The two worlds have finally collided, and because of it, the 2006 season stands to provide more theatre and drama than Broadway has ever known.
Bill Parcells plots and plods. Jerry conquers and divides. The Tuna has gracefully placed the shelved goods in his cart and is proceeding to the checkout counter to bag his groceries. Jerry frantically roams the aisles in pursuit of microwaveable cuisine and then jettisons to the express lanes for a swipe of plastic and a few spare minutes. Time is money. Two distinct ways of accomplishing the same task, but ironically the paths have crossed at the "blue light special" section of the personnel store.
Jerry's seventeen year tour in the NFL started in the basement, rose to the pinnacle, plateaued and started a slow, arduous and frustrating descent down the post salary cap mountainside. Only recently has the sun started to reappear at Valley Ranch. The ten-plus-year post-season drought has Jerry drilling wells in rapid fashion hoping to tap a success-filled gusher. Is two years of practical and pragmatic drafting, coupled with the purchase of Terrell Owens, enough to provide the magic bit?
Only time, and a ton of sacrifice, will tell.
Both men want to win and hoist the Lombardi hardware together. That certainly was the plan when Jerry Jones decided to cut the Geppetto strings on the Switzer, Gailey and Campo eras and hire the head chef straight off the ESPN set. An expensive, and ever-increasing, venture, but money well spent if a Super Bowl Soufflé happens to be cooking in the oven.
Parcells has built the vaunted 3-4 defense in New York-championship-likeness, and the final pieces may finally be in place. Special teams upgrades were addressed in the off-season and in the Draft. The Vanderjagt signing alone signified the most pressing of needs. The drafting of Skyler Green is a fortification attempt with hopes of many returns. Logic dictates two-thirds of the championship-caliber puzzle has been put together.
Knowing the offense was possibly the missing menu item, Jones set out to locate the spiciest of ingredients. He, Stephen and Jeff Ireland may have found it in the Drew Rosenhaus-held trick bag. If the ears at Valley Ranch heard correctly, Parcells considers it to be a very trustworthy, based on its handler, sack of treats. This trick bag was located in the aisle where simmer to slow boil (Parcells) met maximum broil (Jones). Is it the ingredient that will provide the perfect dash to Miami, or will it be the spice which causes the entire team cake to implode? These things happen when patience, or lack thereof, takes center stage.
While the local media, and half the fan base, waits for Dallas' version of Hiroshima, they're also begging for the head coach to say he bought a first-class ticket on the Terrell Owens bandwagon. Newsflash. Neither is going to happen, and even if the potential existed, who really cares?!
See, the employment world where we all live promotes the expectation and demand to "do your job." Jerry Jones is the employer. Parcells and Owens are mere employees. Employees paid to perform. Thus, they both need to put their noses to the grindstone and get about the business of winning a championship. Both have woefully under performed in the recent past, and it's high time each brings their "A" game to the stage. While continually underachieving (in both record and attitude), each continues to reap enormous financial rewards for mere mediocrity.
It really doesn't matter if Parcells endorsed the hiring of the best receiver currently in the game or not. He has been provided a weapon (of lethal nature) for which he is being paid handsomely to deploy and detonate on the field of play. It's in his job description. It's time for Bill Parcells to earn his keep. Yes, his resume earns him benefits of the doubt, but it does not provide him a free pass of any sorts. Bill, do your job. Terrell, keep your enormous, self-promotional mouth shut, and get to work. Everyone needs to do their individual parts and let the chips fall where they may.
Even if Parcells didn't want Owens, he was paid an extra million dollars to stick around another year. Not bad coin for a three-year model of completely average results. It wouldn't fly in the corporate world. Get to want him. Get to know him. Get to value him. Get to depend on him. Get going. NOW.
See Bill, your offensive line is still suspect, highly vulnerable and open to vast amounts of improvement. At the very minimum, Jerry has purchased you, and boy, Drew, the most expensive safety net around. The best safety valve and dump-off option in the League. Parcells' most asinine line of the off-season thus far? When asked the biggest differences between Owens and recently departed Keyshawn Johnson, Parcells dead pans, "Probably a little speed." Ya, probably. Right along with an entirely different arsenal brought to the position. Ladies and gentlemen, they're both big, in size and ego, and that's where the similarities end.
With every touch of the ball, Terrell Owens is a potential game breaker. Keyshawn was both money and possession wrapped in the same body. Terrell Owens is insurance against the potential sieve in charge of keeping Bledsoe upright and the Jones/Barber combination productive. No, the Cowboys don't employ a West Coast offense, and Parcells has already informed the world none of his wide outs will have a 100-catch season, but by default, Owens may find himself eerily close to both. The crystal ball shows many short slants caused by pocket pressure, and unlike #19, #81 has the jets to break things wide open.
Yes, Jerry bought a highly volatile and explosive toy, but Bill Parcells is the $5 million-per-year bomb squad. He is paid to defuse the ticking bomb. The Hall of Fame to-be coach needs to earn his money. Show us the managerial magic you truly possess. Due to the uncertainty of the offensive line, and failure to address the deficiencies with high-caliber talent, you're going to get your chance to coach the volatility. Pressure will dictate. Pressure on Bledsoe will cause pressure on Owens, and all the pressure will reside squarely on your New Jersey shoulders. Hey, tough guy, how will you respond? With a "it wasn't my idea, or hey, it's my job to get the desired results?" Big Bill, the local media is pissed because they can't pry the sought after answers from you, but your 2006 performance will speak volumes and provide all the necessary answers.
Most coaches would kill to have Parcells' particular situation. Thus, implying a cakewalk? Hardly. However, the Parcells' prep rack of recipe ingredients dwarfs many around the League. Grab yourself a huge mixing bowl and stir up a little magic. If it all culminates in a delicacy of "super" substance, feel free to hog the cuisine and spotlight all to yourself. After all, it has been all your doings and ideas, hasn't it? Hey Bill, get cooking.
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