So T.O. Is Gone

    So T.O. is gone, now what?

    has finally stepped up and rid the of their number one troublemaker.

    At least, that is what the pundits and critics are saying. For them, the of makes the Cowboys a better team – a sort of addition by subtraction.

    Overall, the move to release Owens has been met by praise from most members of the media and fans alike.

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    But, I'm not one who favors the move.

    No, Terrell Owens is no saint. Still, he was a very productive member of the Dallas Cowboys. Some point to his numbers and say he is on the decline and no longer an elite receiver. Still, he managed to post yet another 1,000 yard/10 touchdown season, and that was considered a down year. Personally, I believe the lack of creativity in the , more specifically, failure on the part of , , had more to do with his statistical drop-off than diminishing skills.

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    Had Owens lost a step? He actually seemed like he was faster this season.

    Off the field, Owens has been labeled a distraction or cancer. However, everything seemed to be going okay until the big fiasco involving Owens, Garrett, Romo, and Witten. And, in all honesty, none of us truly know what transpired. The only information leaked to the public came from 's Ed Werder and his “sources”. The “sources” were never identified. It did seem though that whoever the “sources” were, they definitely had an agenda. Much like the talking heads at ESPN who seemed like they were on a mission to get Owens released from the Cowboys.

    I found it particularly funny listening to ESPN analysts Keyshawn Johnson and Chris Carter lambast T.O. at every opportunity for demanding the ball more. These are two individuals who pretty much did the same thing during their careers. Keyshawn even took it one step further and wrote a book. I guess he has forgotten about that.

    All we really have to go on is what Owens said public ally. Yes, he did criticize Garrett and even Romo. But was he wrong in doing so? I don't think so. We, as fans, all saw it. And if we're completely honest, we all thought it too. Owens simply voiced it – and, was vilified by some of the fans and media for doing so.

    When the Cowboys were 13-3, and Owens was getting the ball, he was model teammate. Last season, the team went 9-7, and he wasn't getting the ball, and he was upset. So, he doesn't like losing. Or, better yet, he like several other superstars, felt like he could help the team win if he had the ball in his hands.

    Isn't that what we want from our top players?

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    I wonder what the reactions would have been if had made the same statements?

    Would he have been vilified? Or, heralded a leader?

    I guess we'll never know.

    In listening to Jerry Jones, he insisted that this move had nothing to do with locker room chemistry, but everything to do with change. He also stated that his belief in was a major reason for his decision. But, clearly that is not the case. Jerry, uncharacteristically, bowed to the pressure by the media, fans, and some of the people on his staff. Jerry didn't want to release T.O. You have to believe that after witnessing the success of Arizona and the success of their “81/11 tandem”, Jerry had visions of the Cowboys being able to duplicate or surpass them with their own tandem.

    But, Jerry decided to cave in. And he sided with those who wanted T.O. gone. None more so than Jason Garrett, who by all of accounts, told Jones he didn't feel he and Owens could co-exist.

    So now what?

    If I'm offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett, I'm feeling the immense pressure.

    Even without Owens on the team, the Cowboys have a tremendous amount of talent on offense. They still have the , Romo, Witten, Bennett, Williams, and their trio of running backs. In my opinion the X-factor is going to be . No disrespect to , he proved that he can be a decent 2nd receiver. But, he is much more effective in the slot but lacks the outside speed the Cowboys need. Austin has the size and speed. He has shown flashes that he is capable of being a 2. He just hasn't been consistent, mostly due to . But, if he is able to step up and be a force, this offense has the ability to be very potent.

    That is where Garrett comes in. It will be up him to create mismatches, and free up his playmakers to make plays. He won't have the luxury of teams doubling Owens on nearly every play, so he is going to have to be creative – something, he definitely wasn't last season.

    Of course, Romo will have to prove that he is the franchise Jones believes he is as well.

    But, that is a topic for another discussion.

    As for Garret though, I'm not sure he is up to the tasks, but he had better be. It is not a good sign when opposing defenders comment that your offense is one of the simplest to figure out. And, if the offense is still stagnant much like it was towards the end of last season, he no longer has the Original 81 to point the finger at.

    The bright lights will shine squarely on him. And, if he fails, he will no longer be the coach in waiting.

    He'll be amongst the unemployed. Or, at least should be.

    The Wizard has spoken.



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    Bryan Martin

    This is what is boils down too. In my opinion the exit of T.O. is the introduction to a balanced efficient offense. T.O. (though great) demanded too much, his demands took away from every players productions. It took away from our rushing game, and spreading the ball around. Sure we’re loosing a playmaker, but Jerry’s been around, he’s not always right but in this case he is.

    Bryson Treece

    Bryan, I agree exactly. Cutting TO will be a good thing for this team if for no other reason than because we can move forward without being held hostage by his demands and distractions.

    Craig Cotton

    TO being gone does several things.

    1. He is no longer in the ear of Garrett, which eases the pressure on Romo to get him the ball.

    2. He is no longer getting jammed at the line of scrimmage, throwing off all timing.

    3. He is no longer going to have the ball forced to him causing turnovers.

    4. This will allow Roy to step into his role as the #1 and develop with Romo.

    5. It will allow Austin (if he stays healthy) to be groomed as a #2.

    6. It allows the offense as a whole to move on, and develop as a group. It’s no longer a few receivers, and then Owens.

    7. It allows Felix to be used more in the offense on dumpoffs, and split wide.

    It allows for a lot of things, as long as Garrett will take advantage.

    Bob Sanders

    this is very bad! in case you don’t remember Owens demanded duble coverage every play. other teams couldn’t play us man to man. he opened the field up for other players. all of yall talking about him wanting the ball, at least we now that he is not here to just pick up his money. he wanted to win more than almost any one on the team. I bet romo will suffer a lot for this.

    Bryson Treece

    It isn’t only a good thing to have one player consistently draw double coverage. Think about it, anywhere he lined up he had two guys on him, which can shut down that side of the field if they’re playing zone on him.

    Not to mention, it’s easier for other teams to simply put two guys on him because it’s a threat you know is there, and you know how to take it away, by making defenses spread out more, you can take advantage of mismatches.

    The Wizard

    I have to disagree, having a man command double teams on each play is a huge advantage. It now means that the defense is committing an extra player in one area, thus leaving another area exposed. I can’t think of any offensive coordinator in his right mind who wouldn’t want that type of scenario.

    The problem was Jason Garrett failed to take advantage of that with his lack of creativity.

    Bryson Treece

    On Jason Garrett, I agree fully. Have said it myself many times, as you know.

    But anytime you become predictable to another team, that’s a bad thing. Teams were doubling on Owens so much that they got to find out to do it best, and what happened? Only Witten was able to do much, and that was that much.

    Point is, you’re right, double coverage is a coordinators dream because it should leave a hole somewhere else. Now may Garrett was the sole reason for not finding that hole, but I’m thinking that once he proved he couldn’t find the hole, other teams clamped down and forced us to run five or six plays over and over. How is that a good example of what double coverage gets you?

    The Wizard

    I agree completely with what you’re saying but I lay the blame for that completely on the shoulders of Garrett.

    After Green Bay provided the blueprint, every team played the exact offense and Garrett did nothing to counter what they were doing. The easiest thing he could have done was put Owens in motion more often. Motion makes it extremely to jam and to set your double team. But, no, he decided to leave Owens basically in one place and basically allow teams to dictate what the offense was able to do. For the life, I could not figure out why he refused to make adjustments. Maybe, it was an ego thing.

    Bryson Treece

    That bugged the hell out of me watching that week in and week out. Garrett certainly cemented it as fact that he didn’t do enough with how that played out, in addition to how he completely abandoned the running game when we still had Felix and Barber at Washington the first time around.

    That’s my biggest concern right for this team, is whether Garrett will start running an offense or not. The offense playing good wins games, and that keep everyone pumped up and playing better.

    Craig Cotton

    Teams stopped having to double TO during the last half of the year last season. They realized that if they pressed him at the line, he couldn’t gain separation, and was easily contained. Blame Garrett some for not putting him in motion more often, but there is no doubt that TO is not the receiver he once was.

    Bryson Treece

    Good point Craig