One can only wonder why it took so long for Parcells and Dallas owner Jerry Jones to get together. They are, almost by consensus, the two biggest assholes in pro football and thus, it would seem, inevitably drawn to each other. Jones wants to spend money—the NFL's salary cap restrictions were initiated largely to curb the spending habits of the Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers—and Parcells knows how to spend it.
The as yet unnoticed dirty secret of the NFL is that the so-called salary cap only has to do with how much an owner can pay his players, not how much he can spend improving his team in other areas. There's no limit to what Jones can and will spend on training facilities, scouts, staff, or, in the case of Parcells, head coach. Parcells' $17.1 million for four years is the most lucrative contact of his career. Steve Spurrier, by the way, has a richer deal: five years at $5 million per. Jerry Jones not only has a winner, he has a bargain.
Correction, Nov. 14, 2003: This article originally misstated Bill Parcells' coaching records. He did not take over the 3-12-1 Giants, as Barra stated, and win the Super Bowl in his third season. The Giants went 3-12-1 in Parcells' first season as coach, and won the Super Bowl in his fourth. Barra also stated that during Parcells' third season as Patriots coach, the team went 8-5 and went to the Super Bowl. In fact, the team went 6-10 that year. They went to the Super Bowl in his fourth season as Patriots coach. Return to the corrected portion of the article.