Where's Bill?

Three days after announcing the signing of Terrell Owens, Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells finds himself in familiar surroundings.

Monday, Parcells was in Jupiter, Fla. with his good friend and St. Louis Cardinals' manager Tony LaRussa, along with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

"Today was NFL day," La Russa told reporters after a game against the Atlanta Braves. "They're just visiting, were in the area and we enjoy having them visit."

Of course, many in the national media have speculated that the absence of Parcells during and after the announcement of the signing Terrell Owens is a clear indication that he was not in agreement with owner Jerry Jones about the decision.

Not true.

Parcells was not present, nor was he available for comment soon after the signing of the Cowboys' free agents last year. That group included players like Marco Rivera, Anthony Henry and Jason Ferguson, who were all signed in March 2005.

And while speculation continues that Parcells was not on the same page as his owner, his absence from Valley Ranch is anything but unusual this time of year. After all, even big Bill needs a chance to re-energize himself to help prepare for the upcoming season.

Still, the thought that Parcells did not see eye-to-eye with Jones is dominating discussion on Internet message boards and sports talk radio, even though Jones denied it during Saturday's press conference.

"This was not me selling Bill. This was not Bill selling me," Jones said. "This was taking a look and taking advantage of the opportunity to get an outstanding player. We both uniformly wanted to step up at the same time and add Terrell to this team."


But in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? Parcells has a proven track record of handling players with perceived bad attitudes. If the acquisition doesn't work, then he gets rid of that player.

Simple as that.

Further un-complicating matters is the fact that Owens has essentially signed three one-year contracts. If the relationship between him and the Cowboys works during year one, you can bet you'll see him wearing the star again in year two. If it doesn't ... well the writing is on the wall so to speak. He won't be back.

And so on and so forth in the following years of the deal.

So while media speculation builds about the perceived silence of Bill Parcells, who really cares? Terrell Owens is signed. Bill Parcells is vacationing in Florida with NFL Draft almost a month away.

What's done is done.

Regardless of where Bill Parcells is or even how long he's away from Valley Ranch, he's been through this song and dance before.

He knows how to handle it. And when he's ready to let the rest of the world know his strategy, the rest of us will find out what he already knows.

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