The Buzz Is Back In Town


"I'm going to go in and be productive . . . me being on that field is going to be impactful," Owens said.

And when Deion asked, are you still going to give me T.O. when you line up one-on-one on the outside, Owens said, "Oh, I'm going to give it to you, I have no doubt . . . I have no doubt."

Owens went on to detail his rehab regime for NFL Network, saying, "I treat, treat, treat." He talked about his "'round the clock rehab," how he gets his treatment, takes his legal supplements, uses his hyperbaric chamber, utilizes laser treatment, takes advantage of the Dallas Mavericks' underwater treadmill, ice, "everything."

Hurd maintains other than sleeping five or six hours, Owens spends every other waking moment treating his high ankle sprain on the opposite leg from the more serious one he suffered back on Dec. 19, 2004, at Texas Stadium - exactly three years and three days before this one - when Roy Williams dragged him down from behind.

Here's the other thing that may surprise about Owens. He feels a sense of responsibility to his teammates, to the Cowboys and most of all, to Jones, to have himself ready to go for Sunday's all-important playoff game.

"Jerry brought me here to help this team get to the Super Bowl," Owens told Sanders for NFL Network. "He took a chance - a risk, per say in a lot of people's minds - to bring me here. I'm not going to let him down.

"I've come too far. We as a team have come too far."

Owens could have taken that one step further: The Cowboys as an organization have come too far to allow this opportunity - No. 1 seed in the NFC - to slip away.

There are people working for the organization who have no idea what it's like to have a home playoff game. There are people working for the organization who have no idea how the intensity cranks up in the divisional round of the playoffs, just one win away from advancing to the conference championship game.

At one time, playing in such high-profile games was taken for granted. Expected. But those days have long passed. This is a new generation of Cowboys, only Greg Ellis and Flozell Adams having any knowledge of what it's like to play a home playoff game at Texas Stadium. And when it comes to winning one, well, no players are left from that 1996 team which defeated Minnesota in the first round. Why, that's been so long ago two of the players on that team are now on this coaching staff - Jason Garrett and Wade Wilson.

How time flies, and precisely why the Cowboys don't want to squander this opportunity. Next year is not guaranteed.

Jones is all too familiar with that. That's why he went out of his way to hire Bill Parcells in 2003, hoping to end what had been a six-year slide of not having played a "meaningful" playoff game since the 1996 season. And that's, too, why, according to Jones, he got so emotional during the Wade Phillips hiring press conference nearly a year ago.

"It was a little bit of, I just got . . . I just got to get this right," Jones said. "We just got to do this . . . got to make something happen that will get us in position to go compete for a Super Bowl . . . .

"So the answer is, yes (to) is there a lot on the line here, the consequences of not advancing in the playoffs for some reason seem more meaningful. I just told someone today it doesn't seem like I was this drawn up in the early 90's as I am now. Maybe it's because I'm just old."

Or the losing and losing in the playoffs has gotten old.

So let's go. Bring it on. There's not a better time of year.

Sunday can't get here soon enough.

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