Dallas Cowboys: Ed Werder a Weasel?

robert aSenior Analyst IDecember 12, 2008


Before you read this, I would like to make one thing abundantly clear. This was not written in an effort to defend Terrell Owens or the situation that the Dallas Cowboys are currently in.

I cannot do so, because I do not know what was said in the Dallas Cowboys' wide receiver meeting with Jason Garrett. I do not know if Owens does, in fact, have a conspiracy theory that Jason Witten and Tony Romo have secret meeting sessions to devise ways to keep the ball out of his hands. I do not know whether Romo has Owens in his T-Mobile Fave Five or vice versa.

If there is one thing I do know, however, it is this: ESPN's Ed Werder is a perfect example of what is wrong with sports journalism today. He breaks one of, if not the most important, rules in professional writing, one that I learned in my one and only journalism class at Baylor University.

Werder does not want to report the news. He wants to be the news. Furthermore, Werder has helped to show the hypocrisy of ESPN.

The sporting "news" source refused to break the Favre-Lions story earlier this year due to not wanting to use unnamed sources. And yet they were the first to break a story about "an emerging internal conflict involving three of the team's highest-profile stars."

Says who? Unnamed sources, of course.

In fact, the "source" that revealed the most incriminating part of the story, Owens' conspiracy theory, was defined as a "source who speaks regularly with Owens' teammates." This person was not even directly quoted.

What exactly is a "source who speaks regularly with Owens' teammates?" It is obviously not a player or coach, or Werder would have said "player" or "coach." Are they even part of the Cowboys' organization? Surely, if they were, they would be defined as a "Cowboys insider," wouldn't they?

Were they a player's friend, agent, or therapist? Could they have been a local pastor, a janitor, or maybe a Starbucks employee? By the provided definition, this "source" could have just been another ESPN writer. After all, ESPN employees speak regularly with Owens' teammates, do they not?

Whoever it was, it no longer matters. The story was reported, and the Cowboys have tried to move on. The Cowboys held a team meeting today in which several players, along with coach Phillips, stood up and addressed the team. The Cowboys have bigger fish to fry and cannot let a little drama in the "Big D" affect their preparation.

It is time to move on, is it not? Not for Ed Werder, it isn't.

During his media session Friday, an exasperated Terence Newman was tired of answering questions about Thursday's "big story." He was ready to focus on the Giants. Repeatedly, he responded to reporters questions about this week's drama with "Next question" and "Any Giants questions?"

Ed Werder apparently did not understand the request. He asked the last two questions of the session. The following is how it went down:

Werder: Do you regret anything you said (Friday) morning on ESPN?

Newman: (Pause) Any Giants questions?

Werder: Do you think the drama of everything that has happened the last couple of days will affect you guys mentally..."

(Newman stands up to end the interview, throws on his backpack and then looks directly at Werder)

Newman: Yup (in exasperation), I wonder how many time I was asked that question.

Werder: (With a smirk) What question?


Werder clearly has an agenda that reaches beyond "reporting the news" here in Dallas. He wants to be the story. He wants to stir up drama of his own and gain his network some ratings, and he is doing a good job. His "story" has swept the nation!

However, I find his lack of professionalism and sloppy journalism to be an embarrassment to the industry he is a part of.

With all the wonderful writers I have seen on Bleacher Report alone, I find it hard to believe that ESPN cannot do better than Ed Werder, and you can quote me on that.