The Bill Parcells All-Stars

The Bill Parcells All-Stars
The Bill Parcells All-Stars
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz

(Bill Parcells is entering the Hall of Fame this weekend, so we thought we would re-run this look at the best players he has ever had. It originally ran on July 15, 2010.)

I was reading Baseball Prospectus this morning and noticed a post by Steven Goldman about the career of Braves manager Bobby Cox. Using a gimmick from the Bill James Book of Baseball Managers as a jumping-off point, Goldman put together a list of "The Bobby Cox All-Stars," the best seasons by players at each position on the teams Cox has managed. It's a fun little argument-starter, but also gives an interesting look at which positions certain guys might favor over others. (Cox, for example, has never had a truly great first baseman.)

I thought to myself: Hey, what a neat idea. I wonder what similar all-star teams would look like for some of the top head coaches in NFL history? If Steve can borrow the idea from Bill James, I can just borrow it from him, right? Sure. Thus, today we bring you the first in what I plan to make a weekly series until we finally get some real football around here: Great Head Coach All-Star Teams.

Now you don't get a lot of great NFL head coaches who bounce around from one team to the next, but there certainly are a couple, and their ranks start with the Tuna. So I went through the rosters of all four teams where Bill Parcells served as head coach, looking for the best players. I used FO stats where I could, although they don't exist for his Giants teams or for most of the defensive players he's had. With that in mind, here is my subjective list of the Bill Parcells All-Stars.


QB: Vinny Testaverde, 1998 Jets
RB: Joe Morris, 1985 Giants
FB: Richie Anderson, 2003 Cowboys
WR: Keyshawn Johnson, 1998 Jets
WR: Terrell Owens, 2006 Cowboys
TE: Jason Witten, 2005 Cowboys

As good as Phil Simms was, Testaverde was off his gourd in 1998, second in the league in both DYAR and DVOA behind Randall Cunningham and just ahead of Steve Young and John Elway. I'll take Morris in the year he had 21 touchdowns over any Curtis Martin season. Marion Barber (2006) would be our third-down back. It would be crazy to have a Parcells team without Richie Anderson; his best year was probably 2000, but that was the year after Parcells stepped down as head coach. At tight end, Ben Coates may have had 1,174 yards in 1994, but Witten is a better blocker than Coates and a better receiver than Mark Bavaro.

Wide receiver may be the toughest choice. Terry Glenn had more DYAR and a higher DVOA than his teammate Terrell Owens in 2006. However, I think it is fair to say that much of Glenn's success came because Owens was attracting coverage, especially given that Owens has been the far more consistent player over his career. Then the choice comes down to Glenn vs. Keyshawn, but I doubt any opponents would tell you they were ever more scared of Terry Glenn than they were of Keyshawn Johnson at any point in their careers, except maybe that one year of 2006. The 2006 Glenn can be our slot receiver when we go three-wide.


LT: Bruce Armstrong, 1996 Patriots
LG: Larry Allen, 2003 Cowboys
C: Kevin Mawae, 1999 Jets
RG: Marco Rivera, 2005 Cowboys
RT: Marc Colombo, 2006 Cowboys

I will admit to not being very familiar with the offensive line of the Parcells-era Giants teams, and I'm happy to hear arguments about alternatives here. I don't think any of those teams had a Pro Bowl lineman, except Bart Oates in Parcells' last year. It looks like Parcells never had a highly-regarded right tackle.


DE: Hugh Douglas, 1997 Jets
DT: Jim Burt, 1984 Giants
DE: Leonard Marshall, 1985 Giants
OLB: Lawrence Taylor, 1986 Giants
ILB: Harry Carson, 1986 Giants
ILB: Ted Johnson, 1996 Patriots
OLB: DeMarcus Ware, 2006 Cowboys

Hardest choices here were DeMarcus Ware over Carl Banks and Hugh Douglas over Mike Jones (1994 Patriots). Since we're going with a 3-4 scheme, we can't use Willie McGinest at defensive end, and he's not good enough to make the team at outside linebacker. Defensive ends were also hard to choose since, of course, 3-4 ends hardly get any stats.


CB: Aaron Glenn, 1998 Jets
CB: Mark Haynes, 1984 Giants
FS: Terry Kinard, 1987 Giants
SS: Lawyer Milloy, 1996 Patriots

Parcells only had Ty Law and Terence Newman in their first couple seasons, not really good enough to make the team over Glenn and Haynes. Newman would probably play nickel, although it is hard to have a Parcells team without Otis "My Man" Smith.


K: Adam Vinatieri, 1996 Patriots
P: Sean Landeta, 1986 Giants
RET: Dave Meggett, 1989 Giants

Parcells has never really had any good kickers. Jose Cortez? Ali Haji-Sheikh? Imploding Mike Vanderjagt? Late-career Matt Bahr? Bleh.

Overall, it looks like the two positions where Parcells has never really had great players are right tackle and kicker, although he gets credit for discovering Vinatieri as an undrafted free agent. Parcells teams generally had very strong tight ends but were not quite as strong at wide receiver. The front seven is clearly more important to him than the secondary, although the current Dolphins are actually built a bit the other way, with their two most promising young defenders at cornerback and their most trustworthy veteran at strong safety. By the way, if we were to consider the current Dolphins as the fifth Parcells franchise, I don't think a single player would make this team except maybe Vernon Carey (2008) over Marc Colombo at right tackle. Maybe you would have to think about Long last season at left tackle over Armstrong. Maybe.


84 comments, Last at 20 Jul 2010, 8:14am

1 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Can't wait for the Dick Jauron All-Stars. Oh, you said great head coaches? Never mind.

2 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

What about Everson Walls at CB? Pepper at ILB? Just throwing those names out there for honorable mention.

Biggest crime is excluding Curtis Martin in favor of Joe Morris. Liked Morris, but Martin was much better during his peak Parcells years.

Bring on the Mangini all-stars!

3 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Interesting - Joe Morris essentially had a 2-year peak. I guess I'd take his peak years over Curtis Martin's rookie year, but I would definitely prefer Martin's career as a whole.

Morris's 1988 season is a good example of why '1000 yards rushing' cannot be viewed as an interesting benchmark over a 16-game season. 1083 yards over 16 games at 3.5 yards/attempt? Unimpressive.

4 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

I feel like no one on the Dolphins will rank yet but if you did this after Parcells left it would feature more Dolphins... as We would have a chance to reflect on who was great on his Dolphins team.

50 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Apart from Vernon Carey and maybe Jake Long, which Adam mentions, Dan "Money" Carpenter (25/28 last year) kicks Viantieri's 96 butt through the ceiling. The beastly FB Lousaka Polite, who was snubbed for the Pro Bowl last year, would also merit consideration.

7 "Buddies at BP"

Baseball Prospectus should think about changing its initials at this point.

So should Bill Parcells for that matter....

43 Re: "Buddies at BP"

In reply to by andrew

Only if the boys at the Prospectus are spilling millions of barrels of oil.

8 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

I am not sure why not use a list from players under long-time one-team coaches (and Bobby Cox is basically ATL Braves with a short stint away). It's certainly an interesting one. Though I am not THAT excited about a list involving... Jeff Fisher all stars! On the other hand, PIT fans, I am looking at you to fill out this thread!

9 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Time for the Bill Cowher All Stars! (Hard to find a coach with a decade or more in the game with just one team--I think of Parcells as Giants first, and forget how much he bounced around. So I expected Simms, Bavaro, Carson....) Sad to See Harry Carson left off, but understand the issues.

Neat article, Aaron. See if you guys can put one together every few weeks duirng the quiet times. Hopefull it's more fun for the staff than actual work, and for us it's less likely to result in name-calling and chair-thjrowing. Just a few mildly heated opinions....

Sweet Animal House reference, Boone.

38 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

My shot at the Tom Landry All-Stars

QB - Roger Staubach '79
HB - Tony Dorsett '81
FB - Don Perkins '68
WR - Bob Hayes '66
WR - Drew Pearson '74
TE - Doug Cosbie '85
LT - Pat Donovan '80
LG - John Niland '71
C - Dave Manders '66
RG - Tom Rafferty '77
RT - Rayfield Wright '73
LE - Too Tall Jones '82
DT - Randy White '84
DT - Bob Lilly '64
RE - Harvey Martin '77
LLB - "Hollywood" Henderson '78
MLB - Lee Roy Jordan '69
RLB - Chuck Howley '70
CB - Everson Walls '83
CB - Cornell Green '66
FS - Cliff Harris '78
SS - Charlie Waters '78
K - Rafael Septien '81
P - Sam Baker '62
KR - Mel Renfro '64 - Could start at SS or CB as well, but I wanted to shoehorn all four of those guys in there as well.

Pretty insane lineup.

58 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Tony Dungy All-Stars

QB: Peyton Manning 2006
RB: Edgerrin James 2005
WR: Marvin Harrison 2002
WR: Reggie Wayne 2006
TE: Dallas Clark 2005
OT: Tarik Glenn 2004
C: Jeff Saturday, 2006

I really don't know much about the Bucs offensive line from the 90s, but really don't remember them distinguishing themselves individually.

DE: Dwight Freeney 2008
DE: Simeon Rice 2001
DT: Warren Sapp 1999
DT: Booger McFarlane 2000
OLB: Derrick Brooks 1999
OLB: Cato June 2005
MLB: Hardy Nickerson 1996
CB: Ronde Barber 2001
CB: Marlin Jackson 2007
S: John Lynch 1997
S: Bob Sanders 2007

62 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Randall McDaniel was on the Bucs in 2000 and 2001, but I'm not sure he was really still playing at a high level at that point. Same goes for Jeff Christy 2000-2002. Those are the only ones I remember from Dungy's TB days.

I did look it up and find that Tony Mayberry was a pro bowl center 1997-1999, for what that's worth.

81 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Mayberry was one of the best Buc OL guys of all-time - a short list admittedly - but not sure if he was quite up to Saturday's best year.

However, the best Buc OL by far was Paul Gruber, and I'd put him ahead of Glenn. He was the 4th pick overall of the 1988 draft out of Wisconsin and started from Day 1. He didn't miss a snap for 5 years and was almost never penalized. He didn't get the accolades he should have in large part because of the woeful nature of the team. Sadly, he broke his leg at the end of 1999 just in time for the playoffs.

68 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Ryan Lilja has had some solid seasons. His 2005 in particular was excellent; Dr. Z named him to his all-pro team that year.

Lilja is not a great athlete, but he really played his heart out for the Colts. I don't think he has the physical skills to keep up anymore, but I wish him good luck in KC.

Much of the Dungy years in Indianapolis had Jake Scott as the other guard, and I've never found him too impressive. Ryan Diem is another long-time Dungy starter, and he had some pretty good years. Maybe name him the other tackle if you can't find anyone else.

75 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

eric allen 1997 probably also maket it, probably betetr seoasn than any beras cb ditka years. l. frazeir, vestee jakcosn, lemuel stinson, m. richardosn, donnell wooollford all okay or kinda good nothing special

25 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Steve Hutchinson was monstrous for a while on the Seahawks offensive line, and there's also a certain Walter Jones who might have a claim. Shaun Alexander at his peak was a top-class running back (remember when he was NFL MVP and topped everybody's fantasy draft board?), and of course Mack Strong made a huge contribution. Robbie Tobeck also had a very good spell (mostly around 2005, obviously).

On defense, Lofa Tatupu and Marcus Trufant might be worth a mention, and they had a bunch of other guys have probably career-best seasons in 2005 (Babineaux, Boulware, Bernard).

Disclaimer: I didn't see the 1996 Packers and have no idea who their offensive linemen or defense were. All I remember about them is that damned Desmond Howard. I do however remember the above players all having very-good-to-great seasons as part of that best-ever Seahawks team.

33 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Well yeah obviously, but I've never seen him play (even in a repeat broadcast - we don't get many of those over here) so I'm not exactly well placed to comment on him. I've heard of him (obviously), but can't pass any judgement whatsoever on his impact for the 1996 Packers.

37 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

What's that got to do with anything? I wouldn't have thought anybody in their right mind would put any other Holmgren quarterback ahead of Princess.

Really not sure of your point here.

54 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

I don't remember the names of most of the players anymore (and I call myself a Packers fan), but the 1996 Packers were one of a very small number of teams in NFL history to finish with the top offense and the top defense, and as such, despite losing three games, are very much up there with 'best teams of all time'. Which is why I can't see more than a handful of the 'Mike Holmgren all-stars' not being on that team, much like almost all of the Mike Ditka all-stars would be dominated by '85 Bears.

11 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Ware on one side and Taylor on the other? Well that...that is just plain wrong!

21 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

if do one fir Wade Phillips then can have 2010 hall fo fame choice Rickey Jackson lolb and D Ware rolb. Phillips coach 85 Saints at end of year after father Bum fired. also coach earl xampbell that year. jackson verty good yr 1985 so could pick him for lolb inn phillips 3-4 defens

12 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

I can't wait to see the day where all of these skill players could've been determined using DVOA/DYAR.

19 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

I don't know a hole lot about Armstrong, but Flozell has a good case for LT, no? I know he's a penaltymachine, but he used to be pretty good.

24 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Love this post. Hope to see more.

From the above list of coaches, I'd lobby for
Marty Schottenheimer
Jim Mora Sr.
Tony Dungy (Colts Offense + Bucs Defense... wow)

As a PIT homer, I'd lobby for Cowher and Chuck Knoll, but those might be too easy.

26 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Is poster drunk?

pitt homer just spelld coach name wrong unelss fingers accidentally touch shift and K key at same time

of course am not not somebdy who should pint things out like this when type bad from time to time

Noll all stars habve fine CB coprse- bloutn and woodson

L. Lipps #3 wr

Brister bakcup to Bradhsaw 2 bayou boys

44 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Yeah, I'd just start with the late 70s teams....maybe find a spot for Hines Ward, shift Dermonti Dawson to guard so he can make the starting lineup, Woodson, Polamalu. I guess Heath Miller is as good a tight end as they've had. Maybe Mike Merriweather fills out the LB corps after Lambert and Ham. Bettis maybe over Franco.

Of course, if we use single-season DVOA, Barry Foster, Kendrell Bell, James Harrison, and Roethlisberger probably make it.

63 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

The '70s guys are the base of the all-Noll team. Most of your additions played for Cowher. Generally, Andy Russell would be the third LB ahead of Merriweather, but Mike might have a better single season.

If you're looking for an all-time Steeler team, they did pretty well naming one for the 75th anniversary a couple years ago.

64 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

as Jerry pointed out other psoter combinded Noll and cowher players. if making all Noll team cant have Ward on t. Ward rookie in 1998, noll retired after 91 soeoans. like wrote earlier All Noll starting wr goign to be Swann and Stallworth with Louis Lipps 85 seaosn as 3rd wideout.
SWann 78 oprobly best season for him- 61 ctahces, 880 yards, 11 toduchwons
stallworth 1984- 80 cathces, 1395 yards, 11 TDs
lipps 85- 59 ctaches, 1134 ydrsa, 12 tds

Frank lewis good too but had best seaosns when play witrh Bufflao. Lewis play with Pitt 71-77, regular setarter on first two super boiwl teams, but did not have brekaout season till 78 when with Bills. strange carere in way. Best season was 11th season. How many other guys have best seaon 11th season of career?

30 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

"Cox, for example, has never had a truly great first baseman."

I would argue that he had a much greater 1B than he ever had a 2B, or CF. Fred McGriff was a damned good player. Hell, El Gato Grande was no slouch.

46 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Since we're mainly talking single seasons here, Andruw Jones in CF (from 2000, 2002, or 2005) could maybe be called truly great. But it seems to me like they are setting the bar pretty dang high if we're talking about entire careers. I'd like to know who was "truly great" at all the other positions for Cox in that case.

31 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

"I will admit to not being very familiar with the offensive line of the Parcells-era Giants teams, and I'm happy to hear arguments about alternatives here"

Jumbo Elliot is a glaring omission from your list, and as fine as Mawae is, I would put Oates ahead of him. Landetta over Jennings feels wrong to me.

53 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

I considered Elliot, but you have to remember that he played for Parcells at the beginning and end of his career, not in the prime. Pro Bowls often measure rep more than quality of course, but Elliot's only PB came in a non-Parcells season, 1993. Armstrong made six Pro Bowls, three of them with Parcells as his head coach.

The left tackle is obviously the best lineman on most teams, but this was particularly true with Parcells teams. If I could just straight out pick the five best linemen, I probably would have ended up with Elliot, Armstrong, and Flozell Adams to go with the two centers, Mawae and Oates. (Remember that Parcells only had late-career Larry Allen, not in-his-prime Larry Allen.)

65 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Fair enough, although as we all know Pro Bowl nods are imperfect. Elliot got his in 93, right? I believe he was jobbed in 90. The Giants offensive line was the reason, even more than their defense, that they were as good as they were that year (what was it, 12 wins to start the year, 13-3 record, Super Bowl win with a backup QB, the longest drive (to then) in SB history with most of it powered by the line.

I get your point, but if we are going off of best seasons (which the list seems to be doing) then I would put Elliot's 90 in at left tackle.

35 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

The Schottenheimer All-Stars is something to look forward to, honestly, those cleveland teams should be well represented

also: busing Newark is a memorable captcha

61 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

The problem that I see with Kosar is that his best year was 1987 (129 ANY/A+), a strike year. I'm not sure whether that's directly comparable to a normal year (I really don't know too much about the strikes), so I give it something of an asterisk. Maybe that's not fair, but I just don't know what to do with strike season numbers.

His only other particularly good year was 1986 (115 ANY/A+), which is a step below 1993 Montana (119 ANY/A+, 759 DYAR, 26.4% DVOA) and 1999 Elvis Grbac (121 ANY/A+, 779 DYAR, 12.8% DVOA) and well short of 1990 DeBerg (132 ANY/A+) and 2004 Brees (129 ANY/A+, 1182 DYAR, 33.1% DVOA).

60 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Ozzie Newsome or Tony Gonzalez?

ETA: Never mind, he only had the first two seasons of Gonzalez in 1997-1998. The young Newsome, then.

The 'roided-up Merriman, Derrick Thomas, Clay Matthews, and Chip Banks makes for one heck of a linebacking corps. Unfortunately, they all played OLB.

57 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Aaaron said that "I don't think any of those Giants teams had a Pro Bowl lineman, except Bart Oates in Parcells' last year." The following guys did : Brad Benson in 1986, plus Bart Oates and William Roberts in 1990.

According to the Approximate Value data from Pro Football Reference, Benson '86 could have been in. He has the second (tied) best annual mark of all the Parcells linemen.

Bruce Armstrong, Larry Allen and Flozell Adams each have 3 Pro Bowls during their time under Parcells. Adams '06 has the best Dallas linemen AV of the Tuna's era. I hope Aaron at least gave him some consideration :)

Here are the top 10 AV for linemen who played under Parcells. They happen to be all of his 10+ AV at these positions.

Name Team Year AV Awards
ArmstrongNE 1996 14 PB
Benson NYG 1986 13 PB
Long MIA 2008 13 PB
Adams DAL 2006 13 PB
Mawae NYJ 1998 12
Long MIA 2009 11 PB
Gurode DAL 2006 11 PB
ArmstrongNE 1994 10 PB
Mawae NYJ 1999 10 PB AP
Colombo DAL 2006 10

59 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Brad Benson should make the list, if just for his Brad Benson Hyundai radio commerials. If you don't listen to NY radio (WFAN) please do yourselves a favor and YouTube them.

66 Right Tackle

I don't understand the bit about right tackle. Marc Columbo is rather well regarded and if he isn't a pro bowl RT than it raises the question of whether well regarded right tackles exist.

67 Re: Right Tackle

In reply to by some guy (not verified)

I think part of the issue is that pro-bowl right tackles don't really exists because the very best tackles are all playing on the left side.

70 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

I question Hugh Douglas who, to my understanding, was vastly more accomplished in the 43 than 34. PFR shows he played just 1 year for Parcells, then was dealt to PHIL where he did what he did best: rush the passer. His year with Parcells was his 3rd overall; he had been drafted 1.16, by Kotite. Dealing a recent R1 pick does suggest that player did not fit the system.

Douglas went 280# or so, McGinest 270#. Per PFR, McGinest was a Pro Bowl player in his 3rd year, at RDE. The Pats were then a 34 team. Appreciating McGinest was more elephant than stopper, still, he's, imo, a somewhat more defensible pick than Douglas.

73 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

Looney not loony. Douglas not favorite of Pacrells. did not fit system. Parcells made do with him in 1997 but then when saw he coldnt fit he trade Douglas to eags.

77 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

1996 Patriots played a base 4-3, not 3-4. McGinest never played defensive end in a base 3-4, as far as I know, so if I was going to make the Parcells All-Stars a 3-4 set, it just made no sense to list him at defensive end. Yes, of course, he was better than Hugh Douglas, but that's just not comparing apples to apples.

76 Re: Glanville

Galnville have lot of good playersso coudl make good Glanville all stars tema.

Oils and flacs usually not use tight end whrn flanville head coahc so all stars team have 3 WRS
QB- Warreen Moon 1989
rb= Mike rozier 1987 or 88
fb- alonzo highsmith 1987 ot 88
Wr- Andre Rison 1990
wr- drew hill 1988
wr- michael haynes 91 (e. givins, m. Pritchard, Jeffires, duncan other good wrs for glanvill but 3 best seaosns rison 90, gill 88, haynes 91}
lt- m kenn 1991
lg- mucnhak 1987
c- jamie dukes 1991
rg- ruce matthews 1989
rt- chris hinton 1991 (all pro with clots as left takcle in 80s, also get 1st team Asso Press as guard 1993, but played RT from 90-92 with Flacs))

le- ray chidlress 1988
nose- doug smith 87
re- william fuller 88
Lolb- lyles 88
lilb- grimsley 1989
rilb- J, Tuggle 1991
ROLB- meads 1988 or 89
lcb- tim mckyer 1991
rcb- deion s anders 1993
fs- scott case 1991
ss- keith bostic 1987

p- montogmery 89
k- norm johnson 1993

78 Re: Glanville

In reply to by Raiderjoe

Raiderjoe, I know that you're mostly loved around here for your devotion as a fan, but I have to admit that I'm often impressed with your knowledge of football history.

79 Re: Glanville

In reply to by Yaguar

It's the whole package that makes RaiderJoe.

The blind homerism, the incredible knowledge of history, the astute observations of teams not in the AFC west, and the unique writing style.

You can't take out any parts.

80 Re: The Bill Parcells All-Stars

The call Testaverde/Simms call just opened a wormhole somewhere in the universe. Something had to give. But then I actually saw these guys play (and win... and lose...). I'd also clearly take Banks over Ware. Otherwise it's a good parlor game and respectable list.

Looking forward to Bill Walsh's turn. I'd only caution that, regardless of what the numbers can be tortured into confessing, the cosmological ramifications of choosing DeBerg over Montana could be disasterous.