Owens has Fun with Media

Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens had a little fun with the media last week.

Out for the past 11 practices with a sore hamstring, Owens has been spending most of his days on a stationary bike.

So he went out and bought a Discovery Channel team Tour de France jersey and wore it to practice on Thursday along with a bike helmet.

He called it the Tour de T.O. comeback.

The question now is how much longer the Cowboys will be laughing.

Coach Bill Parcells is not happy with Owens' continued absence as a result of an injury that does not show up on a magnetic resonance imaging exam.

The Cowboys recognize Owens' sensitivity to his body and are deferring how he feels about his leg. But they a

lso know that football players play football during football season and soreness and injuries are part of the deal.

Considering Owens is new to the offense and new to quarterback Drew Bledsoe, the missed practicing time is starting to become a big deal.

Saying he would approach differently if it was the regular season, Owens says he's being smart about his body and there's no reason to put his hamstring at further risk in training camp. He says he is still day-to-day.

He could be back this week, and with the Cowboys playing their second preseason game against the Saints on Monday Night Football, don't be surprised if he's in uniform for that nationally televised affair.

But it's also true that Owens is winning the battle of wills with Parcells, who normally would chide an injured player back on the field.

Remember the "she" controversy with Terry Glenn when both were with the Patriots? Parcells referred to Glenn as "she" was because Glenn missed time with a hamstring injury.

Parcells, however, has not discussed Owens. He knows anything he says will be blown out of proportion as the beginning of something, when it could be simply Parcells being Parcells.

The two don't even talk about his injury. Information is relayed to Parcells via the trainers.

So Parcells is the one changing so far.

Yet don't downplay owner Jerry Jones' chat with Owens' training staff over the weekend about him getting on the field at less than 100 percent.

"How he's different from some of the players, the veteran players that we've had, is that Terrell Owens knows only one way of practicing, and that's 100 percent," Jones said. "As he goes into his career, if he can step out there and go at 75 or 80 percent, that could be real productive, but he only knows one way.

"I visited with some of his medical people, and he has recognized that would be good for him, but he can't do it. With the way he's practiced with us, you'd have thought he was competing in the Super Bowl. It's not a criticism of him; that's just how he practices."

Maybe it's not a criticism. But it's a subtle way for the Cowboys to let Owens and his people know it's time for him to get back on the field.

Before Parcells does it his way.

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