All this talk about Terrell Owens feeling betrayed by Jerry Jones is just a waste of everyone’s time. Now I’ve said for a long time that Owens has issues, but that his production usually outweighed his issues by enough to keep him around. I’ve said that this team could move into the 09 season with Owens and be just fine. But obviously it didn’t and they won’t.
The problems Owens caused were usually rather trivial and didn’t amount to very much until the media got a hold of it, then suddenly every fan had an opinion of it as I’m sure each player and coach did as well. Never mind whether or not these coaches and players knew the whole story or witnessed it and knew things about it each time that the media did not, the media was able to color every story to their own needs. Often, the media was given an extra push by the words of some of the players.
And when it all came to a head earlier this month and Owens was released by the Cowboys, we all figured it would only be a matter of time before Owens started talking about the whole situation much in the same way he talked about McNabb after signing with the Cowboys.
He waited until he got a new gig in Buffalo, and then a bit longer until a lot of questions had been settled about his move and new team, but he did start talking. Whether we’ve seen the height of his ramblings or not remains to be seen.
What he has said though is that he feels like Jerry Jones betrayed him, like Jerry Jones allowed the influences of few to affect his decision to keep Owens on the team. It was an issue before he was cut in that nobody believed Jerry would let him go because he was “his boy” so to speak.
As it turns out, he wasn’t, though. As it turns out, some of the media reports that Garrett and Stephen Jones were lobbying to get rid of Owens may have been right. The truth is that we don’t know now, and probably never will, exactly why Owens was released.
What we do know is that Owens was a problem to be dealt with at all times. Maybe he wasn’t any bigger of a problem than any other #1 receiver is by wanting the ball and expecting to be the featured receiver on the team, but he was a problem. He did good his first couple of years in Dallas to keep his mouth shut and not stir the pot whenever he had a chance like he had done at previous stops.
But in 2008 he began his campaign for more balls and better ball distribution and ultimately, whether he realized it or not at the time, his departure from the storied franchise. Obviously it wouldn’t have been smart for him to act the way he did if he really believed that he would or could be cut since his options are so limited due to his reputation in the league, and nobody will argue that he got a better deal leaving Dallas for Buffalo. He didn’t.
So it lends some credit, along with the fact that he is pretty smart about his career most of the time, to the notion that he felt a strong enough bond with owner Jones to keep him around even with him running his mouth to the media.
We do know what Jones gave as the reason for cutting Owens, and it’s a good reason that was delivered in a way that almost totally dropped the bottom out of the stories that Owens was nothing but a trouble maker and chemistry killer in the locker room and on the field.
To say that the younger receivers on the team can actually replace Owens seems a bit naïve, but the idea is a good one to have since Owens will likely play only another year or two before retiring. There always comes a time when a player must be replaced. It can be from age or production or money, but it always happens.
But for a player, especially a 13 year veteran that has been through the stops that Owens has been through and for the reasons he’s been through those stops, to say that he feels betrayed by an owner for releasing him is just insane. It’s a business, and no matter how you look at it, Owens was good for two things; 1) having big plays, and 2) getting media attention.
We all know that Jones is a media whore, it is anything but a secret after 20 years in the league, and Owens did have a lot of big plays in his time in Dallas, it was about all he could get running fly routes every down.
But there comes a time when the media attention is too much, when one player’s following can affect the followings of other players. Terence Newman hasn’t been the best at boosting his own image in the media lately with his comments, but his new rep didn’t surface until Owens grew more vocal in 2008. Yes, one probably has nothing to with the other, but the coincidence is there and it’s apparent enough to mention it.
It could very well be that we all have it wrong with regards to Owens, but even if we are wrong and Owens was a model player and teammate, even his own teammates bought into the hype and that makes it a problem.
It’s like driving down an old country road in a Ferrari, not enough room for a u-turn and turning around is going to be a bit bumpy. Once Owens’ publicity spread amongst the team there was no going back. The only reasonable end to it was to end his run in Dallas.
And that is why Owens is a fool for saying that Jones betrayed him, because in the end, it was Owens in the drivers seat.