questions about T.O., almost playing opossum on the subject.
Until Tuesday. Until he blew his cover here under an intense - for here - mid-day sun.
Because after becoming exasperated with the T.O. peppering - when he would return to practice, who would make that decision and how much is the team's offense suffering without T.O. practicing - and continuing to parry all the queries, Parcells said, "In the meantime, I'm getting a sense that most of the media is just waiting for something to be controversial in that regard. And I'm here to tell you it's not going to happen from me, so you need to get that in your head. OK? So don't use those words that have ambiguous meanings, like 'clouded', which is that kind of word, and expect me to respond to it because I won't. OK?
Now here is what is clouding the issue, and if you want to play semantics and be anal about the whole thing, then you can turn this molehill into one of those mountains in the near distance I can see as I type out here: The MRI on T.O.'s hamstring was negative, or at least that's how Parcells explained the results.
But negative means, no muscle tear was detected, but that doesn't mean he didn't tweak the hamstring or that it's not sore. Didn't you ever have your hamstring cramp up on you, and the next day it's still real sore?
Now a little of my guess is T.O.'s legs are tired; that maybe working out on his own he didn't run as much as he would have under the jurisdiction of the Cowboys' off-season workout program and he's worried. While he looks to be in great shape, maybe that has more to do with genetics than hard work.
And something tells me maybe he's being a tad hyper-vigilant about his wheels. After all, it certainly was no fun breaking one in 2004 and knows he sure sat a long time last year without playing.
But because of his history, everyone is jumping to conclusions, and the worst ones they can. Everyone is assuming he's faking it just to get out of practice.
Parcells tried one more time as he walked to his golf cart following the news conference to impart his logic on the inquiring minds following behind when asked again when does he decide it's time for Owens to practice again.
"That's tough there," Parcells said. "Speaking hypothetically, suppose someone tells you they can't play. Do you believe the player?"
The consensus answer was yes, but we all know because of Owens' past, he's never going to be a hypothetical player.
But when do you run out of time getting him ready for the season?
"At some point in time, that's going to be prohibitive," Parcells said of getting him back, though earlier in the news conference he basically said he's concerned more about Owens' status for Sept. 10 in Jacksonville.
"But you guys should be doing something else on Aug. 8. You guys are like a bunch of cocker spaniels with your paws in the air, going hah, hah, hah."
There is no intent here to absolve T.O. from any perceived sins nor help Parcells with any potential cover-up taking place. Just to provide you some perspective and to keep this from being a latter-day issue. Plus, they have no medical device to measure one's pain as they do your blood pressure.
You know, the other day my 84-year-old mother was complaining of severe pain - all over. Doctors tested everything they could test, and could find nothing. But she said she still was in pain. Do I call her a liar?
So the message is, be careful. Be careful of others' interpretations of the truth, especially since no one with medical expertise has said a peep about this, and uh, nor will they, since Parcells muzzles them, too, so his is the only word.
You know Parcells and injuries. While he understands them, he never wants a guy to get too comfortable with them, T.O. or no T.O.
Get your filters out. There are paws in the air.