Terrell Owens’ tenure in Dallas was marked by plenty of controversy, and with good reason; it’s hard to get a “clubhouse cancer” label without really earning it. At the same time, the slavish efforts of reporters like Ed Werder - usually seen camping outside the Cowboys’ compound, reporting minutiae that wouldn’t be ESPN-worthy for 90% of the league - seemed to indicate that ESPN almost just covering their own coverage of the team.
But now that T.O.’s off in the hinterlands of Buffalo, keeping his mouth shut while his offense freezes to death, ESPN’s forced to pimp their Dallas outpost, even as no stories really seem to exist. Ah, but soft! What light through yonder breaks? It is Irving, Texas, and Crayton’s displeasure is the sun! Has Mr. Crayton got horrible things to say about his coaches as a front-page ESPN line would indicate? Well…
…no. Here’s what qualifies as “calling out coaches” when it happens in a post-T.O. Dallas:
That’s Crayton’s response upon finding out that he’d been pushed out of the starting lineup as Dallas has gone with Roy Williams (returning from injury) and Miles Austin (registered 250 yards receiving in one game) at wideout. Really. That’s the whole story. And that made the front page.
Look, we know that a paucity of juicy stories followed Terrell Owens to Dallas, and he spent his time in Dallas learning how to keep his mouth shut even when (metaphorically, here) jabbed by sharp sticks wielded by ESPN reporters who probably missed their families after spending months in the Dallas area.
But continuing the probe for drama in Dallas while there’s likely no end of other, more substantive stories in the league seems rather insane. After all, guys get taken out of the starting lineup against their wishes all the time, and it’s almost always without their consent or good will.
That a commonplace occurence like this found its way onto ESPN’s front page says more about ESPN’s top reporters - in this case, Tim McMahon - refusing to give up on the Dallas connections and inroads they made while covering Owens and waiting in vain for a season-destroying meltdown.
In fact, it’s worth noting that even without Owens’ presence, this further dalliance in intrasquad politics continues to involve Dallas wide receivers, while ESPN almost never has any statement from 3rd year wide receivers coach Ray Sherman. You’d think he’d have a lot to say about the subject, but he’s not mentioned at all in the Patrick Crayton story. Hmmm.
Don’t make this so hard for them, T.O. Don’t hide in Buffalo. Come back to Dallas. They miss your musk. When this all dies down, you and Chris Mortensen should get an apartment together.