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Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2003

Parcells tells ESPN he's heading to Dallas

IRVING, Texas -- Tuna is heading for Texas. Or so he says.

Bill Parcells, known for winning Super Bowls and, more recently, for walking away from deals that seemed done, told ESPN Wednesday that he was leaving the network to become the Dallas Cowboys' coach.

''I'm going to do it,'' Parcells said, according to ESPN.com.

Despite widespread reports that Parcells would be formally introduced by the Cowboys on Thursday, spokesman Rich Dalrymple said Wednesday that no announcement was scheduled.

Calls to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Parcells' agent, Jimmy Sexton, weren't returned.

The 61-year-old Parcells, whose nickname is Tuna, will be the sixth Cowboys coach but the first with experience as an NFL head coach.

The last of Parcells' 15 NFL seasons was in 1999 with the New York Jets. He also jilted Tampa Bay twice and Atlanta once.

Citing an unidentified source, ESPN reported Parcells signed a four-year, $17.1 million contract. The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported earlier in the week that the team offered a four-year contract worth about $4.5 million a season.

Last year, he was so close to joining the Buccaneers that he signed a contract, and now Tampa Bay wants compensation from any team that hires him. The Bucs will present their case to the commissioner's office Thursday.

Two sources within the league told The Associated Press that the Bucs would not receive any compensation because the deal Parcells signed was not forwarded to the league office and therefore never approved by commissioner Paul Tagliabue.



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