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COWBOYS

Although Larry Lacewell is about to turn 68 and has been planning to retire for months, the departure of Dallas' scouting director can be considered the first of many changes for the team this offseason. And it could be another sign of the power base in the organization shifting to coach Bill Parcells.

Lacewell announced his retirement Thursday, ending a 13-season stay that spanned from the final two years of coach Jimmy Johnson to the first two under Parcells.

Aside from personnel decisions, Lacewell's impact stemmed from his close relationship to owner Jerry Jones. He was a trusted adviser to Jones in areas well beyond evaluating talent. He'll remain a part-time adviser.

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