Legend Rick Gosselin talks Cowboys, Jimmy, Jerry, McCarthy and more

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Bill Parcells of the Dallas Cowboys

Q: After the split with Jimmy Johnson and the mistakes with Barry Switzer and Dave Campo. Chan Gailey never seemed to get off the ground. Jerry hired Bill Parcells. I thought he learned and put his ego aside. Looking back, I was wrong. What did you think of the  Bill Parcells hiring at the time and now?

A: Getting Parcells was a great hire. The man knew what it takes to win championships. He took two different franchises to Super Bowls and won twice in the three trips. He took another franchise (Jets) to a conference championship game. The man also knew what it takes to compete in the NFC East. Bigger is better.

Parcells became famous for “wanting to buy the groceries” and, for Jerry to hire him, I figured Parcells must have been promised a big say in talent procurement. He re-energized the franchise and that helped Jerry get his new stadium in Arlington.

The hope was that some of Parcells’ football wisdom would rub off on Jerry. But deep down, I believe what is driving Jerry is he wants to win a Super Bowl on his own – show that it wasn’t just Jimmy that put those three Lombardi Trophies in the trophy case over at the Star.

The Downfall of the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s

Q: Those 90s Cowboys teams were the youngest, fastest, and deepest teams I have ever seen. What is your opinion about the 1990s Cowboys teams? What was their ultimate downfall?

A: I believe the 1992 Cowboys could have played and beaten any team in any era. They led the NFL in defense and had a cast of young superstars coming into their own in Aikman, Smith and Irvin. That team had it all.

The downfall was the arrival of the salary cap. Management had to make choices on how to spend the money. To keep the stars, you had to pay them the big money.

That left less for the supporting cast. And those players became prime commodities in free agency. Ken Norton, Dixon Edwards, John Gesek, Alvin Harper, Jimmie Jones, Jim Jeffcoat, Larry Brown, James Washington, Mark Stepnoski…those were all blue-chip contributors to championship teams. All left for more money elsewhere.

The salary cap also dismantled the 49ers in the 1990s. That opened the door for teams like the Packers and Rams to rise up. If Jimmy and Jerry could have co-existed and there had been no salary cap, there’s no telling how many Lombardi Trophies the Cowboys would have won in the 1990s.