IRVING, Texas (AP) — Bill Parcells doesn’t seem to act like he plans to quit coaching any time soon. With the Dallas Cowboys still trying to make the playoffs, he appears as focused as ever.

At 2 a.m. Christmas morning, Parcells was in his office watching film and already preparing for the regular season finale.

On Monday, he released inconsistent kicker Billy Cundiff. Veteran safety Tony Dixon was re-signed in case Pro Bowl safety Roy Williams’ injured left foot bothers him.

Parcells’ focus is solely on the finale against the St. Louis Rams, not on the help from other teams. And especially not a report that claims he’s considering retirement.

“I’m not talking about any of that,” Parcells said Monday, when asked about his coaching future. “When you’re 64 years old, they can say anything they want. They’re probably going to be pretty close to being right, someday.”

The Cowboys (9-6) remained in playoff contention with a 24-20 victory Saturday at Carolina, but a 10th victory Sunday night at home against St. Louis won’t be enough if Carolina and Washington win their road games earlier in the day. But if either the Panthers or Redskins lose, Dallas gets a wild-card berth by winning the NFL’s last regular-season game this year.

“Not making the playoffs would be a disappointment to me,” Parcells said, adding that’s how he’d feel even if the team wins 10 games. “Last year, a couple of teams got in with eight, but this year, we’re not that fortunate.”

Parcells talked about how much he likes his team. He said the Cowboys have “been pretty close” to reaching the potential that he felt they had for this season.

After going 6-10 last season, the Cowboys are already guaranteed their second winning season in three seasons under Parcells. They went through three straight 5-11 seasons under Dave Campo before that.

Parcells has another season left on his $17 million, four-year contract, though there has been some speculation about whether he would return to coach it. A report posted Saturday on, citing unidentified sources, said Parcells was privately contemplating retirement.

“There is no one I have talked to, no one about anything of that nature,” said Parcells, an ESPN studio analyst before joining the Cowboys. “I challenge anyone to step forward to say this guy said to me he was thinking about retirement.”

Parcells said he didn’t want speculation about his future to be a distraction to his players this week. When told by a reporter that he could end any speculation by just saying he’d back next season, the coach responded tersely.

“I’m not saying anything,” Parcells said. “I don’t want any more questions about that. Thank you. I’ll say what I want to say when I want to say it about those subjects.”

There have been other reports that owner Jerry Jones wants to offer Parcells a contract extension, but the coach said there haven’t been any talks about one.

Rookie kicker Sean Suisham was re-signed to replace Cundiff, who made just 1-of-3 field goals the last three games, and was 5-of-8 since returning six games ago. He had another short miss wiped out by a penalty against Carolina.

“I just had to do something. He couldn’t make them in practice either,” Parcells said. “It’s one of those things. I think it’s a little mental now.”

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