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Cowboys soap opera rolls right along

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You can read the AP's take on Wednesday's Parcells press conference, here. Tony Romo also spoke to the press, and he got the memo from Parcells and followed the company line.

Then there was Romo, who showed Pro Bowl-caliber elusiveness to stay on message -- the likely result of what Parcells described as a "personal conversation" between coach and quarterback earlier in the day.

"We're almost coming in with the approach that this is a new season," Romo said. "We're going to forget everything that happened in the past and go forward and hopefully make a little five-game run here."

Romo even sounded like Parcells when he blamed the media for the impression the Cowboys are reeling.

"Every time we lose, it's 'We're not good enough.' Everyone is throwing in the towel," Romo said. "But this team has got a lot of resiliency. We've come back before. I have a feeling we're going to do it again."


On the other hand, Terence Newman apparently didn't have a private conversation with Parcells about what to say to the media.
Newman's message was that everyone needs to be accountable.

"People need to just start playing and stop talking so much," he said. "It's a show-me league and talking is not going to do anything."

Newman didn't name names, but Jason Witten had a guess.

Newman declined to say who he was talking about, but tight end Jason Witten guessed his initials are "T.O."

"I think that Terrell is a very outgoing person and he always says those things," Witten said. "Me personally, that doesn't bother me. But whenever you lose it's easy to get under people's skin and I think that's what happened."

T.O. might or might not have gotten under Terence Newman's skin, but he sure got under JJT's skin. I'm not sure what happened to JJT today, maybe it was the ribbing he took at the press conference, but he unloads in his latest column.

Hey T.O., shut up. That's right, be quiet. Hush. Close your mouth. Don't say another word.

And don't think I'm alone.

The fans want you to shut up, based on the boos you received in Monday's loss. So do your teammates, considering their comments Wednesday. Lord knows Bill Parcells has wanted you to shut up since training camp.

The whining. The excuse-making. We're all tired of it. Rarely has a player generated so many statistics and so little impact.

See what happens when the Cowboys don't win, it becomes Looney Tunes out at Valley Ranch.

Todd Archer documents a team starting to come apart at the seams. Can the iron-hand rule of Pollyanna Parcells save them?

Through all the episodes of Terrell Owens, the quarterback change, the Greg Ellis injury that has limited the defense, the Cowboys have kept a positive public face.
Until this week.

Fissures in team chemistry have appeared with one game to go, and the Cowboys' best chance to win the NFC East is gone thanks to Monday's 23-7 loss to Philadelphia.

After that game, Owens reiterated his wish for more passes his way, Terry Glenn called out the game plan, the defenders wondered aloud what has gone wrong with their unit, and owner and general manager Jerry Jones used the words "disgusted" and "pitiful" to describe what he had seen.

And then there was Newman, who called out somebody, we're still trying to decide if it was Owens.

"Some people talk a big game and think that they are doing the team justice by pumping themselves up, and they go out there and basically get abused," cornerback Terence Newman said. "People need to stop talking and play."

OK, how about some actual on the field stuff. The run game has been suffering recently. Julius Jones and company, including the line and MB3, will need to become a force if we have any hope in the playoffs.

"We're going to have to eventually get back to performing in the run game like we were at the beginning of the season," said Jones, who ran 10 times for 38 yards. "Hopefully we can start that this week and then just take it through the rest of the playoffs."

Part of the running game's low totals can be attributed to opportunities. Jones and Barber had 16 combined carries, the second-lowest number of the season behind their 13 carries in a 42-17 loss to the Saints.


The defense needs to help out, too. They gave up four 3rd down conversions on the Eagles very first drive of the game.

Also, Tony Romo has got to take better care of the ball. And he knows it.

"There's too much time," Romo said of his ill-fated throw with just under 14 minutes left in the fourth quarter. "You score on that drive it's a completely different end to that game. Normally I understand the situation of the game that says we've got to score on this drive, or you have to be able to take a chance here or you don't have to take a chance here. And I didn't do that there."

Romo finished with a season-low 45.5 passer rating after throwing for a nine-start low142 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. Parcells didn't elaborate, but said he spoke with Romo on Wednesday and thinks he "understands what I want from him now, a little more clearly maybe than he did up to this point."


We love ya, Romo, but you got to quit throwing interceptions at crucial times.

Jason Witten gives Romo a little cover by putting some of the blame on the rest of the team.

"I think the people around him have to play better, and that's part of the reason why he had success early, is guys were making a lot of good plays too," tight end Jason Witten said. "We can't just put it all on him. I think as an offense we've got to take a lot of that responsibility."