Each Monday, 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 email@example.com or Newy Scruggs at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe your question will appear in an upcoming column.
What do you make of Terrell Owens crying on the bench Sunday?
NEW DAWG: It’s the media’s fault. We all beat up T.O. He cried because of all the negativity we brought him last week. Thank goodness we have Deion Sanders on NFL Network and Michael Irvin on ESPN/103.3 FM to give T.O.’s side of things, because the media just want to bring a strong black man down. Umm, Ray ... I don’t give a hoot why he was crying.
BUCK: My concern for T.O. is emotional well-being -- both mine and his. Don’t act like “look at me,” then expect us not to look when you’re having a Dick Vermeil moment or some behavioral response contrary to what we’ve become accustomed to seeing. It’s a football field, not a confessional booth. Sorry we peered in. T.O. has come a long way in a short time. Personally, I hope he gets a Super Bowl ring, makes it into the Hall of Fame ... and, right now, he’s OK. That’s all.
What do you make of Wade Phillips not wanting to hear that his team stunk Sunday?
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NEW DAWG: Wade is thin-skinned, and it is translating to his players. Maybe Wade should take a page from Nick Saban’s book. Saban isn’t afraid to let his Alabama players know they need to get better, and he is not always happy with double-digit wins.
BUCK: Lay off Wade, big fella. Just because he doesn’t throw his players under the bus, at every whim of the media, doesn’t mean he paves a yellow brick road in team meetings. Don’t mistake easy-going with Pollyanna. And one more thing, Newy ... Nick Saban?
Jerry Jones’ apology to Texans owner Bob McNair over a comment Jones made to the LA Times might suggest that Houstonians really can be insulted. True?
NEW DAWG: Bob McNair should not even think about what Jerry Jones says because McNair is in danger of losing his fan base, if the Texans can’t win games.
BUCK: I know Houston ... and Jerry’s comments are no Houston. Living there 15 years (1980-95), I saw a checkered tablecloth or two and even a few cowboy boots and hats. But Houston didn’t become the fourth-largest city in the country by staying a prairie town. I thought Jerry’s comments (“[They’ve] been about glitz and glitter. Leave the other stuff to the Houston Texans.”) were flippant and fun. Apparently, so did McNair. Good stuff.
Does Texas even have a chance to upset No. 1 Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday?
NEW DAWG: Sure, if OU quarterback Sam Bradford turns the ball over. Oregon State beat USC. This is college football.
BUCK: The key will be whether Texas QB Colt McCoy can stay on the field all four quarters and overtime. The Sooners will be coming after him. But the ’Horns can win this game, sure ... 34-31 in OT. The Red River Rivalry becomes a “shootout” again. NFL Network’s
Steve Mariucci claims the Giants are “dominating like the New England Patriots did last year.” OK, can we expect Eli & Co. to run the table all the way to the Super Bowl?
NEW DAWG: Maybe Mooch should look at the teams the Giants have beaten. Only one (Washington) has had a winning record. The Giants have beaten the Rams, Bengals and Seahawks. I’d like to see more work.
BUCK: Nice sound bite, Mooch ... but no comparison. The next time a team dominates like the ’07 Pats, Eli Manning will have gray hair and a fishing pole. The Giants are better without Shockey and Strahan than I ever expected, and Eli is the real deal ... but there’s definitely a few losses on their schedule.
Where do you have the Super Bowl-or-bust Cowboys now in the NFC East? Third-best?
NEW DAWG: Tony Romo did say something I liked after the Bengals game: They don’t hand out hardware in October. The Cowboys have to get better because they have a dangerous schedule in December.
BUCK: And we all know how well they play in December, don’t we? I think it’s a great thing for the Cowboys if they’re perceived as the NFC East’s third-best team going into New York (Nov. 2) and Washington (Nov. 16) and, lest we forget, the season-ender at Philly (Dec. 28). Coming from behind may play better for the Cowboys. Over the last several years, they’ve shown that they can’t stand prosperity.