Assorted Thursday Rumblings

Keyshawn Johnson is telling the media that the Cowboys offense should be more aggressive and more wide-open.

Assorted notes from atop Fish's barstool...

ITEM: Keyshawn Johnson is telling the media that the Cowboys offense should be more aggressive and more wide-open.

Then Bill Parcells says players have the right to say whatever they want -- but that, essentially, he has no obligation to listen. Causing Keyshawn to counter that he "don't lobby for nothing. I let the coaches coach. That's what they get paid to do. We are just players. We don't know anything."

It's a wonderful dynamic the Cowboys have between their general (Parcells) and his lieutenant (Keyshawn), as they poke and prod each other while still always covering each other's arses.

I have the following information on the best of authority:

This week, Keyshawn Johnson DID mention his feelings to Parcells.

And this week, Parcells DID at least listen.

ITEM: Gunther Cunningham, the Chiefs' defensive coordinator, might be in trouble with the league for "flipping off'' the referees who called a fourth-down penalty that helped Dallas beat KC last week.

Do I have any problem with "shooting the bird'' in a moment of passion?

Not really.

The only problem I have with the Chiefs here is their continual denial that a penalty was deserved on the play that led to the Cowboys getting a second chance for a winning TD.

Gunther and the Chiefs should be extending a finger alright. ... at their mirrors.

ITEM: Word from our source inside Valley Ranch is that not only was right about the Cowboys examining the talents of CFL star QB Casey Printers, but they are also planning on bringing a total of a half-dozen CFL players into Dallas in the next couple of weeks for workouts.

Printers, 23, and a Dallas-area native, has worked out for the Cowboys before. He participated in a "Dallas Day'' tryout a few years ago. We're told he did not demonstrate NFL-level arm strength, and he wasn't drafted by any NFL team.

Since then, he's been named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player.

He's worth a look.

ITEM: It's awfully peaceful at Cowboys HQ right now, which is notable considering all the pressure involved in a playoff push. ... AND considering the volatile personalities of the two bosses, Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells.

Our spies inside Valley Ranch tell us that lots of credit for the peace should go to Jeff Ireland, in his first year as the scouting chief. There is a perception that Ireland is nothing but Parcells' executive secretary, and that may well be. But, says one source, "Ireland is a buffer between Jerry and Bill. He learned a lot watching (the now retired) Larry Lacewell do the same thing. Ireland keeps a lot of feathers from getting ruffled.''

ITEM: Old friend Jimmy Jenius' name is popping up in the news -- or rather, I suspect, Jimmy is orchestrating the purposeful popping up. "Jimmy's talking to Detroit!'' Jimmy got an offer from the Texans!'' "Jimmy's going to be the highest-paid coach in NFL history!''

I don't believe Jimmy has any interest in soiling his legacy anymore than he already did in teal and orange. I do believe Jimmy has interest in being paid piles of money. I wonder if Jimmy, creating leverage for himself, will find a way to turn down all these offers if Fox will just give him a bit of a raise.

ITEM: Peter King of Sports Illustrated picked Dallas to beat KC last week because, he said, he believed Parcells has "one ounce of'' something-or-other that would lead the Cowboys. I have the same faith; as I've written in this space before, InfalliBill gets paid $5 mil a year for games like that one.

One problem: If Parcells had "one ounce'' of special stuff left in his tank. ... where's the juice needed to beat the Redskins? And the Panthers? And the Rams?

Oh, and are we to assume that Dick Vermeil and John Fox and the rest of the competition is already plump outta ounces?

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