It's Just T.O. Being T.O. — And That's Never Good

Each Tuesday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Ray Buck and NBC 5's Newy Scruggs go at it in a point-counterpoint on the sporting issues of the day.

E-mail Ray Buck at or Newy Scruggs at and maybe your question will appear in an upcoming column.

Armageddon Watch: Will Terrell Owens take the Cowboys down? Or not?

NEW DAWG: It will get worse if the Cowboys don’t win their final two games. When, and if, the Cowboys get beaten, you can expect Mount "I Love Me Some Me" to erupt, and it won’t be pretty.

BUCK: It’s up to the Cowboys defense to save this train wreck. Romo and Witten aside ... "attaboys" for Tashard Choice aside ... ultimately, this is a job for DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff & Co. The national media likes to call the Cowboys “a dangerous team” ... but dangerous to whom? Themselves? History tells us that, in the end, T.O. will be T.O., which is never good.

Was Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford the right pick for the Heisman Trophy?

NEW DAWG: I would have voted for Tim Tebow. Unfortunately, the 2007 Heisman winner had to compete with his stats from last year, which was a shame. I call it the "Michael Jordan syndrome" because Michael was always judged against his own excellence, and not others playing at the same time.

BUCK: Bradford was probably the right pick for an individual award within a team concept. In his only loss [vs. UT], he still threw five TD passes ... and the Sooners are going to the national championship game because of him. Tebow is a beast but can’t be allowed to win two Heismans —- the always-classy Archie Griffin should remain unique to college football for at least another hundred years. And Colt McCoy simply ran out of games. Unfortunately, voters have short memories.

Can Wade Phillips save his job by turning around the Cowboys defense?

NEW DAWG: Until he wins at least two playoffs games, I have to say no.

BUCK: Jerry must weigh continuity vs. sexy new hire for his brand-new, zillion-dollar stadium that opens for business in 2009. Is Jason Garrett ready to be his next head coach? Are Wade’s fingerprints on the defense worth a third year? I say yes. These are huge questions that take serious consideration ... not knee-jerk reaction.

Do T.O.’s Hall of Fame credentials need a Super Bowl ring to make that happen?

NEW DAWG: Yeah, if he wants to be a first-ballot guy. Owens has Hall of Fame numbers ... but without the ring, voters who think he’s been a locker-room cancer will penalize him for it.

BUCK: T.O. will get in ... but never, ever as a first-ballot HOFer. The room is too small, i.e., two few naysayers needed to kill a selection with warts like he has.

Are “anonymous sources” fair when breaking a story?

NEW DAWG: Yes. I get tired of the kill-the-messenger story. Ray, you know half the time the "anonymous source" is the only way you can get a quote for a story that has any juice to it.

BUCK: I couldn’t agree with you more. In the case of all anonymous quotes, someone is hiding behind the truth: The person saying it, not the reporter using it. ESPN’s Ed Werder has no reason to make stuff up. He’s a professional with an uncompromised track record. At the Star-Telegram, we are “source” careful. We have a policy of getting multiple sources, whenever possible, and always confide in at least one editor with the identification of our source(s).

What is your favorite moment at Texas Stadium?

NEW DAWG: The first time I ever walked down the tunnel in 1993. It was electric for me. I grew up a Cowboys fan.

BUCK: Mine is "Move over Sweetness, make a place for Emmitt." A close second is "Bullet" Bob Hayes going into the Ring of Honor. Thank Brad Sham for one, Jerry Jones for the other.

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