Bill Parcels tried to tell everybody.

When Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo enjoyed immediate success after taking over from Drew Bledsoe, the fickle Dallas fans and the fickler sports media were ready to put the youngster into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“Put away the anointing oil!” the Big Tuna yelled out with a scowl, understanding the kid had a lot of growing pains to navigate before becoming a big-time player in the National Football League.

One thing is certain after Sunday: Troy Aikman, Tony Romo ain’t. Not yet, anyway.

Heading into Monday’s battle with the Philadelphia Eagles, the ‘Boys had the world on a string. They were favored to win. They were at Texas Stadium, where huge murals of all the former greats are displayed in a “Ring of Honor” — Roger Staubach, Don Meredith, Bob Lilly, Lee Roy Jordan, Tony Dorsett, Randy White, Bob Hayes, Cliff Harris, Rayfield Wright and others. They should have put blindfolds on them. There’s no Romo up there in the rafters. At least not yet.

A Dallas win Sunday would have given Parcel’s club an NFC East title and a guaranteed first-round home game in the playoffs. What more incentive did they need?

The Donovan McNabb-less Eagles came in streaking, but they didn’t have the manpower of the Cowboys. I guess somebody forgot to tell Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid that he couldn’t beat Dallas. Somebody forgot to tell Eagles quarterback Jeff Garcia — a reject from a couple of NFL squads — that he was going up against one of the best defenses in the league.

I guess what they say is true: The past is history, tomorrow is a mystery.

When the dust had cleared after the Christmas Day battle, the Eagles had totally dominated the 23-7 game, rolling up more than 200 rushing against the “frightening” Dallas D. Reminded me of those country and western classic words: “I’m going through the Big D and I don’t mean Dallas.”

Romo and the Cowboys looked like anything but a Super Bowl contender.

The day before the game reporters noticed Terrell Owens hobnobbing with the enemy at the Eagles’ hotel. And Romo was making the rounds with Carrie Underwood. No wonder they looked like they were in a fog Monday.

While Romo acted like he had never been in a football game before, we can’t get too down on him. I remember Aikman had some pretty ugly performances during his rookie year, and he turned out to be a “decent” quarterback.

Truth is the ‘Boys played like a bunch of boys Monday. They were flatter than a pancake. Some of the blame should put on Parcels and his staff, but most of it should go to those overpaid prima donnas who were thinking about anything but football.

You can excuse a player for a mistake. You can’t makes excuses for them when they don’t even show up.

The only good thing about the day was that the pregame focused on the matchup and not the ongoing T.O. comedy.

The Cowboys had the world on a string before Monday’s embarrassment. Now they’re only hanging on by a thread.

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