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Wednesday, October 1, 2008
T.O. and Tony on firm ground

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

IRVING, Texas -- Each Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., a makeshift amphitheater forms around Terrell Owens' locker. Today, though, there was more buzz than usual. In the wake of Sunday's 26-24 loss to the Redskins, T.O. did what he's been doing for years. He complained that he wasn't a larger part of the offense.

OwensRomo

This despite the fact that ESPN Research (Ed Werder) has determined that T.O. was the intended target on 17 pass plays and two running plays. And when you consider the Cowboys only ran 58 plays, that seems like a decent portion for a wide receiver.

T.O. stood in front of his locker with a song from Kindred the Family Soul blaring from his iPod speakers. He also had his new book, "T.O.'s Finding Fitness," strategically placed on a shelf behind his head. He quickly batted away questions about a reported "serious conversation" that he had with Romo immediately following the game, saying it didn't happen. (A few minutes later, Romo concurred).

"We didn't lose the Super Bowl," said an incredulous T.O. as he was peppered with questions about his alleged frustration with Romo.

"I don't know where those comments came from," he said. "Tony and I haven't had any conversations."

He talked about how the media praised him for his hustle following the Eagles win, but "vilified" him when he said he needed to be more involved in the offense after the Redskins game.

"You guys need a story," he said. "So you get on the T.O. bandwagon... I know people at ESPN have jobs to do."

And yes, we appreciate the plug. For once, though, I don't really agree with the criticism T.O.'s receiving in the national media. I listened to Tom Jackson and Mike Ditka talk about how Jerry Jones needs to step in before this turns into a major problem.

But honestly, T.O. has said similar things after games during his tenure in Dallas. He wants the ball more, which makes him a lot like every receiver in football. I realize this guy brings more baggage to the table, but I haven't sensed for a moment that he and Romo are headed for Splitsville.

T.O. encouraged reporters to watch the "18 plays" that came his direction, and judge for ourselves whether he should've been frustrated. He talked about how a lot of players are "agitated" after games, and that too much has been made of his postgame comments.

Romo said he makes it a point to never watch SportsCenter or read the Internet after losses (riiiiight!), so he asked reporters to fill him in on some of the details. He talked about T.O. not being the only player on the team who wanted more touches, saying he also hears from Jason Witten and Marion Barber.

"It's a better thing to have a guy who wants the ball than one who doesn't," Romo said.

So what does he say to Witten and T.O. when they complain about not getting enough balls?

"Alright, I'll get you the ball more," he deadpanned. "...That's how it is."

OK, that's enough Cowboys for one day. I know one or two of you guys think I spend too much time talking about this team. Let's move on to other NFC East matters.