Cutting Pacman Was Easy TO Decision Is Tough


OK, the Cowboys saved $1 million by releasing cornerback Pacman Jones. But the money is chump change when compared to the bigger locker-room issues still facing this franchise, ones that owner Jerry Jones has chosen to ignore for the time being. Everyone knew Pacman was expendable; what everyone wants to know is if Terrell Owens will join him?
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Getting rid of T.O. has been the battle cry of many, believing that his disruptive style doesn’t sit well with quarterback Tony Romo and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. But I don’t see Jones bowing to Romo until he wins a Super Bowl. The bottom line is Jerry has more concerns about Romo’s abilities as a quarterback than he does about T.O.’s finger-pointing. This doesn’t mean that the Dallas locker room doesn’t remain a toxic environment, but Jones doesn’t want to discard important players when the Cowboys still can’t win a playoff game.

Or not even make the playoffs, as the case may be.

There were some who hoped that former Cowboys player and coach Dan Reeves would start cleaning up the mess. It was a novel move by Jones to hire Reeves and have him advise Wade Phillips on how to be a head coach while also tinkering with Garrett’s offensive design. Reeves was actually at work for a couple days when Jones inserted a contract clause forcing Reeves to punch a time clock. True to his character, Reeves said no thank you.

So much for Reeves cleaning up the mess.

It’s almost like Jerry had to invent something ridiculous in order to get Reeves to take a hike because it was a good bet that Reeves would eventually view T.O. as toxic, too. Yes, Reeves has loosened up in his old age, but we know he still sees football as a team game, not one dictated to by a bunch of selfish wide receivers.

Receivers can be a scary bunch. Roy Williams, who was removed from winless Detroit at a hefty cost in draft choices and $26.6 million guaranteed, has followed Owens’ lead in complaining about Romo and Garrett. He blames them for his shoddy performance down the stretch for the Cowboys while everyone was giving him a poor performance pass because of plantar fasciitis in his foot. Williams couched his criticism while admitting he actually likes Garrett. How that works is anyone’s guess.

The Cowboys’ world remains a revolving one. It is too early for absolutes. My guess is that the status quo remains until training camp opens. By then, Pacman will probably find a new NFL home, too.