Since I'm a full-service Cowboys blog, I guess I'll give my take on the latest Terrell Owens incident, now that we've heard from Owens himself.
Issue number one: By all accounts, even his own; he was late for practice because of "stomach problems". OK, I'm not saying nature can't play tricks with a man's body, so something might've been up. It's just that he always has an excuse. Get to practice on time, get out on the field early like many other players - at camp Roy Williams was regularly on the field 30 minutes before practice began - and maybe you avoid this kind of stuff. By itself, it's not the worst thing in the world but things with Owens are never "by themselves", they will always be connected to past behavior. Fair or not, this is the world he's created for himself. Parcells says it best:
"I told him I went to use the rest room and told him what was going on with my system and he was like, 'all right, just try to get out here a little earlier,' and that was it," Owens said.
Subtle message from Bill, just show up to practice on time. That's all I'm asking.
Issue number two: Todd Haley - I guess he's known to have a temper - sounds like he lost it. Who knows his reasons for dogging on Owens? I have a guess, but it doesn't mean its right. Haley was probably tired of the stuff Owens was saying to him since the game, and when Owens was late he lost his cool. Haley doesn't sound like he handled it very well, something he's going to have to work on. Parcells has probably already talked to him about it. So yeah, Haley enabled a minor situation to get worse.
Issue number three: Here goes Owens playing the victim card again. He's hurt because he thinks he was disrespected. Come on, so one of your bosses yelled at you when he shouldn't have, or maybe a little more aggressively then he should've. Big deal. But Owens has to turn it into a public media feud. I mean is this level of response really justified by Haley chewing him out?
"Anything is fixable," Owens said on his weekly radio show. "But at this point, I feel like I have gone out on a limb. People that know me know I don't trust too many people. When I felt like I have gone out on a limb and talked to Todd in a setting where we are man to man and up front with each other, and then I feel like that trust is being violated, then right now I will have a hard time here on out."
Owens said that he will talk with Haley when it's something dealing with football, but that's it.
"Other than him being my coach and me being respectful and him being respectful to me as a player, outside of that, there will be nothing else," Owens said. "No other dialogue. There will be no more friendly nothing because I don't trust anybody like that."
Boo-frickin-hoo. Man up Terrell. Just take it and say "Yeah, we had some words but we are past it now. We're just concentrating on winning against the Texans on Sunday". Instead, he has to throw Haley under the bus. He has to say Haley got into an argument with another coach that same day.
Is that really necessary? Look, if Haley is causing problems on the team I'm more than sure that Parcells will take care of that. We don't need players airing dirty laundry about the coaches to the press. That's bush league. Unless Owens has proof that Haley was the guy who told the press about the practice confrontation, he should've just left it at "they had some words but it's over". Even if it was Haley who told the press - which I doubt - couldn't have Owens been the bigger man just once? Taken the high-road one time?
Players and coaches do get into it on occasion in sports. That's not the biggest deal in the world. But when you've seen how Owens has gotten into it with coaches in the past and what has come from that, it takes on a little extra significance when he does it. Still, none of it was a major deal and probably would've blown over relatively quickly, had Owens not taken it to the next level on the Dan LeBatard Show. He just had to show he was the victim and that the other guy was the "bad guy" instead of doing what many of us do all the time when slightly wronged by a boss, handle it and move on.
Now, none of this is a major blow to the Cowboys. Having your WR and your WR's coach getting along is nice, but not necessarily essential. Like I said previously, if the team starts winning this will all fade like things usually do. But as positive as you try to be, and believe me, I've tried to be as positive as I can about Owens; I'm really kind of bummed by this. It smells disturbingly like the beginning of the stench that came out of Philly last year. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail here in Dallas.
As for the team itself, I still believe that regardless of this incident, they need some positive things to start happening pretty quickly. There's a little tension over at Valley Ranch, it's there under the surface. Parcells wondering if the team has what it takes to go far - how long will he continue to coach if this team doesn't show promise this year? Bledsoe getting a little frustrated with the receivers, the Cowboys fans getting a little frustrated with Bledsoe. The Romo issue lying in wait - is Bledsoe feeling his own pressure? The line looking like swiss cheese and everybody calling them out for it. The defense giving up big plays even though they're touted to be among the most talented in the league.
The air is getting thick at the Ranch. They need a big win this week, and another next week, to really clear the air.
Actual football news! The Cowboys released Marcus Coleman, but may try to re-sign him.
Coleman has been serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. The Cowboys said they would like to re-sign Coleman at a later date, depending on his availability.
The Cowboys had a one-week roster exemption for Coleman, meaning he wouldn't count against the 53-man roster, but decided to waive him.