Now that the Dallas Cowboys have signed head case supreme, Terrell Owens, I have to ask one question. Is there an odder trio – in all of profession sports – than the combination of the combustible Owens, egomaniacal owner, Jerry Jones and no-nonsense head coach Bill Parcells?
A resounding no!
How long the trio can co-exist is anyone’s guess, but I’ll go on record right now and say that following the 2006 season, all bets are off. I’ll even go one step further and say that if Parcells doesn’t get the ‘Boys into what he feels is a legitimate position to win the Super Bowl either this season or in 2007, he will walk away from whatever headaches Jones and Owens could theoretically give him – although Jones tried to downplay that possibility at the news conference to announce the Owens signing.
”I don’t think it’s fair to say if this doesn’t work, Bill’s not going to be here to live with it,” said Jones, who recently gave Parcells a raise and extension through 2007.
”I don’t think it’s going to have any bearing at all to how long Bill is going to be here,” Jones said.
I’ll also go on record right now and say that it is only a matter of time before Owens eventually pouts, sulks and whines himself into either Jones’ or Parcells’ doghouse – most likely the latter.
The reasons the Cowboys signed Owens are quite obvious. He is unquestionably one of the top three receivers in the league – if not one or two – and will improve, both the ‘Boys passing attack and their ground game as well. However, what is not known is how Owens and his divisive personality will mesh in a cohesive locker room atmosphere created by Parcells.
“We understand that this signing will open the door for scrutiny,” said Jones. “I know and Terrell knows that much is expected of our players on and off the field. I have always believed in taking advantage of opportunity. Terrell is well-known for what he can do. This may really work and work great for the Dallas Cowboys.”
What Jones didn’t say is that it could also blow up worse than a Middle East suicide bombing. My sources in Dallas have told me that many of Owens’ new teammates are split on whether they want to play with him at all. Many already view him as a divisive head case – which is exactly what he is – but realize that he has the potential to put this team over the top. Many others, I am told, wanted absolutely no parts of him at all and are openly wondering how Owens will react when the inevitable showdown between he and Parcells occurs.
”Bill is very much on the page here, very much,” Jones insisted. ”We’re not just in the business here of walking problems through the door to create challenges. We’ve got enough on our own.”
Will Jones step in and try to defuse a potentially volatile situation between Owens and Parcells?
But another question that begs to be answered is how will Jones respond if Owens has the gall to start throwing haymakers at the owner and organization at some point in the future?
”It’s more than his word, it’s about logic,” Jones said. ”This is an opportunity for him to basically put it all together and come in here and have a very positive experience. Whoever got him after those two experiences was going to get a more knowledgeable and educated player.”
Although Owens himself said all the right things at his news conference, I have to admit it sounded eerily similar to the feel-good quotes he made at his press conference that introduced him as a Philadelphia Eagle two years ago.
”I’m going to put those things behind me,” Owens said. ”They can only make a man stronger, wiser. For me, that’s what it’s done. I’ll be a better teammate, a better person, a better man in life.”
Whatever happens in Owens’ tenure with the Cowboys, one thing is certain, this trio is hands-down, the most unusual mixture of personalities in professional sports today.
Personally, I think the best thing about this combination is that sports writers all over the country – including myself – will have plenty of good material to write a about all season long. One thing is for sure. The 2006 Dallas Cowboys won’t be boring.