We’ve all heard the word – the dirty little “P” word that the NFL loves and the rest of us scoff at with disdain – Parity. The NFL wants “competitive balance” and promotes it with such items as the salary cap, the draft, scheduling and free agency. The weaker teams pick first. The teams with the worst records get the easiest schedules (although only two games now depend on your record since the league adopted a 32 team, eight divisions format). Everyone can afford the same values of players, since profit sharing of TV and gate revenues keep everyone with about the same money.Many have said that dynasties cannot exist in this era. Free agency means that talented players must seek out new homes for bigger contracts or teams will not be able to afford all of their best players. Eventually even the best teams will have to fall back to the pack and rebuild after having gone into “salary cap hell” or trading away the future. The NFL dynasty cannot possibly reoccur in this climate.I disagree.Coaches, especially head coaches, have never mattered more than anything else in a franchise. Think about it – the coaching staff is not limited by salary, talent, free agency or player parity. Coaching now emphasizes schemes rather than particular personnel, so that when free agency or a shallow bench impacts who takes the field, the coaches can just fill in the holes with another cog to spin the wheel of the offensive or defensive scheme. Certainly talented players help matters, but a proficient coaching staff that can handle the roster changes that are commonplace in the free agent / salary cap era makes for a far more stable and winning franchise.Owners are starting to realize this, and one of the best examples is in southern Florida. Nick Saban came on to the scene with a languishing Dolphin franchise. What did they do? They went out and bought the best coaching that they could find, down to the coordinators and assistants, sparing no expense. The result? Miami posted a 9-7 record in 2005, five games better than 2004. Coach Saban handled RB Ricky Williams and persistent questions about his quarterback situation to push the team forward to respectability. Now, Miami is considered a dark horse sleeper for Saban's sophomore campaign.Head coaches coming from the college ranks would seem to have an advantage in this migratory era in the NFL. College coaches are used to turning over their complete roster every four years, so losing talent via free agency and "recruiting" free agents would seem to be familiar territory.For further examples of teams led by a strong coach one does not need to look any further than The Big Game. In Super Bowl XL, we have the most tenured coach in the NFL, Bill Cowher, leading the Steelers to the Super Bowl for the second time. Cowher has won three games on the road in a row, defeating the Top 3 seeds in the AFC. Cowher's staff has neutralized Denver's running game and Indianapolis' passing attack and offensive line. Cowher is now 11-9 in playoff games, assuring himself of a winning record with the potential to win his first Lombardi Trophy.Mike Holmgren is attempting to win a Super Bowl with his second franchise. Holmgren leads Seattle to their very first Super Bowl appearance as Holmgren returns since his victory with Green Bay and Brett Favre in Super Bowl XXXI.The lists persist. Bill Belichick has won three rings in New England. Jon Gruden took a Tampa Bay franchise in his first year that had struggled in the playoffs to a Super Bowl victory. John Fox has taken his team to the Super Bowl once and to the NFC championship after the 2003 season. Mike Shanahan has won two Super Bowls and took another team to the AFC Championship Game in 2005. Historically solid coaches returned to the NFL in the past few years as franchises decided to draw from their past successes to return to glory. Bill Parcells, Joe Gibbs and even **** Vermeil all came out of retirement to bring success to their respective teams, getting their new group of players to the playoffs in the course of just a few seasons. Even a team that fell from grace like in Philadelphia this season has a head coach in Andy Reid that took the franchise to three consecutive NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl appearance in 2005.Turning this discussion around, there were nine coaching changes this season, yet none of those coaches have a track record comparable to any coach mentioned above. How will this new crop of head coaches fare? Only time will tell - but one thing seems to hold true. Consistent success for an NFL franchise starts and persists with the Head Coach.