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Cowboys face questions about Owens, Parcells

When it comes to Terrell Owens, nothing is easy. There's always some complicating factor, whether it's the things he says or does, he makes it hard for whatever ship he's on to experience smooth sailing. So the Cowboys are now left with the decision if Owens and his baggage are worth another go around.

Bradie James admits that the presence of Owens can be taxing.

Asked after the game Saturday whether receiver Terrell Owens proved to be too much of a distraction to the Cowboys team, linebacker Bradie James called it something else.

"It definitely took a toll on the team after a while," James said. "Whether it was a distraction or not, every week so much was going on. The game is about production and wins, and that's what we have to do."

James added that the season felt especially long.

"Coming into training camp, it was like a zoo," he said. "You got some high-profile people on the team. All that went on. So much goes into that. It's been a long, long season. A long season."

I don't know how representative that statement is of the team as a whole, but I can relate to it as a fan. Terence Newman has a different view though, so as usual it looks like there are some conflicting opinions on Owens.

Several players, including [Terry] Glenn and cornerback Terence Newman, expect Owens to return.

"I don't see why not. He signed a three-year contract; he's got two years left," Newman said. "I wish I made the decisions."

What about Owens? We all know that last week he said he had every intention of returning to the Cowboys, and owner Jerry Jones seemed to back that up. But nothing can be settled - like every other question around the team - until Bill Parcells makes a decision. If Parcells does come back, and Owens does, too, Terrell has some advice for the team.
"I'm a guy that has been playing in the slot, inside, outside and making a lot of things happen," Owens said. "I felt that I was on the backside on a lot of plays and didn't get involved in the offense. If you look at my numbers, they could have been better and could have facilitated a lot more wins if I had been more involved."

Some things never change.

How does Owens' feel about Parcells returning for another year?

"I don't think there was anything there to be called a relationship," Owens said. "He was my coach and I was a player. I respected him as such. I wouldn't say there were any bad times at all. I'm sure there were frustrated moments on both of our parts. We both want to win. I wanted to send that guy out on a high note. A number of times I told guys if we win the Super Bowl I want to see the guy go out the right way. I feel bad that didn't happen."

Let's find out what someone really close to Parcells feels about his future.

"Ron Wolf, the former Green Bay president who has visited Cowboys training camp the last four seasons, said he expects Parcells back.

"He's never talked to me about not coming back," Wolf said. "I'd be shocked if he's thinking that way."

If anybody would know, it would be Wolf, one of Parcells' closest friends.

If Parcells returns, the immediate question is whether his staff will return in full or will changes be made. I've already stated that if Parcells stays, they should let Zimmer go and find a true 3-4 defensive coordinator. Jerry Jones praised Zimmer, but remained noncommittal.

"[Zimmer's] done everything that he could do to get us principally in the 3-4," Jones said. "You have to weigh all of that. You don't weigh three negative ballgames when you look at Mike Zimmer."

When asked if he wants Zimmer back, Jones was noncommittal.

That first line - "he's done everything that he could do to get us principally in the 3-4" - doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement.

Yesterday, Tim Cowlishaw assured us that Parcells won't be back, now he does the same for Terrell Owens.

JJT looks at an underachieving team.

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