IRVING, Texas — Bill Parcells retired from coaching today, leaving the Dallas Cowboys after four seasons and ending a stellar career that featured three Super Bowl appearances and two championships.
The announcement came 15 days after the Cowboys’ season ended with a heartbreaking playoff loss in Seattle. He had been at his office nearly every day since, and there were other indications that the 65-year-old coach was returning for a fifth year in Dallas and 20th as an NFL head coach.
“I am retiring from coaching football,” Parcells said in a statement. “I want to thank Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones for their tremendous support over the last four years. Also, the players, my coaching staff and others in the support group who have done so much to help. Dallas is a great city, and the Cowboys are an integral part of it. I am hopeful that they are able to go forward from here.”
The announcement came in a morning e-mail. There was no immediate statement from Jones, the team owner, although one was planned for later in the day. There were no immediate plans for a news conference.
“I am in good health and feel lucky to have been able to coach in the NFL for an extended period of time,” Parcells said. “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 won two Super Bowls with the Giants. He came to Dallas four seasons ago energized by the challenge of restoring glory to “America’s Team.” He went 34-32 and left the Cowboys better than he found them, but his tenure ultimately may be remembered for the lack of a playoff victory.
His teams went 0-2 in the post-season. Dallas appeared headed to a breakthrough win this month in Seattle, but Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo botched the hold on a short field goal with a little more than a minute left, and the Cowboys lost 21-20. They lost four of their last five games, including the final three, after holding a two-game division lead in December.
Dallas hasn’t won a playoff game since 1996, easily the longest skid in the history of the franchise, which has been to a record eight Super Bowls.