Chicken Salad? Or Chicken Spit?

IRVING, Tex. -- What's with all the negative angles being offered on tales from Valley Ranch? Not to be a Pollyanna, but it seems to me some folks are turning chicken salad into chicken spit.

Three examples, one from a media outlet that should know better, one from a media outlet that clearly does not, and one from a player who is devolving into a grumpy old man:

EXAMPLE 1: A Dallas newspaper columnist is now taking potshots at the departed Bill Parcells, noting that InfalliBill is fibbing when he distances himself from the decision to acquire Terrell Owens and gently calling Bill's tenure in Dallas "a failure.''

Really? You think? Hey, hasn't the Parcells-bashing ship kinda sailed?

This stuff is well-worn ground around these parts, and we didn't wait until four months after the coach had removed his carcass from Dallas before finally pointing it out. Parcells is a miserable guy who while in Dallas was more busy covering his ass than he was winning football games. We said it last year when T.O. came here. We said it four years ago when Parcells came here. We noted that he was a bully and was disturbingly comfortable with telling untruths. We nevertheless crossed our fingers that it would all work to the satisfaction of the Cowboys fan.

It didn't.

I will still grant that the organization is better off than it was pre-Parcells; he deserves that credit. As for all the negative stuff: Why drudge it up now? These are angles that should've been written about in the mainstream media when Parcells was here, when they could've informed the public and maybe motivated the organization. Why are writers embolden to criticize Parcells now? Because they are safe to do so now that he's headquartered 1,200 miles away?

It is mildly disturbing to hear veteran players bothering to badmouth the former coach, but their excuse is that for the first time, they have the freedom to do so. What's been the mainstream media's excuse?

EXAMPLE 2: The gang over at ProFootballTalk.com is at it's very best when a) discussing the legal ramifications of NFL moves and b) making poop jokes.

The site is at it's very worst, however, when it cites dubious "sources'' and "talk in league circles'' and "some quarters'' to attempt to break news.

"(T)here is. … persistent talk in league circles that (Wade) Phillips might not last long in the job,'' PFT.com writes. "There's a strong belief in some quarters that, if the Cowboys falter in 2007, Phillips will get the heave-ho.

… We're also hearing that (Jerry) Jones doesn't care much for the recent sound bites regarding Phillips' reputation for being a ‘players' coach.''

PFT.com's report is absurd on a number of levels: a) How hard is it to find a Cowboy-hating "source'' to go on the record? b) How hard is it to find a Jones-hating "source'' to go on the record? c) How hard is it to find a Phillips critic to go on the record? d) How "persistent'' can this "talk'' be? We're only on Day 4 of Phillips even being in the spotlight? e) What is the basis for this "strong belief''? NFL "sources'' watching 20-second ESPN highlights of Phillips' three days of minicamp? f) "If the Cowboys falter''? Can you be more vague? g) Jones suddenly "doesn't care much for'' Phillips' personality? Isn't Phillips' personality well-known and among the exact reasons Jones hired him?

That's a-through-g. And I'm about to run out of letters to describe the irresponsibility of this report.

It can be defended, I suppose, by saying the site is billed as a "rumor'' site. Or, there is another approach: Talk to Jerry about Wade. Talk to Stephen Jones about Wade. Talk to other people in the organization about Wade. I've done those things, and discovered a very boring, very non-rumorish truth:

The "love-fest'' is the real deal.

EXAMPLE 3: Greg Ellis tells the Star-Telegram that the way the Cowboys have handled him is "a slap in the face, when you think about it.''

I've thought about it. And no, it's not. Ellis is well-paid. And wants to be paid better as a gesture from the team that they still believe in him.

Ellis is a member of the team. But he wants an assurance that he'll retain his starting job while rehabbing – and while top pick Anthony Spencer works at his spot.

Ellis wants. … and wants. … and wants. …

I'm not saying Ellis is becoming a Randy Moss-sized headache. But is anybody beginning to see the irony in Dallas passing on Moss in 1998 in favor of Ellis because Greg was supposed to be a Boy Scout for life?

"I'm not saying let me go,'' Ellis said. "But they can make a 100-percent commitment to all three guys, me, Ware and Spencer. It's a commitment problem. I think Jerry should do something.''

Hmmm. Keep squawking, Greg, and I bet Jerry will indeed "do something.''

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