needed him for something else, that required a call to his assistant, Barbara Goodman, to get "Coach" on the line. You could get in one question, maybe two, before Landry would put up his verbal stop sign, uttering his infamous "OK?" meaning he's got better things to do than answer any more questions.
Now then, as for why Jones did what he did, let's be reasonable here. It was not because he did not trust Phillips to answer questions or that he thought Phillips was "the leak." To me, he actually did Phillips a favor.
Because after the season, what do you think he would have been asked every time he was available for an interview?
Are the Cowboys keeping Terrell Owens? Are the Cowboys keeping Pacman Jones? Do you think you're going to be fired?
And frankly at that time, any answer would have only fueled more columns, especially on Owens' fate. If the answer was yes to the Owens question, then those convinced the Cowboys should part company with the mercurial wide receiver would blast them for that. If Phillips danced on the subject, then that would have opened up both sides for interpretation and made it sound as if there was a decision still to be made, which would only have left the already paranoid Owens even more paranoid had they kept him.
Sometimes "next question" just doesn't work.
Sometimes nobody needs to know your business.
Sometimes some things are better left unsaid.
Ask Terence Newman. He knew what he was saying a couple of weeks ago when answering a question about Tony Romo. The interviewer knew what he was saying. But because he expressed himself so poorly, leaving out the keyword "perception," he allowed every blogger scrounging around for a morsel to keep all-the-rage red hot during the off-season and every talk-show host to go for the jugular with his comments heard online.
So what's he got to do? Go back on WFAA-TV Sunday night, not online this time, but during its Sports Special to explain what he was trying to say after he had done so earlier in the week with both local papers since so many hastily had jumped to conclusions.
Hate to say it, especially since the media business is struggling so these days, but from an athlete's standpoint, sometimes it's better to just be boring. Too bad for you, but that's what we've come to these days.
You watch, Romo is next. Rarely will he be insightful anymore during interviews. Just bland. Columnists just can't do much with bland. You never have to apologize or clear the air with bland. Too bad, but thinking back, Danny White learned that, and bland served Troy Aikman quite well until he entered the broadcast booth. I mean, you remember Joe Montana?
Now none of this is suggesting these will become the boring Cowboys. The Cowboys never will be boring. Jerry won't have any of that. But last season was internal insanity. Their loose lips constantly created headaches from within, giving new meaning to media darlings. They by themselves should have thrown the sinking media business a sufficient enough life raft. Yet still the business continues to sink.
Well, here we go. Phillips and Jones said after the season there would be changes in how they operated around The Ranch, and so far, we've seen changes. Jerry has talked less, and when he has, managed to do so cryptically, not wanting to "give away" information. Phillips, until this week, hadn't talked at all. The assistants have been off limits, too.
The Cowboys parted ways with Owens, not so much for lack of production or creating a chemistry problem in the locker room or to free Romo, but more so to, just as I've suggested, clear the air from this all being more about him than the team - and that's not to suggest that was all his fault either. But look, if he did not show up for next Monday's start to the off-season workout program, as he didn't this past Monday in Buffalo, then the stories would have been all about him, and the Cowboys, as were the Bills, would be answering questions about his whereabouts and columnists would have an easy one thrown in their laps, harping on here go the Cowboys again.
Just too polarizing for the