Slow Times, Quick Takes

IRVING, Tex. - This is a rather slow time in sports. I'm actually thinking of watching Wimbledon, though I'm thinking the biggest question to be answered in the tennis world is Kittens or Cougars?

But I've got Cowboys thoughts, too. …

ITEM: The Pittsburgh paper, spit-balling, I guess, kind of predicts that Jerry Jones will fire Wade Phillips after this season and replace him with Steelers ex Bill Cowher.

"It wouldn't surprise anyone,'' the paper speculates, "if Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones fired Wade Phillips after just one season to make a pitch for him.''

Really? "It wouldn't surprise anyone''?

Ridiculous. So I'll take that bet.

I'm not predicting greatness yet for Wade and the ‘Boys. But there is chemistry between Wade and Jerry. There is chemistry between Wade and his roster. And there is a commitment from Wade and his coaching staff.

"It wouldn't surprise anyone''? Wrong. A dismissal of Wade Phillips after one season WOULD shock anyone. … who's done 15 minutes of homework.

ITEM: Lincoln Kennedy lives!

The former Raiders standout offensive lineman continues to pursue an NFL comeback. He and the Cowboys checked each other out last summer, and this time around he's trying to prove his worth by playing in the Arena League. He was with the Desperados for a short time and is now among the top linemen with the Tampa Bay franchise.

One other wrinkle: He's working with world-class Mixed Martial Arts champion Guy Mezger ( to gain athleticism and flexibility – not an easy thing to do for a veteran who weighs in excess of 300 pounds.

Mezger might be working with some Cowboys, too; I'll check into it. But for now, this is an interesting project – and NFL teams would be wise to monitor it.

Says Kennedy: "After retiring, I just realized I crave the competition. I missed the game. I did enough work with Guy and established that I can play at this level. I also think I can play at the NFL level again.''

As noted a year ago when breaking the story of Kennedy's tryout with the Cowboys: Like lefthanded pitchers and 7-foot centers, former Pro Bowl O-lineman ALWAYS deserve another look.

ITEM: I hear that while Jerry Jones is fond of Tony Romo's "colorfulness,'' he also wants the quarterback to protect his image. So the owner has suggested Romo "cool it'' a bit with the off-the-field antics. Example: When Romo recently played MC at a rock concert, some effort was made to make sure video of the event didn't end up on YouTube. In other words, while Tony once again sang Journey songs with a band called Metal Skool at a Dallas concert, the Cowboys kinda hope the entire world doesn't end up seeing it.

ITEM: The Michael Irvin quotes criticizing Bill Parcells for his handling of Terrell Owens are making the rounds now, but they are nothing new to readers. For the last year, we've told you that it is Irvin's amateur-psychologist's view that T.O. would thrive if his "boss'' would simply treat him like a "partner.''

We'll say it again: Owens will never change. Therefore, to milk the best out of him, YOU should change. A gesture as simple as making T.O. a team captain might earn public chuckles. But privately, it would send a message of respect to Owens that his fragile psyche desperately needs.

ITEM: There remain lots of critics of the Cowboys' signing of Leonard Davis. But as always, I don't just want the answers criticized; I want the critics to provide better answers. So tell me: Dallas, in great need of offensive-line help, and with Marco Rivera in limbo, should've passed on Davis to instead sign _____________. Fill in that blank, please, and tell me how that name is superior to Davis'.

ITEM: QB Jon Kitna says his Lions will win ‘more than 10 games.' Well, they did beat the Cowboys last year. So they got that going for them. Which is nice. So, sure. They can win 10 games. … As long as they are allowed the rest of the decade to do it.

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