Thu, Nov 18, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Parcells under pressure to replace QB

NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE , IRVING, TEXAS

Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens, center, pulls in a 50-yard touchdown pass in front of Dallas Cowboys defenders Nathan Jones, left, and Tony Dixon during the first quarter in Irving, Texas, Monday. Dallas suffered it's worse home loss in history.

PHOTO: AP

As Bill Parcells watched his Dallas Cowboys implode in a 49-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Texas Stadium on Monday night, his body language was that of a man frustrated by the game he loves.

When he stepped to the podium for his postgame news conference, his words were clipped, a departure from more colorful comments a week earlier, when he called his team stupid, then said he deserved the blame for the poor play.

At one point Monday, pushed to elaborate on his feelings, Parcells cut off the question. He refused to talk about his future with the team, a tenure that may be short-lived if the Cowboys' troubles continue.

"You're looking for your sound bite now, aren't you?" Parcells said before muttering an expletive at the reporter who had asked the question, then leaving the room.

The Cowboys (3-6) were a playoff team last season, Parcells' first with Dallas. But they now look nothing like the fundamentally sound teams that have characterized Parcells' best squads through the years, including the two Giants teams he led to the Super Bowl.

Against the Eagles, Dallas turned the ball over three times and allowed four touchdowns in one quarter, something it had not done in its 45-year history.

"It's tough," Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. "If we didn't turn the ball over, we'd have had a chance to win. Coach said he's not going to quit on us, and we're not going to quit on him."

With the Cowboys all but eliminated from the playoff chase, Parcells could soon replace 41-year-old Vinny Testaverde with 24-year-old Drew Henson, the former Yankees prospect and presumed quarterback of the future. The Cowboys signed Henson in March after acquiring his rights from the Houston Texans.

Asked if he would make any personnel changes, Parcells shot back: "Not right now. I've got to look at the film first. Wouldn't you think that would be advisable?"

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