Glenn enjoying big season in Dallas, for Parcells

Updated: November 5, 2003, 8:42 PM ET
ESPN

IRVING, Texas -- Terry Glenn can't explain the drops. By his count, he's already had six or seven this season after only five his entire career.

"I don't drop balls, man," he said. "I don't drop balls."

Glenn was smiling when he said it. He's full of grins these days because the Dallas Cowboys are tied for the best record in the NFC and Glenn knows he's a big reason for it.

"I feel comfortable. I feel at home," Glenn said Wednesday. "I feel like I'm a part of what's going on, I feel like I need to be a part of what's going on for us to be successful and I'm happy about that. I want it."

Glenn was the first player the Cowboys acquired after Bill Parcells was hired as coach. Dallas traded a conditional draft pick to Green Bay to get him, a cheap price for a two-time 1,000-yard receiver coming off a strong season.

Glenn caught 56 passes for 817 yards and was quiet off the field, avoiding the problems that cost him his job in New England early in the Patriots' Super Bowl championship season.

Non-football issues have dogged Glenn since his rookie season, when Parcells, then his coach in New England, referred to him as "she."

Parcells was angry because Glenn was hurt, and because the team drafted the receiver when the coach wanted someone else. While that also led to Parcells' departure, he and Glenn ended up becoming close friends.

Glenn proudly says no coach has ever gotten as much out of him as Parcells did their one season together. Parcells often says he cares more about Glenn as a person than as a receiver, respecting how Glenn overcame a rough upbringing.

So far, their reunion is working out for everyone.

"I love it," Glenn said. "He gave me an opportunity. That's what it's always been about for me is opportunity. Green Bay didn't give me enough opportunities."

Glenn leads Dallas with 32 catches, 432 yards and five touchdowns, three in one game. Those numbers are even more impressive considering he was shut out in two of the first three games.

Glenn also has run three times for 55 yards. His most important carry was a 47-yard gain on a reverse in the final minutes this past Sunday against Washington that let Dallas protect a 21-14 lead.

The biggest stat is 6-2, the Cowboys' record. They already have more wins than any of the last three seasons and are leading the division.

"Any time you can win when people don't expect you to, it's always a fulfilling feeling," Glenn said. "It's good to see coach Parcells have that glory."

As one of the few Cowboys who played for Parcells before, Glenn was asked by teammates early on for advice on what to expect. What Glenn told them hasn't always happened.

"There's been a couple little areas where I thought he was going to be a little tougher than what he is," Glenn said. "He's more of an individual type guy now, whereas it was the team before. Now he'll pick out certain guys he feels are hindering the team or maybe doing some things that's not regular with the team and he'll talk to those guys, maybe get on those guys."

Glenn set himself up to be chewed out with a lousy start against the Redskins.

After the first two possessions ended in turnovers, the third started with Glenn dropping a well-thrown ball. Quincy Carter went back to him on the next play and Glenn bobbled it. He was still trying to gain control when the ball got away from him and went straight into the hands of a Washington safety for a third turnover.

"The first (drop), I was shocked," he said. "After the second one, I sat down and I was like, `I know I can catch the ball."

Parcells surprised Glenn again by not saying anything.

"He knew I knew," Glenn said.

Glenn ended up with six catches for 73 yards, including a touchdown. He also made a spectacular catch between several defenders for a 35-yard TD, but it was wiped out by a penalty.

"I have confidence in Terry," Parcells said. "I don't think about dropped balls. Every time we throw him the ball I think he is going to catch it."

Parcells and Glenn will see another friend from their New England days on Sunday when the Cowboys play Drew Bledsoe and the Buffalo Bills.

If any Buffalo receivers drop passes, they might not get another chance. Glenn said Bledsoe's reluctance toward anyone with butterfingers is what helped him hold on tight.

"You understood it, though," Glenn said, "so therefore you didn't drop any passes."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index