High contrast

An interesting contrast is developing between the best team in the AFC and the best team in the NFC that will make a great story line should the two make it to the Super Bowl.

The New England Patriots are, of course, the best team in the AFC.


With apologies to the Green Bay Packers, for the sake of this comparison, let's assume the Dallas Cowboys are the best team in the NFC. (After all, they have the tiebreaker at the moment for home-field advantage in the playoffs.)

In New England, we have the Stepford franchise. No question who's in charge. Even Randy Moss is talking like everybody else. Tom Brady is beginning to sound more like Bill Belichick every week, and after some recent night games, the normally affable quarterback had that Belichick curtness about him. But even under the best of circumstances, what you get from that Patriots crowd is that one-game-at-a-time, this-week-is-no-different-from-last week, keep-your-eyes-on-the-prize stuff. Hey, they're 14-0. It works for them.


Meanwhile, in Dallas, poor Wade Phillips is just along for the ride with that zany, madcap crew. The fun starts right at the top, where owner Jerry Jones was implicated in Bobby Petrino's see-ya-gotta-go exit from the Atlanta Falcons for Jones' alma mater, Arkansas. Then we have Jessica Simpson front and center at the recent Cowboys game, where her pal, Tony Romo, goes into a funk and the Cowboys lose to the Philadelphia Eagles. (You don't see that happening with Brady and the supermodel, do you?) In the same game, Cowboys safety Roy Williams puts his signature horse-collar clutch on Donovan McNabb (suspension). Then Terrell Owens (I hope he plays forever, because I'm going to miss him when he's gone) opines that Ms. Simpson "is not a fan favorite in this locker room or in Texas Stadium."

Let me get this straight: T.O. suggests that someone else is a distraction to a football team right on the heels of a verbal sparring match with ESPN's Keyshawn Johnson over the coaching merits of Bill Parcells vis-a-vis Phillips.

Owens has apologized - for the Simpson thing, I mean - and now he wants Tony to call Jessica to say that T.O. is sorry. Like this is high school lunch period.

"She doesn't really know me and that I can be funny," Owens explained.

Honest and true - I hope he plays another 10 years.