Bill Parcells did the retirement rumba again Monday, stepping down as coach of the Dallas Cowboys and calling it a career for the fourth time in a 19-year career.
"I'm retiring from coaching football," he said in a statement sent by e-mail.
Since the Cowboys were knocked out of the playoffs two weeks ago, Parcells had given every indication he planned to stay for a fifth season. He was at the office every day, and had booked a trip to scout players at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
A league source with knowledge of the situation said potential replacements for Parcells include defensive coordinators Ron Rivera of Chicago and Wade Phillips of San Diego; Detroit offensive coordinator Mike Martz; former Atlanta coach Jim Mora; and Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops.
USC's Pete Carroll does not appear to be a candidate. The Cowboys don't fit his profile because Jones is such a commanding figure in the organization. Carroll, who repeatedly has said he planned to stay with the Trojans but who interviewed for the now-filled vacancy in Miami, wants more control than most NFL teams are willing to offer.
"I'm not interested. I've said that 1,000 times," Carroll said Monday.
In 1991, Parcells announced his retirement as coach of the New York Giants after winning two Super Bowls in eight seasons. Five years later, as coach of the New England Patriots, he wrote in a letter to owner Robert Kraft that he had "no desire to continue as an NFL coach." And in January 2000, after three seasons with the New York Jets, Parcells announced he had coached his last game. He remained with the team for one season as general manager.
Two years later, in early 2003, he took over as coach of the Cowboys.
"I am in good health and feel lucky to have been able to coach in the NFL for an extended period of time," said Parcells, 65, who had one year left at more than $5 million on a contract extension he signed a year ago. "I leave the game and the NFL with nothing but good feelings and gratitude to all the players, coaches and other people that have assisted me in that regard."
Parcells had a 34-32 record, including the playoffs, in four seasons with the Cowboys. But while he improved a franchise that was rudderless when he arrived, he failed to win a playoff game.
In a written statement, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thanked Parcells and said he was grateful for their relationship "both on the professional and personal levels."
"It is a relationship that was structured around the fundamental element of applying all of our joint resources, energy and efforts into winning and being successful in every aspect of the organization," Jones said.
"We are now prepared to move forward as an organization and pursue our goals of achieving at the highest level with the same dedication and enthusiasm."
Martz's specialty is working with quarterbacks, and the Cowboys have a talented young one in Pro Bowl choice Tony Romo.
It was Romo who botched the hold on a 19-yard field-goal try in the waning moments of the Cowboys' 21-20 playoff loss at Seattle on Jan. 6. The Cowboys lost four of their last five games after building an ostensibly comfortable division lead in December.
Dallas has not won a postseason game since 1996, spanning coaches Barry Switzer -- who won a Super Bowl in 1995 -- Chan Gailey, Dave Campo and Parcells.
Indianapolis Coach Tony Dungy, who Sunday led the Colts to the first Super Bowl in the history of that city, said he was surprised by Parcells' decision to retire but fully understood the pressures of the job.
"It's a young man's game and you go through things, and the way that last game ended, it's hard to bounce back from," Dungy said. "I can't speak for him, but I think he probably feels he's left the team in better shape than when he got there, and that was his mission. I'm happy for him that he's going when he wants to go."
Staff writer Gary Klein contributed to this report.
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Parcells coaching fraternity
Bill Parcells compiled a 183-138-1 record as an NFL coach. He coached four franchises -- New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys -- and won two Super Bowl titles, both with the Giants (1986, 1990). During his 19 seasons, he has groomed an impressive list of former assistants who later became coaches.
* Bill Belichick -- Cleveland 1991-95; New England 2000-present. Record: 124-84. Five playoff appearances. Three Super Bowl victories. Parcells' assistant with Giants, 1983-90; Jets 1997-99. Interim coach Jets, February 1997.
* Tom Coughlin -- Jacksonville 1995-2002; New York Giants, 2004-present. Record: 97-89. Parcells' assistant with Giants, 1988-90.
* Romeo Crennel -- Cleveland 2005-present. Record: 10-22. Parcells' assistant with Giants 1983-90; New England, 1993-96; Jets, 1997-99. Belichick's assistant with New England, 2001-2004.
* Al Groh -- New York Jets, 2000. Record: 9-7. College coach: Virginia 2001-present. Record: 37-26, four bowl games. Parcells' assistant with Giants, 1989-90; New England, 1993-96; Jets, 1997-99.
* Charlie Weis -- Notre Dame, 2005-present. Record: 19-6. Two bowl games. Parcells' assistant with Giants, 1990; New England 1993-96; Jets, 1997-99. Belichick's assistant with New England, 2000-05.
* Ray Handley -- New York Giants, 1991-92. Record: 14-18. Parcells' assistant with Giants, 1984-1990.
* Eric Mangini -- New York Jets, 2006-present. Record: 10-7. Parcells' assistant with Jets, 1997-99. Belichick's assistant with Cleveland, 1995; New England, 2000-05.
Source: pro-football-reference.com; Associated Press