here's the whole aritcle:
World According To Bill
Mickey Spagnola - Email
October 10, 2005 5:53 PM
IRVING, Texas - Depending on what day you are talking to Big Bill, your Dallas Cowboys have either just passed the "first furlong" or the "fifth round."
And while he might mix his metaphors from day to day or occasion to occasion, the messages he is trying to preach to his team, and somewhat through the media, are these:
This ain't no statement game.
One game doesn't prove squat.
Certainly nothing has been won.
Sunday counts as one, that's it, no more, no less, and while the final scorecard says Cowboys 33, Eagles 10, this is a 17-week race, and only five has passed. And certainly what we know of the 2005 Dallas Cowboys today, standing 3-2, is only marginally more than what he knew of them say, Sept. 12, the day after returning triumphantly home from San Diego seemingly ready to conquer the world.
Hey, you thought you knew what these Cowboys were after San Diego, didn't you? Then came the last five minutes of the Washington game.
You thought you knew something about these resilient Cowboys after the stirring comeback in San Francisco, didn't you? And then came those longest three yards in Oakland.
So how foolish would it be to think beating the pulp out of the Eagles at Texas Stadium tells you all you need to know about these schizophrenic Cowboys? You remember, don't you, that on any given Sunday any team can beat any other in this National Football League?
"That's Round 5," Parcells interjected, seemingly having fun with Monday's verbal jabbing session out here at Happy Ranch. "Just because you won Round 5, doesn't mean you're going to win Round 6. That's just the way it is."
Hold off on that airfare to Detroit, but I'm sure that's the last thing you want to hear on this day, just more than 24 hours after the Cowboys picked apart the Eagles worse than what happens to road kill in the desert.
This one was off the charts, limiting the Eagles to just 43 plays, 129 yards, six first downs, 17-percent third-down conversion and just 19 minutes, 17 seconds ownership of the football, almost as if the Eagles had bought into no more than a timeshare.
Now winning is good. It's always good, and all you need to see is the difference around these halls on Monday after a win as compared to the gloom following a loss. That the Cowboys are 3-2 after five games, matching the Eagles, and just a half-game behind Washington and the Giants, also is good.
And Bill, who tries to set a tone around here, thinks it's good, too, saying to his team Monday afternoon, "I told them the head coach couldn't do anything but commend them on a good performance, but to now, watch out."
That no doubt will be either a skunk or a pancake in Bill's book heading their way this Sunday when the Giants come to town, and he's not yet quite sure if he is throwing his team to the wolves just yet, or if these Cowboys might have a little wolf in them, themselves.
"It's early in the year," cautions Bill, "and we'll see what happens, period."
Period - except our discussion must continue.
Look it, other than keeping their heads above .500 and bringing the Eagles down to Earth a little bit, securing some confidence might be the best byproduct of thumping the Eagles for the first time in four tries. They are capable. They indeed now have tangible evidence of that.
But beating the Eagles doesn't ensure beating the Giants, just as beating the Chargers on the road didn't secure a home win over Washington, even if they beat the be-headdresses off the Skins for 56 minutes. Just as beating the Niners did not even pay their toll to cross the San Mateo Bridge into Oakland for the next one.
This is football ya'll, not volleyball.
"We don't want none of that," said Keyshawn Johnson, who is nursing a badly bruised sternum suffered on the hit leading to Philly's lone touchdown and his subsequent shout down with quarterback Drew Bledsoe. "Want to keep it on a smooth and even keel.
"We won't know (what we are) until Week 8. But we finally played at a level we're capable of playing at."
So best pay attention. Just because the Cowboys came out throwing from their 49-yard line against the Eagles, doesn't mean they have suddenly adopted a more aggressive style of offense. Just because Bledsoe threw for 289 yards against the Eagles, doesn't mean his 1,351 passing yards after five games will translate into the current club-record pace of 4,323 yards. Just because the Cowboys played so much nickel defense against the Eagles - and four-man fronts, by the way - doesn't mean they won't go back to their 3-4 defense against Giants three-receiver sets this coming Sunday.
Just as Keyshawn says, what we got a glimpse of is just what the Cowboys are capable of doing. But that does not mean they are good enough - yet - to do that week in and week out, just as I'm suspecting the Eagles won't be this bad week in and week out.
"But it's strange how one set of results can skew your opinion," Parcells again cautioned, knowing he also must play Philadelphia again, and the second time around in Philadelphia. "(Sunday) is not a reflection of Philadelphia, and anyone who would assume that would be a fool.
"I'm just hopeful we can show some consistency."
That seems to be the word for the day: C-o-n-s-i-s-t-e-n-c-y, and in the world according to five games so far of Cowboys football, that is a mighty elusive texture of play. They have been anything but from week to week, and that's why they sit 3-2 instead of possibly 5-0 - even though they had Washington beaten before that skunk hit them in the face and very well could have beaten the Raiders until they flipped to the other side of that pancake.
And even if they can, if you listen to Bill too long on a Monday after a win, as we did this Monday, you'll think Secretariat is about to come snooping around the Cowboys' stall these next two weeks, the head guy claiming, "the Giants score at a frantic rate and Seattle, you can't hold them under 30."
That's Seattle, which has scored all of five points more than the Cowboys' 121, although the Giants have been frantic on offense, scoring 15 more points than the Cowboys in one less game for a 34-point average - nearly 10 more than the Cowboys. Let's give him that one.
"But this is early on in the race folks," said Bill, sounding as if he was going to repeat Sunday's words of wisdom about the track never paying off a bet after the "first furlong," but then changing tracks to say, "I don't think you need to get out the hats and horns yet."
So hopefully you get the idea, and keep some perspective after this ego-boosting victory over the Eagles. Enjoy.
You have seen what is possible with this 2005 version of the Dallas Cowboys, but on the other hand, you have also seen what is probable - the Cowboys go searching for back-to-back wins for only the second time in 19 games come Sunday noon at Texas Stadium against them Giants (3-1).
But hey, step by step, right? Until the first two minutes of Sunday's game, the Cowboys had not scored in any of the previous four first quarters this year. Before Sunday's game, the Cowboys had only beaten the Eagles once in the last 10 tries. Before Sunday's game, the Cowboys had given up an average of 32.2 points a game to the Eagles over the past 10. Before Sunday's game, the Cowboys had not scored more than 23 points in any of the previous 10 games against the Eagles, then throw down 27 by halftime.
Them's a lot of monkeys scattered to one floor.
But you know what, there are more to come, since the Giants swept the Cowboys last year and have beaten them seven of the past 10 times. And guarantee you, if that's not enough to get his team's attention, Bill will just make a trip over to the Dallas Zoo to find him some additional attention-grabbing primates.
Might just keep the folks over there on-call. After all, the Cowboys have played only five games. They've got 11 left, and nine of those games will be against teams currently standing no worse than .500.
More pancakes and skunks.
"Hey, you don't know how it's going to go, you know," Bill philosophized. "Next week the place could be draped in black."
And those monkeys might be wearing the hats and tootin' the horns. You never know.
In Keyshawn's never-ending quest to toot his own horn, for fear not enough toot it for him, he was quick to ask how many other wide receivers would line up in the backfield for blitz pickup on third down as he did six times Sunday against the Eagles? "I can tell the man I can do that, too," said Keyshawn, laughing, and causing himself to grab his chest, painfully bruised by the hit that caused his fumble.
And as for any fallout from his verbal behind-the-bench exchange with Bledsoe, Keyshawn said, "That's TV," signifying it's over.
And for those who insist the Cowboys' offensive approach at Oakland was all wrong, citing Sunday's approach against Philly, chew on this: Had the Cowboys picked up those third-and-ones at the Oakland 12 and scored touchdowns instead of kicking field goals, and had they scored a touchdown when standing second-and-two from the three in the final minutes - not exactly asking for a lot, just some efficiency - that would have given them 28 points instead of 13. Right?
No. 31 sure looks better on defense closer to the line of scrimmage, doesn't he?
1. Redskins - Check
2. Dolphins - Check
3. Arizona -