FISH: Eagles Run the Asylum

So now Terrell Owens is writing children's books. What's next? Representative Mark Foley serving as chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus?

Oh, wait a minute. ... that really WAS Foley's job, when he found time between IM messaging and WetNap sponge baths.

I'm a simple man. I like my state representatives to state represent. I like my football players to win football games. So in the NFC East -- where winning football games is an admittedly difficult thing to accomplish -- I do not fully understand Bill Parcells' boxing analogies or Clinton Portis' Halloween costumes or Joe Theismann's life philosophies or Mike Vanderjagt's "mental holidays'' or Jeremy Shockey's verbal diarrhea or, maybe most of all, the dark self-loathing that must exist inside an Eagle fan that would cause him to transform what is supposed to be a sporting event into a grotesque nightmare.

On Sunday, Philadelphia was an insane asylum. And yeah, ex-Eagle T.O. absolutely belonged. "With Terrell, it's always something.'' That's the sentence, more or less, echoed by a number of people in recent days who have spent time in T.O.'s corner. Bill Walsh said it from San Francisco. Deion Sanders said it from Dallas. "It's always something.'' Injuries that cause his own coach to roll his eyes? Accidental overdoses? Children's books?

I am still trying to figure out what demented parent would solicit life advice for their youngster from T.O., whose series of kiddie books begins with the soon-to-be-released "Little T Learns To Share.'' I'll let y'all fill in your own punchlines -- it's too easy -- but I will say this: What was generously "shared'' by Terrell Owens on Sunday was the matchup spotlight. Man-vs.-Man. Cowboy-vs.-Eagle. And the result, Philadelphia 38, Dallas 24, speaks as poorly about the Cowboys' performance as the seemingly frightening atmosphere says about the psyche of the average Philly fan.

This is the sort of game meant to justify the crud that owner Jerry Jones puts up with when he signs fat paychecks for mercenaries like Owens, and yes, like Bill Parcells, too. Those two guys, more than any Cowboys, have in their job description "Win Division Games When Things Are On The Line.'' It'd be especially nice to do so, by the way, T.O.'s homecoming notwithstanding, is an opponent that, astoundingly, had lost seven straight games in the vaunted NFC East.

"With Terrell, it's always something.'' Well, with Bill it's always something, too. But not here. No sir. Not on this overhyped afternoon, touted throughout by the Fox gang as "playoff football.'' Really? This is what "playoff football'' looks like? (Remember, we follow the now 2-2 Cowboys; we might not quite recognize it the way we used to.) A fumble by the punter? Seven sacks of Drew Bledsoe? (Get ready for the "Tony Romorons'' to come out of the woodwork this week.) Owens netting an insignificant three catches for 45 yards? And finally, a last-minute miscommunication between Bledsoe and Jason Witten that results in Philly's Lito Sheppard icing things with his 102-yard interception return for a score?

Dallas permitted the Eagles to score 38 points. It that what "playoff football'' looks like nowadays? It's always something? No sir. Here, it was pretty much always nothing.

Back to the matchups. Man-vs.-Man.

Cowboy-vs.-Eagle. Find a Cowboys victory anywhere among these:

* Has Flozell Adams yet handled Dwight Howard?

* Have Dallas safeties Pat Watkins and Roy Williams yet mastered help-coverage, or any coverage, on the pedestrian pair of Reggie Brown and Hank Baskett, each of whom was relied upon because top receiver Dante' Stallworth didn't play, each of whom scored on long receptions? Or forget the wideouts -- how about Roy failing to stick with a tight end, LJ Smith, who leaked out for a 60-yard catch?

* Did T.O. and Terry Glenn really get as much single coverage on the outside as it seemed? Did Parcells see it like we did? Or is the issue one of cornerback Lito Sheppard as budding superstar, what with his two interceptions in the red zone, both coming in crunch time?

Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, a focus of pregame T.O.-vs.-Donovan talk who was 18-of-33 for 354 yards in addition to the two TDs, said it best: That while football is a game of individual battles, "it is a total team game. It's not T.O. vs. Donovan. All of us play together." And the 4-1 Eagles -- the overseers of this asylum -- played together better than Dallas did.

CowboysHQ Top Stories