|Monday, December 30
Updated: December 31, 1:55 PM ET
Parcells already linked to Cowboys' top job
ESPN.com news services
It didn't take long after the firing of Dave Campo for reports to fly about Bill Parcells becoming the next coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
When contacted by ESPN, Parcells' agent, Jimmy Sexton, denied any deal has been completed between Parcells and the Cowboys. Two other sources have told ESPN that reports any deal is done are false.
The Dallas Morning News reported on its Web site Monday afternoon that Parcells had agreed to an $18 million, four-year deal and would be introduced as the team's sixth coach Tuesday. The story was based on unnamed sources close to Parcells and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Three different sources, including two close to Parcells and another in the Cowboys organization, told ESPN.com on Monday afternoon there is no agreement yet on a contract. In fact, Parcells was still at his New Jersey home deliberating the job offer.
"It will come to an end pretty quickly," Parcells said in Tuesday's editions of The New York Times. "We've been proceeding toward that end." Parcells also told the New York Daily News that he has had "productive conversations'' but "nothing is imminent."
According to ESPN.com sources, if Parcells does accept the job, he will sign a contract very similar in financial terms to the one from which he backed away in Tampa last year. That deal was for four years, and worth about $4 million-$4.25 million a season.
Parcells has never felt it necessary to be the NFL's highest paid coach.
There is still no timetable for the hiring and it appears Parcells prefers not to travel to Dallas until later in the week, sources have told ESPN.com. One compromise would be to have Jerry Jones announce that a deal has been struck, when one is, perhaps as early as Tuesday or Wednesday. Parcells would then be introduced as the team's new coach later in the week.
When he announced the firing of Campo, Jones said he had no timetable to hire a replacement, but added, "I hope it can happen quickly.''
Team spokesman Rich Dalrymple wouldn't comment on The Dallas Morning News report and said the team had no plans to discuss the coaching situation any further Monday.
The Dallas Cowboys' own Web site said sources said Parcells could even be hired as early as Tuesday and likely at least by Thursday.
The newspaper said the details of the contract actually were finalized when Jones and Parcells met Friday, two days before the Cowboys' season-ending 20-14 defeat at Washington.
Some of those details, according to the Morning News, was that Parcells would have total control of hiring and firing of assistant coaches as well as a strong say in personnel and draft matters.
The newspaper also reported that Parcells was expected to fly into Dallas for the news conference Tuesday.
Jones began talking with Parcells about two weeks ago and their negotiations have turned serious in recent days. Jones also has spoken with former Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green.
Parcells, an analyst for ESPN, has been close to deals before and walked away, including last year when he signed with Tampa Bay, then changed his mind. Because of that contract, the Buccaneers said Sunday they should have been asked for permission to talk to Parcells and want compensation.
ESPN.com sources are saying the tampering allegations are a non-issue.
As of Monday afternoon, Sexton had yet to receive the letter of complaint the Bucs said they sent him. More important, an NFL official said the league office has not yet received a formal complaint from the Bucs.
On Thursday, the Bucs will present their case in a hearing with the commissioner's office.
League officials said Jones has done all that's necessary to make a move, an indication that the interview with Green met the league's minority candidate requirement.
ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli and The Associated Press contributed to this report.