The NFC East's MVP? Drew Rosenhaus

IRVING, TX -- Meet the likely "MVP'' of the second half of the NFC East season: Drew Rosenhaus.

Oh, go ahead and make good cases for Coughlin or Arrington or Bledsoe or Manning or Parcells or Gibbs or McNabb or Williams.

But for me, the polls are closed. And in a landside, the winner of the "Most Valuable Person'' election is Terrell Owens' agent, Rosenhaus. Because if the Eagles are going down, it is Rosenhaus who has greased the skids.

Of course, Drew could grease something simply by rubbing himself up against it.

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells this week tried to ignore the impact of TO's unavailability for Monday night and beyond, but he's not fooling anybody. Philadelphia's centerpiece is now one of sports' all-time pariahs, but not too long ago he was the Eagles' difference-maker, the separation step-ahead between a four-time NFC Championship Game participant and a Super Bowl participant.

Cowboys receiver Keyshawn Johnson is trying to steer clear of this story, too, but he's not fooling anybody, either. A Super Bowl team suspending a star wide receiver? That is Keyshawn Territory. Oh, and you wanna amaze your friends? Remind them that this is also Terry Glenn Territory. That's right, folks: Only three times in NFL history has a Super Bowl team suspended its star wide receiver, and if someday, TO becomes a Cowboy, Dallas can employ all three of them!

Meanwhile, we're left with a bizarre scene: Owens belatedly apologizing to the Eagles for his "conduct detrimental to the team,'' followed by Rosenhaus' grabbing of the microphone to essentially undercut and undermine everything a contrite TO just said. Rosenhaus' overzealous pontification ("110 percent!!'' "It's not about me!!'' "I love this man!!'') made it clear what he did with his TV time on Sunday night:

No, he didn't study and learn about the Eagles without TO. He studied and mimicked "Boston Legal'' with William Shatner.

During this week, Terrell Owens' separation/divorce from the Eagles has exposed some strange bedfellows.

Why is Michael Irvin (and an absurd comment touting Brett Favre as having played better than McNabb) so pivotal in all of this? Why did ESPN.com send a freshman journalism student from Syracuse to lob softballs at Owens? Is the fact that McNabb is a big shot at Syracuse a factor in that unorthodox assignment? Where is the vocal Eagles locker-room support for the QB? Is the network perpetuating this story by having reporters report on what other reporters report, keeping the TO issue traveling around and around and around the toilet bowl before disinterest finally allows it to be flushed? (I mean, really, ESPN I, II, III, etc.; to escape TO talk this week, I had to watch your coverage of figure skating. And even then I swear I saw Owens land a triple axle and proceed to pull a Sharpie out of his white skate.)

More twisted conspiracy: Do you know who TO nemesis Hugh Douglas' agent is?

Did you know that Douglas, the ex-Eagle who brawled with TO in his position as the organization's "bad-assador,'' is represented by Drew Rosenhaus?

No need to go all Oliver Stone on you here; it's not like a president's been assassinated.

But the defending NFC East champs' chances are being taken down, I say mostly by the misguided greed of Rosenhaus.

Drew once told people that the Tom Cruise character in "Jerry Maguire'' was modeled after him. Um, no. (But I wonder if the Tom Cruise character in "Collateral'' might have been.)

But Jerry Maguire didn't steal clients by promising them bigger paydays. That is certainly what Rosenhaus did. Think about it: What reason is there to take over representation of a player who already has a contract? The new agent can't get paid that way. ... so the new agent must seek a new contract. For his client. ... and for himself.

It was fascinating to watch Rosenhaus go attack-dog on the public in that press conference, clearly believing he is smarter than you, clearly believing he is, as we say in Texas, "bigger'n the program.'' More fascinating, though, was to watch his client, standing behind him, tail between his legs, quite possibly wondering how what was once a multi-million-dollar contract and a Hall-of-Fame career and a path to more Super Bowls with the Cowboys under his cleats had devolved into this:

Press conferences from his front yard.

TO showed one flicker of awareness at the Rosenhaus pre. ... I mean, the Terrell Owens press conference. A reporter barked to the agent something like, "What have you done for your client besides get him suspended?''

Rosenhaus, of course, ignored the question. TO, however, did not. He heard it, smiled weakly at the reporter, and kind of winked.

"What has Drew Rosenhaus done?''

He's changed the face and future of the NFC East, that's what he's done.

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