even tougher call considering Mike Vanderjagt's track record. The best kicker in league history was in a major slump, but Parcells just couldn't wait any longer.
He went out and got Martin Gramatica, a guy who hasn't held a steady kicking job in the league for two years, threw him into the Meadowlands for his first game and he made three field goals, including the game-winner.
"Gramatica made me look good," Parcells said, rather uncharacteristically after the game.
Smart? How about a genius?
Now, it's only one game. Gramatica did miss one field goal in the first half and could do the same here this Sunday or at some point later in the year. But doesn't something just tell you that Parcells is living right these days?
And the third reason why Parcells should be getting consideration for Coach of the Year is simply, the player.
Terrell Owens. Call him a distraction. Call him a pain in the rear. Call him a big-mouth who just needs attention.
Call him what you want, but make sure you don't leave out effective. Owens is a big reason why the Cowboys have one of the best offenses in the league. And despite all of the other stuff, Parcells has found a way to make it a non-issue.
Seriously, could you imagine any other year here in Dallas where the superstar player who lives in controversy is involved in an accidental overdose, and it's a non-story about two weeks later?
That's not even a big deal anymore.
Owens publicly questioned Vanderjagt's release last week and followed that up this week by telling reporters he wasn't listening to Parcells in practice and was thinking about his birthday bash in California.
Yet, through it all, Parcells just moves on. And so do the Cowboys.
All of this talk swirled in the off-season that Owens would destroy this team. That his "me-first" antics would eventually rip apart a team Parcells spent the previous three years building.
Not only has that not happened, but it's really not even close.
As much as it might eat him up inside, this team is bigger than T.O. And you have Parcells to thank for that.
Oh, Parcells probably won't win any Coach of the Year awards for this team. Too many feel-good stories out there like Payton and the Jets' Eric Mangini.
But if you take it all into