"Think of the anatomy," goes the Jerry quote. "Brains, eyes, ears, nose. You know there's got to be some assholes over here to have the whole anatomy. My point is this team is made up of that. By golly, when you start picking that part out and saying, 'They don't have a team,' you're missing the point.'''
This beats "jocks and socks,'' "pick of the litter,'' "looks good in the shower.'' This beats ‘em all. This – the Cowboys owner providing the media an R-rated physiology lesson -- is the greatest Outrageous Jerry Quote of All Time, and it's just part of my item-by-item look at the Cowboys' victory:
ITEM: So Terence Newman thinks the coaches should be held responsible. And Jerry Jones wants to take MB3's toe in for questioning. And Owens wants to be in Romo and Witten's private club. But he's not jealous. But other teammates agree with him. And Witten is or is not a rat. And there was or was not a secret meeting with Jason Garrett. And there was or was not a late-week confrontation between Owens and Witten.
I know this: It's been suggestion that Tony Romo – "as the team leader'' – should've risen to his feet in a team meeting and fixed this.
Um, he did rise to his feet and fix this.
He just waited until Sunday night, is all. When the team convened in a meeting room in which he was comfortable. Texas Stadium.
ITEM: There is a grave misconception from outsiders as to what leadership is and as to who should be the leader. If you think Troy Aikman was "the leader'' of his era, you do not understand. If you think Tony Romo is "the leader'' of this era and must demonstrate that by giving speeches, you do not understand.
ITEM: I'm still trying to figure out who NBC believes is its Sunday night target audience. The network was very proud of its "Dallas'' soap opera graphics and references, the announcers chuckled while comparing the Giants' running backs to "Earth, Wind And Fire'' and then closed the telecast by noting that the Cowboys have gone from a J.R. Ewing-style relationship to "Love, American Style.''
Hey, Al and John and the rest of NBC:
1 "Who Shot J.R.?'' is from 1979.
2 Earth, Wind & Fire'' height was 1975.
3 "Love, American Style'' began airing in 1969.
ITEM: Quote of the night, from Terrell Owens: "Winning cures everything.''
ITEM: No, wait. Here's the quote of the night, from Wade: "Brothers get in fights, they get in fights with each other, then they come back, because they're family, and they fight for each other.''
ITEM: Sorry, let's get this right. Here's the quote of the night, from Jerry Jones: "We like that stuff. More you talk about the Cowboys, the better we like it.''
ITEM: This tends to get lost in all the foolishness, but maybe ESPN ought to spend just a moment chasing this scoop: In the last three games, Dallas' defense has allowed nine, 13 and six points.
I know "secret team meetings'' are juicier, but Wade Phillips doing his Mr. Fix-It act, just like he promised? T-New … er, taking responsibility. … and making a Pro Bowl push against the Giants with two picks while D-Ware makes a Defensive Player of the Year push with three of Dallas' season-high eight sacks against New York?
Sorry, but that's just as big a deal as whether or not Owens and Witten are noshing together today at the Coppell Deli.
ITEM: More on sacks: Ware, who set the tone by crushing Eli Manning on the game's first snap, now leads the NFL with 19 sacks. This was Dallas third straight game with at least five.
Amid all the hell the coach gets here for being a softy, somebody needs to say this: Good job, Wade.
"Somebody is going to recognize it,'' Phillips said of his team's pass-rushing defense, "sooner or later.''
ITEM: Tony Romo's work here was nothing sort of courageous. He was getting kneed in the back and his legs were getting twisted about and at one point in the first half, tears appeared to be streaming from his eyes, due to the pain.
But the touch was there. The TD pass to Patrick Crayton? Touch. The TD pass to Deon Anderson. Touch.
Touch. And tough.
ITEM: Don't look now, but the Cowboys are 9-5 have moved into the NFC's No. 5 playoff position. And as I've contended all along, the whole point isn't "looking good'' in Weeks 1 through 16, but rather, just getting into the Tournament. Is there any reason the Cowboys should fear anybody in the Tournament?
Maybe two weeks ago, they should've feared the Giants. But NY has lost two straight and keeps shooting itself in the foot. Or the leg.
Get to the Tournament. That's the whole point of Weeks 1 through 16.
ITEM: You do realize, Dear Cowboy Fan, that 9-5 is good, right? I know you expected 14-0 by now, but. …. 9-5 is good.
ITEM: Romo completed passes to nine different guys. Lots of buddies.
ITEM: Owens was booed during pre-game introductions, booed after a first-quarter drop and booed again after a third-quarter flop. It's your money, people. Boo if you like. Me? I'm just now sure how that helps anything.
ITEM: Boy, did MB3 not look right. He did what he could on nine toes, but it was left to third-string rookie Tashard Choice to carry the load. He exploded for a 38-yard touchdown with just over two minutes remaining that sealed the deal.And then he posed in the end zone for what I think was supposed to be a "T'' and then a "C'' celebration.
"T'' for "Tashard.'' "C'' for "Choice.''
Kind of like "Y.M.C.A'' only in half the time.
ITEM: Speaking of third-stringers: Cory Procter, playing in the O-line only because of injuries to Kyle Kosier and Montrae Holland, appears to have something less than a bright future in football. His block helped free "T'' and then "C'' for the score, but otherwise, it was pretty much a night of "Look Out, Tony!'' from Cory.
ITEM: At one moment, Romo signaled for a backup QB to loosen up. Brad Johnson lifted himself from the bench.
Brooks? Brooksie? I think Tony meant you, Brooksie!
ITEM: Romo gets sacked in the end zone (the whole offensive line misses the snap count?) and the ball is loose on the floor and it's two Giants vs. Tony's one free hand. … and Romo finds a way to slap the ball out of the back of the end zone. That's a five-point save. Subtle. But huge.
ITEM: T.O. seemed more focused on calling out ESPN's Ed Werder (or "Wormer,'' as Cowboys players of three different generations have taken to calling him) than on on-field productivity, with his three catches for 38 yards.
Maybe Ed's reports of Dallas dissention ended up being an "us-against-the-world'' rallying cry in the Cowboys' locker room?
ITEM: How concerned should New York be? Well, the Giants are 11-3 and have wrapped up the division. So while the fans and media might be panicky – no, not, "might,'' they are panicky – the same "get-in-the-Tournament'' logic applies to them.
NY was held without a touchdown for the first time since November 2004. Not good. But as soon as they score a touchdown in the playoffs – and they will – that will be forgotten.
ITEM: Romo, Witten and Owens were brought together for a postgame interview with NBC and they seemed to have enough chemistry to laugh through the live visit.
"It's just part of playing football," Romo said with a wink. "I give a lot of credit to T.O. and Jason for drumming this whole thing up to take attention away.''
ITEM: But all joking aside. … this thing had an aura of déjà vu for me.
I don't have first-hand knowledge of what was said in the meetings, or whether the meetings even happened as is being reported. T.O. is "jealous'' of the throws Romo makes to his pal Witten? (Nor, by the way, does Ed Werder.) T.O. has the support of teammates who think he's underutilized? Coaches and players are being drawn in to taking sides?
I don't know. This could be much less troublesome than it's being made out to be. I mean, do other guys on the team think T.O. is underutilized? Probably. But so do I. …
I do know this: It's all hauntingly reminiscent of that mid-90's Barry Switzer-era controversy when Deion Sanders and assistant John Blake teamed up to accuse Troy Aikman of being "biased'' when it concerned which teammates he yelled at and which teammates he didn't yell at.
The way Deion and Blake saw it, Troy yelled at Kevin Williams and Erik Williams, but didn't seem to yell at Johnston and Novacek. The implication: Troy was yelling more at the black guys.
It was all very childish, but it was also very destructive.
And it sounds familiar.
ITEM: After the game in his press conference, when pushed on the subject of Werder's sources, Owens conceded that it is possible that "maybe I'm being fooled.''
That, sadly, is a hint that this thing is not over yet, and that winning does not cure "everything.''
ITEM: The Cowboys roll on, to a Saturday night meeting with Baltimore in the final game at Texas Stadium. We can expect Owens and Witten and company to continue what Romo calls "a reality show.'' And I suppose we can count on the mainstream media to stir it up with more timely pop-culture references to 8-track tapes and parachute pants and stuff.
A Lesson In Anatomy -- And Chemistry?
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