Last night, I slept the sleep of the dead. Man, I’m talking about a long, deep sleep that has left me refreshed. I needed it; I was running low on energy. Also, this morning I got to catch up on a little reading and see what the newspaper guys and the pundits were saying. I came to one conclusion, I wasn’t missing much!
So let’s get some procedural stuff out of the way. The Cowboys put Jim Molinaro on IR and will reach an injury settlement with him. They will replace him with Pete Lougheed. Not much impact on the regular roster as the guy will be purely a camp body.
Jerry Jones and Greg Ellis finally had their talk and Jerry did the right thing, and what I expected him to do. He told Ellis we love ya, but we aren’t doing a new contract and you need to get out there and play under your current contract. Thanks Jerry for handling this correctly. After all, Ellis has absolutely zero leverage in this situation. Now it’s just a waiting game until Ellis returns to the field which should be soon given how he’s been moving on the sidelines with the trainers. He’s sprinting fine and he can really put in a good workout on the bungee rope, so my guess is it will be soon, unless he retires and that would be just plain silly for him. He still has some football left in him, so bottom line: just shut up and play.
Jerry also hinted that the Romo contract situation might not be resolved until after the season. The Cowboys can always franchise tag Romo if they don’t get a new contract worked out, but that usually makes the player mad. So Jerry should work hard negotiating with Romo’s agent over the course of the season to reach a number they both can live with by the end of the season. That’s all predicated, of course, on Romo having the type of season we expect him to have.
Now, to what seems to be the biggest topic surrounding the Cowboys’ camp right now. The Club Med atmosphere Wade has created for the players and how it is in direct contrast to the Alcatraz-like atmosphere of a Parcells’ camp. Lots of people have asked my opinion on the subject and I have to admit that I’m a little uneasy about the amount of time players are spending injured or "injured" as the case seems to be with a few vets.
Obviously Terry Glenn’ injury was serious enough to require surgery, and we are told that it was successful and Glenn might be back in a couple of weeks. On the other end is T.O.’s hamstring which has been termed sore, but Wade basically said they are just giving him time off. I’m kind of from the old-school which says if you can practice, then you practice. But I don’t have the life experience of Wade Phillips in football so he knows more than I do. But so far, Wade hasn’t produced a championship team, so just because he has the experience, it doesn’t mean that he knows what it takes to produce a Super Bowl team. But other coaches have used the "soft is better" approach and have won doing it.
Which brings me to a bigger point, there’s more than one way to win. We know Parcells was a hard-ass, and he has won doing it. But we also know he didn’t win in Dallas being that tough on players. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that determining if the way Wade runs his training camp will help or hinder the Cowboys over the long run is a fools’ errand. There are so many things that go into a team winning that projecting the future based on whether Wade gave T.O. a couple of days off in August is of little significance.
Sure it makes a good story today, when no games have been played, but don’t you think that Jason Garrett’s play-calling, the fickle fate of injuries, Roy Williams’ ability to master his new role, Tony Romo’s ability to curb his gunslinger ways, or a variety of other things will have far more impact on whether the Cowboys win this year? I do. And I’ve heard the theory that Parcells’ ways were the cause of the Cowboys folding down the stretch last year, that they ran out of gas. That smacks of retro-fitting an excuse on the failure of the team. It’s a convenient reason all tied up in a pretty bow that let’s players and fans neatly organize a failure in their minds.
I don’t know if Phillips' way is better or if Parcells’ way was better. And I don’t think anybody else does either. But I don’t think it has near the significance most people are giving it right now. You might say take a stand, have an opinion, and I do. It won’t really matter, because there are so many other things of that will matter so much more once the season starts.