cable televised game. Both teams are coming off wins. Big game, but not out of the ordinary. These two teams have been here before.
There is no apparent hatred between the two teams - between the two cities - between the two coaches, who have worked on the same staff before. No one will be hung in effigy in the Texas Stadium parking lot Monday night, nor will there be a fear of the Giants buses being egged upon arrival. Just a game.
And right now, 4:20 p.m. (CDT) on Monday, there doesn't seem to be anything physically wrong with Owens. He's not feuding with anyone. He's not complaining about opportunities. In fact, he chilled enough Monday afternoon to politely chit-chat with reporters in the locker room, though you can always sense he has surrounded himself with one of those invisible doggy perimeter fences to prevent from getting too close to any of them.
So maybe . . . .
Now let's not go so far as to say he's happy, because he just might be one of these guys who's happiest when stirring the pot. But hey, short of possibly bringing up Haley to him, what's he got to beef about?
He's healthy, though the surgically-implanted plate over his fractured metacarpal stills leaves a puffy mark on the back of his right hand.
He caught three touchdown passes on Sunday, giving him four for the season - back on pace to catch 15 before it's all said and done, but hopefully will not make the same tights bet with Parcells as he did with Eagles head coach Andy Reid that 2004 season on the final total.
And on top of all that, the Cowboys won, beat Houston as they should have, 34-6. After all, that's what's most important to him, Owens says. Not catches, but wins.
As he said late Sunday afternoon, "Honestly, I just thank God for the opportunity, with everything going on the last few weeks. That's all I ever wanted. Just (be) a guy to go out there and play football and give me an opportunity. That's all I ever wanted, was to come in and try and help the team win."
Good, but I guess with a little less profile might be asking for too much.
Then again, heard Akin Ayodele talking about all the stuff that's been swirling around here for more than a month since the season began. The veteran linebacker says all the stuff going on because of T.O. just makes the players work that much harder because they know come game day there will be even more people watching. No one wants to be embarrassed, even if only caught in the T.O.-attention crossfire. Bullets are bullets.
So here we go, needing to survive just six days - er seven full ones, darn, since this is a Monday nighter - without ado. Tuesday is the players' day off. Good. That should be quiet. If we then can just get through Wednesday, eventful Wednesday. That's when T.O. holds court with the media in the locker room. There is no telling what he'll be asked. Worse, no telling what he'll say. No comment does not seem to be a part of his vocabulary. Neither is I would rather not answer that, thank you.
Then there is Friday after practice, his radio show with Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard on The Ticket (790 AM). Sometimes you get the idea because there is no physical audience in front of him that Owens forgets people are actually listening to his conversation. Hold your breath.
After that, Monday can't get here soon enough.
What do you think? Peace? Quiet?
What are the odds?
Now you get the sense after a couple of months of this it's only a matter of time before the next episode. There will be something else. But can we just have a normal week? What you think?
Now if you need some insider info, well, a couple of the media guys chatting with Owens on Monday were asking him if he saw Rowdy, the Cowboys mascot, sort of mimicking his dance after the first touchdown. He hadn't, and was wondering why the media was making fun of Rowdy. He listened, obviously bemused.
"I like this conversation," Owens said, flashing a wide smile. "It doesn't have anything to do with me."