Can We Just Take A Break From Chicken Little?

doubtless deny it, some people in the media, and especially at the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, do not like Terrell Owens, but they do recognize that he is a walking story looking for a place to happen, and they will exploit him. This is as inventive and difficult as getting people to smile and say "awww" by showing them a picture of a puppy.

What we should know by now is that Owens wants the ball and has an excellent relationship with his head coach, position coach, quarterback and owner.

Not that the attention paid Owens' remarks is totally unwarranted. You know the old saying about those who don't know history being doomed to repeat it. His career path through San Francisco and Philadelphia is well documented. The Cowboys knew what they were getting when they first signed him.

Has Terrell Owens been disruptive, even destructive, in the past? Absolutely. Does he seem at least different in this locker room? He does, but as Ronald Reagan warned, "Trust but verify."

Owens sounded silly asking to be more involved on the post-game podium. He could hardly have been more involved. He could have been more productive, and that doesn't mean just by his own doing. But he could have been. And he sounded sillier in the Wednesday locker room urging inquiring minds to evaluate the quality of the plays coming his way, not just the quantity.

But here's hoping the breathless network time and newspaper play that went to saying, in effect, "We told you so! Here comes Terrell the Volcano just like we warned!" will be duplicated by other events of Wednesday. Here's hoping as much time and attention will be paid to Owens telling reporters in front of his locker at lunchtime Wednesday, "I stand by what I said, but we have no problem in this locker room and we have no problem on this team." Here's hoping equal play goes to Tony Romo telling reporters Owens is no different than Jason Witten or Marion Barber in wanting the ball and involvement, he's only a little different in the manner in which it's expressed.

No one, including Romo, stands ahead of your trusty reporter in admiration for Witten. But believe this: have Witten go through three games where he catches four balls total and the team loses a game, and, as Romo said, he will hear about it "back there," with a nod of the head to the training room, where there are no cameras.

You want this in your star players. The only mistake made with Owens since he's been here was made by Bill Parcells and Todd Haley, his coaches two years ago who chose to act as though he were a nonperson or berate him in practice.

Two years ago, the distraction of Owens was kept to a minimum because the players ignored him, no matter how much we in the media shrieked about him. Now, the locker room understands him. That doesn't mean it's comfortable when he's hopping around acting foolish. But the players know how to handle him. They also know what he contributes.

Believe this: some media people have an agenda when it comes to Terrell Owens. Not all, but some. Some are here. Some are in Bristol, or Philadelphia or New York. Not that Owens saying he should be more involved is not a story. It's just not the magnitude of the story it was made on Monday.

Terrell Owens wants the ball. Yawn. Call me back when you have something.

Meantime, everyone have a lie-down.

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