T.O. or Not T.O.?

Jerry Jones is in the Caribbean. Bill Parcells is in Florida. Terrell Owens is in limbo. And every Cowboys fan is in the dark.

If you watched KLBK-Channel 13 in Lubbock this morning, you're sure Owens signed a multi-year contract with the Cowboys late Thursday night and that a press conference is forthcoming Monday. If you read today's Dallas Morning News, you were treated to a front-of-Sports-Day column by Tim Cowlishaw indicating the deal is done, but nary an actual story even hinting about the signing.

But if you call Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, you're told only "no comment." And if you listen to Cowboys officials or visit the team's Web site, you get the feeling nothing is imminent, much less signed.

So what in the name of March Madness is going on?

Call the Lubbock--Lubbock?!--scoop a false start. In trying to be first, it appears the station flinched. It doesn't, however, alter the inevitable. With Parcells visiting baseball spring training and Jones on vacation, Owens--for now, at least--remains a free agent. Only one thing's for sure: The Cowboys have a need and an interest in the NFL's most talented and tempestuous receiver. Dallas released top receiver Keyshawn Johnson earlier this week and hasn't made as much as a ripple during a week of big free-agent splashes. Owens would help the team on the field and the organization in the ticket office. The best guess is that the Cowboys will sign Owens. When, however, remains a mystery. —Richie Whitt

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