I promise this is the last story on this whole “feud”. Well at least until Owens, or another Cowboy, goes all “Bobby Bonilla” on Ed Werder in the locker room. Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News actually got a hold of Werder, and this is what the ESPN reporter had to say about the situation….
“I was shocked,” Werder said. “I’ve been covering the Cowboys since 1989 and I have never been put in a position like that. It was a first.”
When the two saw each other in the post-game news conference, Werder reports, “He called me a name but it wasn’t a profanity.”
Werder, it should be pointed out, was not the only reporter to deal with last week’s series of Owens-related events. In fact, he wasn’t the first to report the Owens-Roy Williams-Patrick Crayton trip to Jason Garrett’s office. Nor was he the first to report on the alleged skirmish between T.O. and Witten. Werder’s Thursday report was primarily on T.O.’s effect on Romo. In that report, he quoted Bradie James on his role in mediating and relied on unnamed sources.
Werder thinks what T.O. really wants is to know who Werder’s sources are. “I think that’s his frustration in all of this. He wants to know who in the locker room I talked to who obviously doesn’t respect him and I won’t ever tell him that.”
I’m still inclined to believe Werder in all of this, and he should never give up his sources if he doesn’t want to, but it was ultimately a questionable decision on his and ESPN’s part to go with the story. Especially when you consider all of the hype the “Leader” fed into Dallas right before, and at the start of the season. Werder made a few thousand enemies in the state of Texas, and if the Cowboys are such a huge ratings draw, it definitely wasn’t the best idea to go with a story that is based on rumor.
But then again, Jerry Jones basically said that any press is good press, so this rift will probably not be an issue going forward.
T.O. talked to NBC; Ed Werder talks here (DMN: Sports Media Blog)