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LPanther
01-06-2006, 08:15 PM
Parcells agrees to deal through '07

06:22 PM CST on Friday, January 6, 2006
By MATT MOSLEY / DallasNews.com

IRVING -- Bill Parcells will be back to coach the Cowboys.

The Cowboys issued a news release Friday afternoon to announce that he has agreed to a new contract through 2007. Financial terms were not immediately released. Under his original contract, Parcells was set to earn $4.2 million in 2006.

“I just wanted to see what Jerry wanted to do,” Parcells told DallasNews.com on Friday at 5:35 p.m. as he left Valley Ranch in his Lincoln Town Car. “As soon as I found out, I was ready to go.”

Parcells informed his coaching staff of the news at about 3:30 p.m. and gave them next week off.

The organization had been operating under a cloud of uncertainty since Sunday's final game of the season, a 20-10 loss to St. Louis. Cowboys assistant head coach Sean Payton has met with officials from the Saints and Packers organizations about their head coaching vacancies. And defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer met with Rams officials about their head coaching job Thursday.

The other assistants have continued to report to work each day while wondering what their futures held. Parcells and owner-general manager Jerry Jones had met several times during the past week, and the club announced the new contract at about 4 p.m.

“This is about continuity and building upon the pieces we have in place as an organization and as a football team,” Jones said in the news release. “We aren’t where we want to be at this point, but we’re definitely moving in the right direction and feel very good about the future.

“As I have said for the past three years, I am encouraged by Bill’s enthusiasm and determination, and that hasn’t changed in any way,” added Jones. “From a personal perspective, I have enjoyed every aspect of our working relationship, and I am optimistic about the organization’s future.”

“I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to continue what we have started here,” Parcells said in the release. “The Cowboys' organization has been the fairest of fair to me, and hopefully I can repay them with an improved performance.”

Cowboys cornerback Anthony Henry said he's pleased.

“I think it’s good that he’s coming back," he said from his home in Florida. "He is an established guy that will give us the charge to get to the next level. He’s been in a lot of big games, and he’s coached Hall of Famers. He’s been great for me personally.

"Quite honestly, I always assumed he was coming back," Henry added. "I have been surprised by all the speculation.”

Receiver Keyshawn Johnson is glad the team can move forward.

"I didn't want to have to play for another coach," Johnson said from Los Angeles. "But I thought all along that he was going to come back. I enjoy playing for him."

Varying Internet reports over the past week had Parcells contemplating retirement or considering a contract offer from Jones. Parcells, 64, scoffed at reports that he was considering retirement, but said Sunday he wanted to take a few days to make sure he wants to coach again.

At Parcells' age and with his history of health ailments, that's not unusual. At the conclusion of every season, Parcells takes time off to make sure he has the vigor and enthusiasm to do the job properly.

Parcells is 25-24 in three seasons with the Cowboys.