Fish's Valley Ranch Bar Stool Musings

IRVING, Texas – Random musings from atop a barstool somewhere near Valley Ranch.

ITEM: Once upon a time, Michael Irvin chastised the media. Angry over the coverage he was getting on one scandal or another, he asked that when he was proven innocent they "cover with the same intensity'' that innocence.

We should do the same here with the OTA attendance.

If it was a big deal a week ago when Terrell Owens and others were not at Valley Ranch for voluntary work, is must be a big deal now that T.O., Roy Williams, Julius Jones and other high-profile Cowboys are present.

The truth? I'd like 100-percent attendance for camaraderie. Otherwise, I try to reserve my overreactions, one way or another, for around September and beyond.

ITEM: Regarding Greg Ellis, maybe Jerry Jones learned his "disgruntled-over-money-and-security-linebacker'' lesson almost two decades ago.

Then it was Jesse Solomon creating a stir. And good-hearted Jerry tried to play along, engaging in semi-negotiations with Solomon right out there on the track adjoining the practice field. Jerry reached out to shake Solomon's hand, and with the TV cameras rolling, Jesse pulled a "Psyche!'' on him, refusing to shake. Now along comes disgruntled linebacker Greg Ellis, who is trying to draw Jones into a similar game of Security/Contract Chicken.

Jones says he has no reason to meet with Ellis. Ellis says that means he might as well be released:

"That pretty much answers all your questions right there. A player that you're serious about keeping, and you don't meet with them? In any kind of job, if you want to keep them around, if that employee has some concern, you meet.''

But Greg. … haven't you met with Cowboys management over job security and money numerous times in the last two years? Again with the management meetings? Greg, who do you think you are, Kobe Bryant? Given your injury status, shouldn't all your Cowboys meetings be with trainers, coaches and doctors?

Oh, and one more thing: Greg's teammates are good-naturedly busting his chops about his situation. Isn't that the worst part of this for Ellis? That his own teammates scoff at the clown show?

ITEM: ESPN did a "top wide receivers'' thing and didn't include Owens in its top five. Based on the risk-reward of having him on your team, I totally buy that. Based on last year's production, I kind of buy it. Based solely on the potential to be an All-Pro in 2007? You'll have a difficult time coming up with five guys who are on a different level that Owens.

ITEM: Part of North Texas' successful proposal to bring the Super Bowl here in 2011 has to do with the pledge from Roger Staubach and Jerry Jones that they will wrangle up 10,000 volunteers to help make the event a success. Given the level of cooperation so far from Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, I think we should assume she'd pitch in and help.

I hear Roger and Jerry might let her serve as a parking-lot attendant or a hot-dog girl or something.

ITEM: After Sunday's Cowboys family picnic, the Cowboys coaches head to Vegas for some more bonding. It's that camaraderie thing again, Wade Phillips playing "Family Guy.''

No dig at Bill Parcells here, just a mention of the fact that he wasn't much for bonding trips with his staff or barbecue with players' wives. I'll acknowledge, too, that sometimes this sort of stuff looks good for show but doesn't result in wins. Remember Dave Campo's "punch in on the timeclock'' silliness at training camp in San Antonio, which felt like it was created for the benefit of HBO's "Hard Knocks''?

But bonding, barbecue and Baccarat. … it couldn't hurt, right?

ITEM: I'll say this respectfully: There are those in the Cowboys family who worry that Flozell Adams – sometimes difficult to motivate when all is going well – might allow himself to be a few more unnecessary steps slower when he returns from "minor'' knee surgery.

You know the old saying: Surgery is only "minor'' when it happens to somebody else. I might add an addendum: Surgery is never "minor'' when it happens to a Flozell Adams.

ITEM: The DFW media has yet to hit up the dog-fighting angle with the local team. (And let me assure you, such an angle exit exists). What do you think: Story, or non-story?

ITEM: Jerry Jones used the word "colorfulness'' when describing Tony Romo's socializing offseason. "Colorfulness.'' Classic Jerry.

ITEM: Unfortunate thing about Marco Rivera, a solid NFL O-lineman who, because of injury problems, never quite got the chance to show it here. We can mourn his Thursday release if you wish, as long as, in fairness, we point out that there were some of us (ahem!) pushing for the Cowboys to skip Green Bay's old guard Rivera to instead spend a bit more on Green Bay's young guard, Mike Wahle. Oh well.

ITEM: "Forty-six days until the first practice,'' announced Wade Phillips this weekend, and frankly, we're counting the seconds.

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