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Cowlishaw reiterates his Revis "scoop"

We don’t really know much about Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News.  He’s likable on ESPN’s Around The Horn — or, perhaps more accurately, he’s the least unlikable of the majority of the shouting heads who appear on the show, including one guy who likely did some shouting over the weekend from the wrong side of reinforced glass in L.A.

Cowlishaw’s name hit the national NFL radar on Sunday afternoon, when he saw fit to inject himself into the Darrelle Revis holdout, “reporting” in shoulder-shrugging fashion on his Twitter page that a deal will be announced, “probably Wednesday.”  He then added the perfunctory “[y]ou heard it here first,” and tipped his hat to “Inside information!”

The unconventional “report” triggered an avalanche of contradictions.  Though Cowlishaw brushed off the efforts to debunk his report as the predictable machinations of beat writers, he overlooks the fact that a much broader collection of national figures also have said, based on “Inside information!”, that Cowlishaw’s report was and is wrong, including ESPN’s Adam Schefter, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, NBC’s Andrea Kremer, and SI.com’s Peter King.  Even certain Internet hacks got in on the “Revis and the Jets aren’t close” routine.

Through it all, we learned (and others have since confirmed), that the Jets are making substantial progress with center Nick Mangold on a long-term deal.  With a tree-killing written document that we’ve heard will consume 70 pages or more when finished the current focal point of the team’s efforts, it seems unlikely that G.M. Mike Tannenbaum would be trying to spin two multi-million-dollar plates at the same time, especially since all indications are that the Jets and Revis have many significant hurdles to overcome.

Undaunted by the denials, Cowlishaw has reiterated his report in an item on the DMN web site.  But, with all due respect and discretion to Cowlishaw, his online item seems to have less to do with putting meat on the bone and more to do with:  (1) explaining the circumstance of his original report; (2) echoing the notion that he expects Jets beat writers to disagree, while still ignoring the multiple national writers who have agreed with the disagreement; (3) bemoaning the self-created disruption to his “day off” (what in the hell is a “day off,” anyway?); and (4) providing himself with an escape hatch if/when he ends up being wrong.

“I wasn’t trying to suggest there’s a deal-breaker involved, but who knows?” Cowlishaw writes of his use of the term “probably” before “Wednesday.”  He adds:  “Things of that nature happen all the time.”

Here’s something doesn’t happen all the time.  The principals involved in a contentious and newsworthy situation, when pursued aggressively by a flood of media members who are trying desperately to confirm or deny a controversial report, don’t tell on an off-the-record basis rampant and repeated lies with straight faces regarding the status of the contentious and newsworthy situation.  Though we can’t and won’t disclose our sources, it hardly takes a forensic scientist to realize that, at some point in the day on Sunday, someone with direct knowledge of the situation, whether aligned with the team or the player, said on a “don’t quote me” basis that Cowlishaw’s report is wrong.  There’s simply no way that so many local and national people would be openly disputing the report if folks who know what’s going on weren’t disputing the report with an express request for anonymity.

It’s not impossible that so many folks would be jeopardizing their own credibility by telling off-the-record falsehoods to people who buy their ink by the truckload, but it would be largely unprecedented, even in the truth-challenged world of pro football.

Sure, maybe the Jets and Revis have decided as part of their code of silence that they’ll jointly spring the announcement on the world via a “special announcement” at the start of Wednesday night’s edition of HBO’s Hard Knocks, perhaps even with a live broadcast of the signing ceremony.  But if that’s what’s happening, more than one guy would inevitably find out about it — and once word of it got out at least one “source with knowledge of the situation” would do something other than lie through his teeth.

So we remain confident that nothing currently is happening between the Jets and Revis, and that if anything goes down in the short term it will be coincidental to Cowlishaw’s report.  We think his source — who by all appearances isn’t one of the principals but who is “in the loop” on matters of this nature — misread the tea leaves, and mistook Mangold for Revis.  So when it doesn’t happen between Revis and the Jets, Cowlishaw will reiterate his “[t]hings of this nature happen all the time” explanation, possibly with a twist of “once I reported it the turtle pulled his head back into the shell.”

Meanwhile, we don’t fault Cowlishaw for laying the foundation for an eventual retreat.  Since he openly believes that it’s normal and acceptable for beat writers to “shoot down” stories like this even if they’re accurate, Cowlishaw probably also believes it’s normal and acceptable to swing the bat, miss the ball, and then blame the pitcher.

Finally, if Cowlishaw connects, the same people who were burning up the phone lines on Sunday in an effort to follow up on Cowlishaw’s report will be calling their sources again.  This time, the question marks will be replaced with exclamation points — and the exclamation points will be following some of the language heard routinely on Hard Knocks.

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48 Responses to “Cowlishaw reiterates his Revis "scoop"”
  1. ftomeo says: Aug 23, 2010 3:54 PM

    “We don’t really know much about Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News. He’s likable on ESPN’s Around The Horn — or, perhaps more accurately, he’s the least unlikable of the majority of the shouting heads who appear on the show, including one guy who likely did some shouting over the weekend from the wrong side of reinforced glass in L.A.”
    Your the least likeable shouting “head” on your own damn site, Florio, so I would work on that first.

  2. Ron says: Aug 23, 2010 3:55 PM

    Next time write a book

  3. JetFan in Miami says: Aug 23, 2010 3:57 PM

    certain Internet hacks, I’m relieved you finally mention yourself as one! :)

  4. I Din Do Nuffin says: Aug 23, 2010 3:58 PM

    They should have made this thug play out his contract. At least the center is going about it the right way. Hmmmmmm I wonder why?

  5. The Real Shuxion says: Aug 23, 2010 3:59 PM

    “I wasn’t trying to suggest there’s a deal-breaker involved, but who knows?” Cowlishaw writes of his use of the term “probably” before “Wednesday.” He adds: “Things of that nature happen all the time.”
    Yeah like I probably am over 20 inches.

  6. Laxer37 says: Aug 23, 2010 4:00 PM

    Sports writers are the only ones that care who breaks the story. The rest of us could care less.
    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see who has egg on their face after Wednesday comes and goes.
    Then we’ll go back to not caring again.

  7. SJUHawk says: Aug 23, 2010 4:02 PM

    (3) bemoaning the self-created disruption to his “day off” (what in the hell is a “day off,” anyway?);
    You should be able to tell us all that. You have one every day, the extent of your work consists of copy and paste.
    If he hits this on the head not only are you going to look like a clown, but what’s left of your credibility will be shot. Colishaw isn’t a nobody, he’s a highly respected reporter (see Peter King or Mort’s take on that). If he is still standing firm, why not wait to see if he’s right before you bash him in a post. I’m willing to bet 85% of PFT is hoping he nails this just to make you look like a dick.

  8. JSpicoli says: Aug 23, 2010 4:02 PM

    This guy and Michael Smith are the only two people who are worth a hoot and are without obvious, biased, agenda on Around the Horn.

  9. superb owl says: Aug 23, 2010 4:03 PM

    cowlishaw is qualified to work at pft now

  10. jj jones says: Aug 23, 2010 4:04 PM

    At least he didn’t have a Terry Bradshaw “scoop”.

  11. BigBear123 says: Aug 23, 2010 4:04 PM

    To sum it up Colishaw is wrong like the rest of the bobble heads at ESPN.

  12. Get The Poison Out says: Aug 23, 2010 4:05 PM

    how can you discredit a source when the source is unknown, he said on 1050 espn theres an 8.5/10 chance he’s right.. i believe him

  13. ozu says: Aug 23, 2010 4:07 PM

    Is a site that deals almost exclusively in unsubstantiated rumor really criticizing a columnist for floating an unsubstantiated rumor? Isn’t this right up your alley, Florio?

  14. CYGNUS X-1 says: Aug 23, 2010 4:09 PM

    florio didn’t report it so collishaw’s report must be wrong because as we all know nothing happens in the nfl without florio hearing and reporting it first. and he is never wrong just like he was right in his report mangini was going to be fired when holmgren took over.oh wait nevermind that one but otherwise he is always right!

  15. HOI says: Aug 23, 2010 4:10 PM

    SomeFans posting ignorant Jets hate in 3, 2….

  16. BostonISaChraphole says: Aug 23, 2010 4:12 PM

    Wow Mike, your site is the king of throw sh!t against the wall and see what sticks. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Are you for real?

  17. cacaw410 says: Aug 23, 2010 4:14 PM

    florio, why even pretend that this lawyerspeak article was intended for the PFT audience. you wrote it for one person: cowlishaw. send him an email next time and leave the rest of us out of it.

  18. birdmancometh says: Aug 23, 2010 4:16 PM

    What exactly do you have against Cowlishaw? And why exactly do you think any of us care about your little reporter race? We don’t give a crap who knows what first, or how they got/distributed the information.
    You people get this stuff wrong all the time (just like Cowlishaw said) and just shrug it off as a “misunderstanding.”

  19. Slow Joe says: Aug 23, 2010 4:17 PM

    Florio, this entry should have had a jump. It’s too long for the first page of a blog.

  20. CanadianVikingFan says: Aug 23, 2010 4:22 PM

    All sports writers are liars.

  21. toon88 says: Aug 23, 2010 4:23 PM

    I love Florio’s rationale:
    If Cowlishaw is right … he’s lucky and it’s a coincidence
    If he’s wrong, “I told you so, nanny nanny poo poos”
    How about this; if Florio’s right “he’s lucky and it’s a coincidence”, and if he’s wrong “just another day-off for Florio”

  22. thefloater says: Aug 23, 2010 4:25 PM

    Uh, he’s sticking by his story? What is the problem?

  23. Don says: Aug 23, 2010 4:35 PM

    Ok Florio, I realize how things need to be explained to you from time to time. What if the story is that Revis plans to walk into camp on Wednesday and accept the best offer on the table? What? Then nobody in the league or any of your cronies or you would have any way at all of getting somebody to tell you what is going on because nothing is going on.
    You say Tannenbaum can’t do two deals at once. Forget how silly that is but assume you are right. He wouldn’t need to because there are already at least three deals on the table that we all know about. Maybe more in the past week that we don’t.

  24. texasPHINSfan says: Aug 23, 2010 4:37 PM

    you guys are spending an awful lot of time examining what a beat writer from a city halfway across the country from NY said via a twitter post.
    just sayin

  25. omegalh says: Aug 23, 2010 4:47 PM

    Who on the Jets would a Dallas honk get a inside scoop from?
    I can’t think of anyone on the Jets connected with the Cowboys.

  26. Aints Fan says: Aug 23, 2010 4:50 PM

    Cowlinshaw is an idiot!

  27. TheSleepness says: Aug 23, 2010 4:53 PM

    but i thought the jets had ‘no shot’ of re-signing ferguson, mangold, revis, harris….the jets are gonna be trouble for the long-haul…when you get players of that caliber all hitting their prime @ the same time at such critical positions…it’s nice to see.

  28. fozzi58 says: Aug 23, 2010 5:02 PM

    I’m sorry, I thought I was on bleacherreport.com

  29. cutler_eats_it says: Aug 23, 2010 5:06 PM

    Ya know what…it’s a freaking blog people! Rumors abound! I love it when people turn defending their team into a hate fest. This is the worst part of the internet. People read an article and then start spewing vicious comments (that they would never say to a persons face) just because they’re sitting in the comfort of their own little dungeon. I don’t agree with nor like a ton of things on this sight. But I don’t start ripping someone I’ve never met or talked to just because I don’t find it factual or agreeable. I tend to appreciate the efforts of someone willing to do this work to keep me updated on the best sport in the world. Relax people…or go somewhere else!

  30. ncoolong says: Aug 23, 2010 5:10 PM

    My eyes are going crossed…the depressing thing part of it is how truly uplifting this story is. It’s one less post actually talking about Revis’s contract, and one less post about BRETT FAVRE…brett favre.

  31. MarinoRules says: Aug 23, 2010 5:11 PM

    flo, why do so many people who seem to despise you still read/comment on your blogs? you must be doing something right!

  32. Nosredna says: Aug 23, 2010 5:17 PM

    As much as Lord Florio and his minions are trying to debunk this story, I am seriously hoping it is true if for no other reason than to say Nyah Nyah to Florio.

  33. KolbFan says: Aug 23, 2010 5:24 PM

    Wait, is this a sponsored post?

  34. chitown26 says: Aug 23, 2010 5:25 PM

    Jesus Christ Florio.
    I swear you are getting worse by the day. I used to be able to stick up for you because you had the best (by far) football blog on the internet, but your insane diatribes are starting to really bother me.
    I’m going to still come here because you really break news faster than anyone else generally, and your format is ok, but damn if you haven’t turned into an annoying pedantic maniac lately. It’s like NBC said “ok, go ahead and get way more opinionated” or something.
    Good God. You should hang out with Jim Rome or something.

  35. 909RaiderLifer says: Aug 23, 2010 5:26 PM

    Florio…
    If I may summarize for you..
    A bag of fertilizer in all reality, is nothing more than a sack of bullsh!t…

  36. toon88 says: Aug 23, 2010 5:29 PM

    cutler_eats_it, Did you write this from your dungeon, or your high horse?
    Just checking

  37. simple_simon1 says: Aug 23, 2010 5:29 PM

    “Since he openly believes that it’s normal and acceptable for beat writers to “shoot down” stories like this even if they’re accurate, Cowlishaw probably also believes it’s normal and acceptable to swing the bat, miss the ball, and then blame the pitcher.”
    Nice writing. So, if he’s such a bad journalist, when does he get a spot writing for PFT? Probably very soon. Come on, what are you doing? Hazing the new guy….LOL

  38. JetsKvetch says: Aug 23, 2010 5:31 PM

    Forget Revis. I now hope Cowlishaw’s right just so Florio can be wrong, wrong, wrong yet again, just like he was with his ridiculous theory that the Jets had instructed their players to speak about Revis so as to circumvent the media blackout. Where does he find this junk?

  39. FDupTruth says: Aug 23, 2010 5:36 PM

    Jesus Christ, Florio, all the “air quotes” you used in that story…who do you think you are “Fat” Albert Haynesworth?

  40. Mel Kiper IV says: Aug 23, 2010 5:39 PM

    God, this is such a non-story. He doesn’t want to go to training camp. Period. Who does? No veterans. He’ll pull the old “I told my agent to get it done now routine” and will report in a week. In the meantime, he avoided having to deal with all of the training camp BS. And, he’ll be the “hero” for bending. This crap has only been going on for 50 years. See Brent Favre with any Q’s.

  41. Bradenton Buc says: Aug 23, 2010 5:41 PM

    We shall see, but does anyone really care?

  42. Mel Kiper IV says: Aug 23, 2010 5:41 PM

    By the way, like the Jets “brass” don’t know this? Yeah right. After the HBO camera’s go off I’m sure they sit there jokingly saying “I’d like to thank the Academy….”

  43. Nacho says: Aug 23, 2010 6:12 PM

    Florio = internet hack
    Are you upset you don’t have the scoop and Cowlishaw does?
    Moss the “slouch” just shat his pants.

  44. TryTheVeal says: Aug 23, 2010 6:33 PM

    Nice “Unibomber” type manifesto there Florio…..That’s 5 or so minutes i will never get back….It’s almost as if he proclaimed Terry Bradshaw dead, without reliable sources huh..God forbid

  45. Joe C says: Aug 23, 2010 8:05 PM

    There is no way Tim Cowlickshaw has more inside information than anyone else…he’s a barely hanging on sports writer for the DMN who just “happens” to get on ESPN’s irrelevant “Around the Horn” (Personally, I’ve loved Woody Paige the most).
    He doesn’t have to wait stupid. That train left the station a long time ago…
    Stick to NASCAR, Tim. Or the Cowboys.

  46. patpatriotagain says: Aug 24, 2010 7:30 AM

    Florio lecturing anyone on the topic of reporting ethics and rumor-mongering is like Ted Kennedy doing a drunken-driving seminar, or Bill Clinton lecturing on ethical use of interns in the oval office.
    That irony is delicious.

  47. Bious says: Aug 24, 2010 2:51 PM

    I am a bit confused….you want him to go into more detail yet this very site does EXACTLY what he did on an almost daily basis?
    Could you be anymore hypocritical?

  48. magiker says: Aug 25, 2010 1:02 PM

    Mike,
    You’re the only “reporter” I know who would accuse Tim Cowlishaw, a very respected journalist, of “providing himself with an escape hatch when he ends up being wrong.” On a scale of 10 on his confidence of the report, he said on ESPN radio that he was an 8.5 or 9. That’s not much of an escape hatch.
    At that point, the only way I thought your “column” could be worse was if you yourself, unknowingly, provided yourself with an “escape hatch.” There’s no way “the great” Mike Florio could accuse Cowlishaw of bad journalism and then make the same “mistake” in the same “column.” But there it was, just a couple paragraphs later. “If anything goes down in the short term, it will be coincidental to Cowlishaw’s report.” That might just be the biggest “escape hatch” ever.

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