Four stories. From the four corners of the Cowboys world. (Sidebar: If the world is round, how can it have corners?)
Four stories – puzzle pieces, really – that when assembled together offer what I believe is a complete so-far picture of this offseason.
CORNER 1: Ed Werder of ESPN is reporting that Dallas is considering a love-him-or-leave-him decision with Terrell Owens.
Here's the nut quote (or maybe, two nut quotes):
"I think we all know that chemistry is the problem with this team more than the schemes or anything else,'' a Cowboys source said. "Are we going to continue to allow talent to outweigh everything else in the decisions we make with players and putting the roster together? We're like the Redskins used to be when they signed every player they wanted. There's more to it than talent. It has to be more about the team.''
"The big one (Owens) didn't get discussed yet, but I'm sure it will and real hard.''
Some quick thoughts:
*As I have said before, I happen to be friends with Ed. But at this point, why in the hell is anybody in the locker room – player, staffer, whomever -- running to ESPN with their secret, innermost thoughts?
This is symptomatic of the problems at Valley Ranch, where "family'' is simply something mumbled by rote.
*Is it just me, or does the second part of that quote – "The big one'' and "I'm sure it will and real hard'' -- sound like the odd colloquialisms and mangled syntax usually offered up by a certain Valley Rancher with the initials "J'' and "J''?
*Again, no offense to Ed: But is this really a scoopy news item? The Cowboys are considering their options with T.O. … OK, but doesn't every fan over the age of 3 already know that?
CORNER 2: How in-disarray are things at Valley Ranch at this moment? Not only do they have personnel questions, they can't even be certain who their offensive coordinator is going to be. The Jason Garrett Celebrity Tour is taking waaaay too long. Me? I know this is part of the process, and I'm happy for Garrett to have opportunities to explore. But I need my staff assembled. And at work. Like, today.
CORNER 3: When I talk to former Cowboys – Super Bowl-winning Cowboys – they often speak about the "sense of entitlement'' felt by this latest generation. Their point: These kids who wear the star now act as if they ARE Emmitt and Aikman and Irvin and Allen, act as if they ARE Staubach and White and Lilly and Pearson and Dorsett and Waters and Harris and Hollywood and Too Tall and Harvey.
That sense of entitlement, legitimatized and properly utilized, can save lives. Ask Michael Irvin, who was a national laughingstock a decade ago for telling police "Can I tell you who I am?'' but who may have saved his own life the other night when he used his celebrity to avoid being carjacked at gunpoint.
That sense of entitlement, illegitimate and improperly utilized, can cost lives. Ask some innocuous Cowboys employee named Anthony Spencer, who somehow believes that HIS "celebrity'' and money and status as an NFL player gives him the right to allegedly try to take over an Indianapolis saloon – cops and all.
Anthony Spencer? Who the hell is Anthony Spencer?
I wonder if Spencer, as he was allegedly battling police, tried the old "Can I tell you who I am?'' and if the cops replied, "Who you are, son, is a wealthy nobody with little going for you but your sense of entitlement.''
CORNER 4: Amid it all – the possible coaching changes and the T.O. decisions and Romo's next YouTube Karaoke and Pacman on TV (When he told CBS that "I likeded the strip clubs,'' the extra "ed'' was a tribute to Werder, right?) and inappropriate whisperings from "sources'' and attempts to peddle New Stadium tickets and D-Ware's contract and the guns and the booze and the "sense of entitlement,'' there is an under-reported foundation of how this team, how any team, gets ready for next year.
This foundation isn't about job interviews, TV interviews or police interviews. There are no "lights,'' there are no "cameras,'' there is only some quiet "action.'' … the "ching. … ching. … ching'' of metal touching metal, repetitively, methodically, almost robotically.
There is offensive lineman Marc Colombo, yesterday at the Four Seasons weight room. By himself. Pumping iron, 350 pounds up and down and up and down and up again.
"This is why you lift all them weights,'' Bill Parcells once famously said to his New York Giants (and to NFL Films.)
And isn't that the corner of the Cowboys world – Marc Colombo's corner – that really does matter most?
Four Corners of Cowboys
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