CANTON, Ohio – Bill Parcells was extremely hard on his quarterbacks when he was a head coach.
At the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Friday, Parcells, who will be inducted Saturday, was asked which quarterback he coached that he would want forever and Tony Romo was mentioned.
“Well, what do you want them for?” said Parcells, who coached the Cowboys from 2003-06. “If you want them for fighting it out, just fight it out to death -- Phil Simms. You want them for, OK, just passing the ball, you want to make this 100 percent passing, picturesque and classic, then I have to have Vinny Testaverde. Now if you want to play the modern game and you got to be elusive and get away from then, you give me Tony Romo.”
Parcells took to Romo quickly after signing him as an undrafted rookie, but he didn’t have Romo throw a pass in a regular-season game until 2006. Romo started 10 games in what turned out to be Parcells’ final season, going 6-4 and directing the Cowboys to the playoffs.
Over the years, they have stayed in touch mostly by telephone and Romo, like Jason Witten, can still hear Parcells in the back of his mind when he’s on the field.
“Bill is a big influence on me,” Romo said. “He taught me a lot about the game and the approach. He had some great wisdom in a lot of areas. It wasn’t just to manage the team. It was about people. It was about his ability to know little things you might be thinking or might be going on in your head. I think he’s pretty gifted at that.”