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Is the TO bomb ticking again?

Is the TO bomb ticking again?

Just when I thought it was safe to give Terrell Owens a pat on the back, he puts a knife in the back of his team.

I received some heat last week after I proclaimed that TO had grown up some and that the chances of him causing a disruption on the Cowboys were very slim.

Then he takes the podium after Dallas' loss to the Washington Redskins and proceeds to whine and moan about not being the target of a sufficient number of passes. This griping came despite the fact that Owens was the target of some 20 of Tony Romo's 47 pass attempts.

Clearly, the incident has moved the TO Blowup Alert Meter from green into the yellow area. Whether or not it continues to rise is dependent on one man. No, it's not head coach Wade Phillips. He's as much a spectator in this as you and I are even though his job security depends on having TO around this January.

No, the man who can defuse the situation is Jerry Jones. At some point, should the situation escalate, Jones will pull TO aside and have a little chat with him to try to get him back in line.

That tactic may or may not be effective. Owens already has pocketed a signing bonus of nearly $13 million and new labor rules make most of that money very hard to touch. He does care about winning to an extent but money and attention are much more important to him. The money is in the bank and if he's not getting the ball enough for his liking he knows he can get plenty of attention off the field.

Still, if I had to bet, I'd go with Jones being able to get him back into line. The total value of his deal is $34 million and it's somewhat backloaded. That should be enough of a carrot to get him to shut up.

But I'm not as certain about that as I was a week ago.

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Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

The day after the Eagles 32-14 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, Philadelphia coach Doug Peterson said that he didn’t think that all his players played hard.

Not everybody, and that’s the accountability that I talk about,” Pederson said, via the Birds 24/7 blog. “I hold coaches accountable for that; I hold myself accountable for that because it all starts with me. I pride myself each week to make sure the guys are ready to go, but at the same time, it comes down to a mentality by each individual player. This is a business where we have to be ready to go every single weekend because every team in the league — there are some teams that are better than others, but for the most part anything can happen any weekend.”

This sort of vague shot fired at the team did not sit well with the players. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the most respected voices on the team, said that the comments put players in a bad spot.

“I know the intent of the guys that I practice with and play with every day, and I didn’t see effort being an issue,” Jenkins said. “It puts us in a little bit of a tough position as players because now everybody wants to know, ‘Well, who were you talking about?’”

Some in the media in Philadelphia surmised that two of the players Pederson was talking about were tight end Zach Ertz and safety Rodney McLeod. One on play it looked like Ertz failed to block Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on a Carson Wentz scramble.

“I’m not going to get into the details of every thought I had on that play,” said Ertz. “I’m focused on giving this city everything I have on each and every play. I promise going forward, I will do that. I think I have done that in the past.”

It didn’t look like McLeod did everything he could to keep Bengals running back Jeremy Hill from scoring a touchdown on a two-yard run in the first quarter.

“I thought the ball was going to hit somewhere else, and then obviously it came through. By the time I could react, Hill already crossed the plane,” said McLeod. “Just got caught flat-footed, tried to react and by the time I did, I feel like if I were to hit him it could possibly be late. Just a tough situation.”

You can see both of the plays in question here.

We don’t know if Ertz and McLeod are among the players that Pederson was talking about when he spoke of issues with effort. Leaving things vague like that doesn’t do much for the coach’s credibility in the locker room. And when that starts to be in doubt the coach gets asked about his job security. Pederson said that owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman have been supportive.

“From both of them, it’s been 100 percent support on everything. I meet with Jeffrey and Howie every week and we discuss a lot of things and go over a lot of things. Every week, it’s very positive,” Pederson said. “I just don’t think you can base a guy’s career on one season. I think you got to give it time to develop.

But the fact that these questions are being asked after he has been in his job for a dozen games is an indication that he is facing at least a minor crisis as his team prepares for four games that are likely to be meaningless in terms of the playoff picture. We will see if he can get the train back on the tracks by Sunday.

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Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

As usual, answer the poll and either rely on Twitter or come back here and hit the comments section.