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The Rumor That Won't Go Away

Philadelphia Enquirer writer and ESPN personality Stephen A., aka "Screamin' A." Smith rubs out collective nose yet again in the Terrell Owens-to-Dallas rumor.

In doing so, Smith reveals, IMO, the fragility of this rumor. Smith's logic chain goes as follows: Michael Irvin talks to T.O. regularly. Michael would love for T.O. to land in Dallas. Michael has Jerry Jones' ear. Ergo, this could happen.

Smith also adds fuel to any desire Jerry might have for pursuing T.O. -- the Redskins and their owner-with-a-Montana-sized-ego Daniel Snyder might pursue him as well.

These are all fine points, and Smith has Irvin quoted, so I don't deny Michael's interest in moving T.O. to his old team. But there's this one, teeny-tiny factor Stephen A. overlooks:

Michael Irvin isn't the GM of the Dallas Cowboys. And while he has the title, Jerry Jones isn't the GM of the Cowboys anymore either. Sure, he gets his way on minor moves like Anthony Thomas, but who changed the defensive philosophy last year? Who moved to acquire Drew Bledsoe? Who ran the draft? Who had Jerry over a barrell just last week over a contract extension, a situation that moved Jerry to say publicly how much he had bought into this other guy's philosophy on things?

T.O. won't come to Dallas unless Bill Parcells wants him and I see nothing in the coach's history to suggest he'll spend most of his slowly-diminishing cap space on a risk that big. Sure, he's put up with Keyshawn Johnson, in New York and in Dallas, but isn't one Keyshawn enough, especially when signing Owens could compromise his ability to rebuild the offensive line?

This rumor will travel, but I don't put much stock in it.

Assistants' Update: While the chances of seeing both Sean Payton and Mike Zimmer return next year have improved, any chances that Norv Turner and Dom Capers might consider Dallas should they leave are diminishing. The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports that both former head coaches are on Bills' HC Mike Mularkey's short list. Mularkey fired six assistants last week and needs to complete his staff overhaul soon, while so many teams are trying to fill head coaching vacancies.

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