Cutting Owens is a positive sign for Cowboy fans.
By Bill Smith
For months Cowboy Jerry Jones has said that he was keeping head coach Wade Phillips, and WR Terrell Owens (TO). When former Bronco coach Mike Shanahan was hired as an offensive consultant, Jones told the press Shanahan would become a key part of the organization for the long term. For months Jones has said there is nothing to reports that team chemistry in the locker room makes the tough man cage matches look friendly. The fact is that despite Jones having TOTAL control, none of what he has said is necessarily true.
Shanahan lasted less than a week. “Philosophical differences” was the excuse to explain Shanahan leavings. Frankly, I suspect he took one look at the job and ran. No one could blame him.
As to the chemistry, according to multiple reports the Cowboy locker room makes the Hundred Years War seem like a weekend in Vermont. Last week, things were so good that Jones established a gag order on everyone in the organization. Yea, Bill Parcells used to do that all the time—NOT! Late last night, Jones cut TO.
Jones had to be convinced that TO was a drama queen. Remember the baby tears in his news conference after a playoff loss? How about the suicide attempt/accidental overdose? Any parent with a teenage girl knows how mentally and physically draining a drama queen can be. Some of the players and coaches and even Jones’ son Steve coming to the Boy’s facility evidently were instrumental in changing Jones’ mind.
So where is the good news I promised?
The good news is that cutting TO after so many protestations that he was an integral part of the Boys’ plans for 09 was the first sign of backbone in the organization since Parcells quit, was fired or whatever. It was also the first time that Jones had acted against the interests of his wallet. The cut will cause a cap hit of around 9 million on the Cowboys this season.
Phillips is as weak as any coach in the NFL over the last 15 years. In the case of Dallas, the inmates run the asylum not because they want to but because head warden Phillips gave them the keys the day he walked in. There has been a total vacuum of leadership in Cowboy land and the players got sucked into filling it. By Jones cutting TO, he has reestablished authority in the locker room. He needed to do that after the gag order fiasco. The players were not talking since the order because they haven’t stopped laughing at it yet.
The cut shows the rest of the inmates that no one is safe regardless of how often Jones tells the press otherwise. A little fear goes a long way in getting players to focus on their game. But now everyone in the organization is on notice.
Wade, you might want to start interviewing real estate agents and moving companies. You lucked out last year but one more season out of the playoffs, and you will be next to feel Jerry’s boot on your backside.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .
My email is [email protected]