The Speech For All Ages

up. It was him. He kind of said, 'You know, guys, I've not been the same. I need to get back to being the Bill that my former players before you guys knew.' . . . He was fired up, you know he was fired up, he was fired up before the game, he was fired up at halftime, he was fired up after the game. It was good to see him like that, because that was our first experience with seeing him in that light." 

Ware chimed in: 

"Once he gave that speech to us, I could see a lot of guys in that room just look like they wanted to tear somebody's head off. You could see the feeling the guys had in that room, and there wasn't no losing that game. No matter what happened, if we got down, if we got up, we wasn't giving that game up." 

So what was it about what Parcells said that moved his players so? 

Said Spears, "He read a letter he got from a former player. He didn't give the guy's name, but it talked about remembering the little things you do even after you're successful. It was just something about Bill sharing that with us. It's not that it's been a question of if we wanted to play for him or give it our all. But there was something about what he said about lightening up the mood and having fun." 

So now the Cowboys have had some fun and are rededicated to their coach. Now they have a new energy and a new confidence. But if the confidence can come that quickly, couldn't it go just as fast. Hadn't it? And isn't it worrisome that it's so fragile? 

Not to owner Jerry Jones. 

"Being fragile," he said Wednesday in remarks taped for the NFL Network, "has to do in some cases with intensity. I think it's passion. I know it's passion with our fans . . . . When you have passion, you can get high pretty quick, but you can sure get low down when it's not looking good for the future. The intensity of the getting up and the getting down, hello! That's part of what you have in the National Football League." 

It's really what makes it such compelling drama. Right now the Cowboys are riding a wave of confidence. It's a wave they might not have been able to hit if they hadn't sunk as low as they did the previous Monday night. 

And if the confidence grows, and the wins build on one another, we'll be looking for transcripts of The Speech so Brian Dennehy or James Gandolfini - or whoever - can get it exactly right when they do the movie.                         

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