See No Evil

IRVING, Texas -- Bill Parcells, maybe still reeling from the deafening debacle in Philly, is trying to hear no evil. Some NFL media members are trying to speak no evil. And any Cowboys fan who doesn't harbor just a little dread for this week's meeting with the Houston Texans is apparently trying to see no evil.

Let's start with Coach and his selective hearing and his selective memory. Early last week, the name of nose tackle Jason Ferguson was broached at a press conference. Coach let his brilliant mind wander just for a moment, as he waxed nostalgic on how tough ex-Jet (and Parcells Guy) Ferguson and tough ex-Jet (and Parcells Guy) Kevin Mawae wrassled vigorously with each other in the Dallas-Tennessee game, just as the fellas did for years while working under Bill in New York.

The subject then grew a bit broader, Parcells admitting that even he allowed himself an extra charge when facing ex-employers in New York, New England and New York. "I would say I had a little extra,'' Coach conceded. "That's just human nature.''

Of course it is. Right? Maybe it goes away after the initial kickoff, but in preparation for a meeting with an old friend, or an old nemesis, the tank is always full. Right?

So then, the usually guileless DFW media nudged one more time. It essentially said to Bill, "Oh, so Fergy and Mawae viewed such a reunion as special. And Parcells and the Giants/Patriots/Jets viewed such a reunion as special. Therefore. ... Terrell Owens-vs.-the Eagles is special, too, eh, Coach?''

"I don't know,'' Parcells said, shrugging and shuffling and pretending like he didn't quite hear the question. "You'd have to speak with him about that.''

At the risk of offending readers of TheRanchReport.com who believe questioning Parcells is some sort of act of betrayal, some sort of fandom patricide, I'm going to say it: Is it possible that sort of two-stepping hoohah gets in the way of what the Cowboys are trying to accomplish? Wouldn't T.O. have been better served being led by a coach who knows damn well that this is a damn big deal and boldly, honestly, admits it, dammit!?

Again, I'm just asking. And again, I'm just making sure that all the blame for the Eagles game gets spread around. Because there's plenty of blame in the jar -- not that Coach offers must help in Blame Assessment. He talked Monday about how it was the blitz that truly burned Dallas. Really? Because Darren Howard, Darwin Walker and Trent Cole seemed to cause an awful lot of disruption --- sometimes even on only three-man rushes -- and none of them are blitzing linebackers.

But heck, maybe Bill didn't hear the question. As often as this team's star wideout is labeled "mercurial,'' the same exact tag belongs on the coach. "Mercurial'' is T.O.'s ability to jet from "suicidal'' to "probable'' in 15 hours. "Mercurial'' is Parcells' ability to seem to be a walking-into-walls client of Annie Sullivan's one moment and the Master of All He Surveys the next.

On Wednesday, Coach actually claimed to have heard nothing about of any of "the player's'' sideline histrionics in Philly.

Coach is deaf now? What, Albert Haynesworth stepped on HIS head, too?

Speaking of "risking offending readers,'' we must touch on one of our pet topics: The way the media handles the Cowboys. ESPN's Ed Werder announced after the Philly meeting that "this game was all about Terrell Owens.'' Sports Illustrated's Peter King said he received a text message from an editor containing two words: "Tony'' and "Romo.'' CNN, Fox News Network and, I think, Lifetime, all included Monday morning coverage of that 38-24 loss -- and they all had an angle, a target, a scapegoat. No matter who's fault you think Sunday was, we can all agree on this: The Cowboys still matter. A LOT. Do you think Peter King gets two-word texts that read "Joey'' and "Harrington'' or "Tim'' and "Rattay''?

And speaking of rivalries: Don't look now but there are folks in Houston who believe Texans-at-Cowboys represents one. Who can forget the embarrassing 19-10 Texans win in their first-ever game in 2002? If you're hungry for a "trap game,'' this fills up your plate. Cowboys coming off an emotional suckage in Philly. Houston coming off a restful bye week. No travel problems for the Texans. Dallas a 14-point favorite. And the Giants on the horizon.

Coach, this week, when somebody suggests that Houston-vs.-Dallas is somehow special, listen closely and play along, will ya? Just in case it is?

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