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Irvin talks but does Owens listen?

A week ago, in this post, I argued that Michael Irvin may be the Cowboys' best chance of getting some kind of control over Terrell Owens. Well, it turns out that Irvin has been involved in the process all along. And he is trying to steer Owens in the right direction, but even he's not sure how successful he can be.

We find out this information from an interview Mike Fisher did with Irvin over at The (sub. required). It's actually a very good interview that contains some candid admissions and opinions from Michael Irvin. The common thread throughout is that Irvin has counseled Owens on how to make it work in Dallas. Only time will tell if Terrell grasps the consequences of dividing one more locker room.

Irvin has a special connection to Owens; both are/were supremely talented WR's who have been controversial in their own ways. They can share experiences, discuss ramifications of their actions, and in the case of Irvin, share his own path to casting out his demons.

Bill Parcells and Drew Bledsoe both have an important role to play in this drama. But in the classic TV movie script, Parcells would play the authority figure who defines the rules that bound our hero. Drew Bledsoe plays the teammate who tries to support our hero. Both will meet with limited success because they don't share a common background and thus fall short of the required credibility needed to shape our heroes actions. Michael Irvin would play the wise buddy, who eventually shows our hero the light, and guides him to a peaceful co-existence with the authority figure and the teammate. In a Hollywood ending, our hero, Terrell Owens, would become the ultimate teammate and lead the club to a championship. At least that's how it goes in the movies.

But this is real-life, and Irvin can only do so much. But at least he's trying. Like this passage from the interview.

"The first thing I told Terrell to do,'' Irvin tells, "was to get hold of the phone numbers of Drew Bledsoe, Julius Jones, Jason Witten and Terry Glenn. And then I ended up getting the numbers for him, and told him to call them on Monday (March 20, two days after the signing). T.O. told them all one sentence, just one:

'I'm glad to be a part of the team.'''

Then Irvin attacks the problem from the "shared experience" angle, and he's probably one of the few people who could drop the following lines on Owens and expect them to have any kind of impact.

"I told him to take me as an example. You get to a certain age, and you look back, and you have to explain to your children why you did what you did. I have some regrets. I told Terrell he will wish, 10, 15 years from now, not to have those same regrets.''

The rest of the interview is filled with the same type of advice from Irvin to Owens, all designed to create an environment of harmony. Everybody who bleeds silver and blue is hoping for the same. So towards the end of the interview, Fisher tells Irvin this all sounds like great news, but can Irvin assure us that Owens is taking the advice to heart? The Hollywood ending is not assured.

"I can't guarantee that,'' Irvin says frankly. "I'm not sure T.O. gets it. I just know he's GOTTA get it.''

Pass the popcorn, this movie's ending will have us guessing the whole way through.

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