'In-house' affair: Parcells, Jones mum about T.O. fine

Updated: August 28, 2006, 5:13 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

IRVING, Texas -- Terrell Owens has finally pushed the Dallas Cowboys too far, drawing a $9,500 fine for missing a team meeting and a rehabilitation session and being late to an offensive meeting, The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday.

Terrell Owens
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezT.O. has spent more time on the sidelines than in uniform during the preseason.

"That's our club business. That's going to be accounted for," team owner Jerry Jones told the newspaper.

At a Monday news conference, coach Bill Parcells refused to acknowledge that Owens had been fined.

"I didn't announce that," Parcells said of the fine. "We keep this in-house." Asked repeatedly about Owens' situation, Parcells wouldn't acknowledge whether a fine had been levied.

"This conversation's going nowhere," he said. "...Whatever opinions anyone else has is totally irrelevant. I'm operating from a position of advantage."

Asked if Owens had been a "problem," Parcells said, "He hasn't been a problem at all."

The incidents occurred Friday, the team's final day preparing for a preseason game against San Francisco. The Cowboys beat the 49ers 17-7, making them 3-0 this preseason without Owens playing any of the games because of a hamstring injury that's also kept him out of 19 of 31 practices since the start of training camp.

Neither team officials nor Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, immediately returned calls to The Associated Press seeking comment Sunday.

During a postgame television interview, Jones did not mention the fine but answered several other questions about Owens. Jones said his only concern with the receiver is "injury, not all this other stuff you hear about."

Owens' past is filled with run-ins with quarterbacks, coaches and others in his own organization. San Francisco and Philadelphia got rid of him, but the Cowboys welcomed him with open arms and a lucrative contract in March, four days after the Eagles released him.

Owens vowed to be a better man and a better teammate in Dallas. While the fine is the most drastic, he already has done plenty to stand out.

He missed much of the offseason training program -- with permission -- and turned his hamstring injury into an attention-getter by flying in specialists to help him rehabilitate and wearing a cycling team outfit one day while pedaling a stationary bicycle.

After returning to practice for several days, Parcells ruled him out of a Monday night game and Owens hasn't practiced since. He said he aggravated the injury because the club pushed him too hard. When Parcells said this week that he needs to see Owens on the field, T.O. responded that there's 10 years of tape to show what he can do.

Jones seemed to downplay the drama surrounding Owens' injury by noting that Carolina's Steve Smith and Pittsburgh's Hines Ward also have been slowed by hamstring injuries without drawing the same scrutiny as Owens. He also recalled Deion Sanders' ability to play well after flying in from baseball games and missing long stretches of practice.

"I know this -- when he's healthy, he's going to help us win these ballgames," Jones said.

The Cowboys play their final preseason game Thursday night at home against Minnesota. The opener is Sept. 10 at Jacksonville.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.