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Parcells busts out the toys

Parcells. The dude is entertaining to have as a coach if nothing else. His wise man/grasshopper relationship with the press is always good for a quote. It's especially fun on days like yesterday, when he shut-down the T.O. questions, causing JFE to shriek like a junkie getting cut off from the heroin. If she can't get T.O. quotes, there goes 95% of her collective article output. I guess she could just make things up. (Not that that would ever happen)!

Back to Parcells, he went old-school on the Cowboys. I mean real old-school, as in a schoolmaster holding a student's yo-yo, instead of an Ipod.

The yo-yo was out. Again.

This time, for the 2 o'clock media access in the locker room Thursday, the little spool was dangling from the cage surrounding the equipment room by its string.

That Bill. Another subtle reminder, and a tad more subtle than the time I'm told he had them dangling from the ceiling, much the way he did last year with the mice trap. You know him. He's into those subliminal messages, because this yo-yo isn't some case of the guys in the equipment room practicing their "rock-the-cradle" or walk-the-dog" moves.

Well, a couple of the players told me two weeks ago that heading into the Tennessee game someone (i.e. Bill) cracked out the old Duncans. For what?

"Guess he was encouraging us not to be an up and down team," one of them said.

Does Parcells have a trunk of these props that he carries around with him from season to season? Or does someone get sent out to the store, and Jerry gets an expense report with 12 Duncan Yo-yo's and 15 Acme mousetraps on it?

This team is frustrating; our stats are good, except for turnovers and sacks.

This team, with the NFL's fifth-ranked offense, the third-ranked rushing offense, the ninth-ranked defense and the fifth-ranked rushing defense must get on a roll. The signs of being capable are there.

But it must not only become a game-to-game thing, but a quarter-to-quarter and series-to-series thing.

Big plays are the killers on defense.
Dallas gave up five plays of 20 or more yards resulting in two touchdowns. For the season, the Cowboys have given up 12 plays of 20 or more yards - all passing plays.

Before the Eagles game, the Cowboys ranked eighth in the NFL in pass defense. After allowing 354 passing yards, the team is 20th. The Cowboys have given up five pass plays of 25 or more yards this season, two of which were touchdowns.

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