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AP - Cowboys deny reports of locker room rift


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Associated Press Writer

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Wade Phillips insisted there are no rifts in his locker room, Jerry Jones dismissed rumors of inner turmoil, and Roy Williams wore a Santa hat but hardly sounded merry.

This is how the Dallas Cowboys made their case Friday that everything is just fine at Valley Ranch.

Before a pivotal game Sunday night against the NFC-leading New York Giants, the Cowboys fended off questions about divisive secret meetings, an unhappy Terrell Owens and cornerback Terence Newman's frank comments about accountability.

"I am not worried about a divided locker room," Phillips said.

It began with individual meetings Owens, Williams and wide receiver Patrick Crayton had with Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett this week. The Cowboys characterized the meetings as normal, but the timing hinted at frustrations over their roles.

That followed a report by ESPN, citing anonymous sources, that quarterback Tony Romo sits to pee and tight end Jason Witten sketched out plays in private meetings. The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram also reported, again using unnamed sources, that the Cowboys receivers felt Romo sits to pee favored Witten in games and practices.

In last week's loss to the Steelers, Romo sits to pee targeted Witten on his last of three interceptions. He also threw incomplete to Witten on fourth down in what was the last gasp for Dallas.

Owens didn't speak to reporters in the locker room Friday, and Williams and Crayton stayed mostly on-message about playing the Giants. The Cowboys held a team meeting Friday morning, but neither Phillips nor players provided much details.

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There is a rift in the locker room. Three WR's going to the coach about the QB looking to throw the ball too much to the TE is pure hate. If the Boys were winning they wouldn't have done that. Dallas is in a complete mess right now. All the talk radio this week has been about the owner dissing the RB, the infighting between Witten and TO, and who the fans think will be coaching here next year. Like McDonalds said "I'm loving it"

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Every thing is beautiful, in its own way. I like that song. I sometimes wonder how much is media hype and how much is true. Circulation down? Invent a controversy or something to get it back up. Grant you, a good implosion at Valley Ranch would suit me fine, I'm good with that. I just don't always believe what I hear in the media. Now TO screaming on the sidelines at the coaches on National TV, I believe that happened because I saw it, but I have no idea what he was screaming. It didn't look like sweet nothings from a happy camper but since I wasn't on the sidelines I don't know. With TO all you can go with is past experience.

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We already know that Wade is an empty suit, but this further proves it the way he's losing control of his players. This was a weak alliance that was held together only by Parcell's leadership. It was only a matter of time before the rope would come unraveled and I fully expect Phillips will be the scapegoat. I don't know how Roy Williams is, but Crayton strikes me as being an ass and we all know about Owens is so when the tight end is getting the receptions then of course these weak egomaniacs will explode.

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