"I'm feeling sick right now, literally," Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said after last night's nationally televised game against the Washington Redskins. "With all the mistakes we made, that's what I told the team. I'm sick."
Said quarterback Drew Bledsoe, "We're making too many mistakes and letting teams hang around. It's frustrating."
And, tying a black bow on the somber Texas Stadium locker room, Terrell Owens announced after the game that he broke the ring finger on his right hand and will have surgery today that will sideline him two to four weeks. Said Owens, "It's disappointing."
Sick. Frustrated. Disappointed.
Imagine if the Cowboys had lost. The Cowboys whipped the Redskins 27-10 o even their record at 1-1. But judging from the post-game mood, tell the mayor not to start any more premature parade plan.
Owens, who gave his post-game interview wearing giant sunglasses perhaps bought online, said he injured his hand making a block on the game's second play. And, yes, he did say he'd begin sleeping in his hyperbaric chamber immediately after surgery. Wonder if those things can cure cancer?
While owner Jerry Jones celebrated the victory by clapping and signaling thumbs-up to fans as he walked up the tunnel to the locker room, Parcells left the field looking like a man headed for a root canal. Despite fans screaming his name and cheering, the Giant Grumpy Tuna never even hinted at looking up from his grounded gaze. Minutes later Parcells wowed us with this enthusiastic, detailed description of Terry Glenn's 40-yard touchdown catch: "Terry's a good player." Can a human possibly be more miserable?
Only man more unhappy might have been Redskins owner Dan Snyder. It was hard to stifle a giggle when he purposefully, painfully strode past with three minutes left. Of course, he did bump us media dorks off the elevator, so I guess he got the last laugh.
By my very attentive count, the Cowboys had 10 drops. "One of their cornerbacks dropped what should have been an interception too," joked Bledsoe. "So maybe I was throwing a ball that was tough to catch."
Hand it to the usually lethargic Cowboys fans. Several times during the game they chanted "Redskins suck!" And, thank our maker, not once did they do the wave.
There was a cornucopia of music at the old stadium, beginning with Korn's "Coming Undone" and that annoying and grammatically challenged "Do Your Chain Hang Low?" ditty during pre-game warm-ups and ending with members of The Temptations singing "The Star-Spangled Banner."
During the game the weather wasn't a factor, but when Owens first took the field for a leisurely warm-up jog at 5:20 p.m. the temperature was 73 degrees, the humidity was, like, 132 percent, and it was raining so hard you couldn't see across the field.
Mike Vanderjagt eased a lot of concerns by making a 50-yard field goal. Mostly his. So unsure of their kicking game, the Cowboys actually worked out Desperados kicker Carlos Martinez last week.
Owens, by the way, has his own radio show that airs Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN-103.3 FM. The show is hosted by Miami Herald columnist and long-time Owens apologist Dan LeBatard. So expect a lot of questions along the lines of,"Terrell, exactly how great are you?"
Speaking of ESPN Radio, kudos to its Cowboys pre-game show. Especially expert analyst Brian Somethingorother, who predicted hours before kick-off that the Cowboys would "get deep behind Redskins cornerback Kenny Wright with Terry Glenn." Sure enough, Glenn burned Wright twice on long completions that set up Dallas' first 10 points.
We laughed when the Cowboys revealed a couple years ago that they had an official brick. But last night we reacted to the revelation that they now have official braces--iBraces--with genuine befuddlement.
We've been known to rip Parcells a time or three, and usually he exhibits all the killer instinct of the Dalai Lama. But leading 10-3 last night, Vanilla Billa broke tradition and went for it on fourth-and-1 at Washington's doorstep. Great call. That's one, and counting. The Cowboys scored to take control of the game and, more important, earned confidence, momentum and respect for their coach. --Richie Whitt