Sports Outside the Beltway

Cowboys Reportedly Close to Signing T.O.

According to numerous published and broadcast reports, the Dallas Cowboys have a deal in place for controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens. It should be noted, though, that both sides deny it:

The Cowboys denied a report late Thursday night from KLBK/Ch. 13 in Lubbock that the team had reached an agreement with free-agent receiver Terrell Owens. The report, citing a source with the Cowboys, also said the team would have a news conference Monday to introduce Owens. Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple said, “We’ve got nothing planned.” ESPN also reported that a source close to Owens said the KLBK report is incorrect.

Tim Cowlishaw predicts bad things in a piece entitled, “It appears the ego has landed.”

The bottom line: T.O. is bad news for the Cowboys, bad news for local beat writers who must chronicle his antics on a daily basis and great news for columnists, who thrive on easy topics, i.e. targets. And since you can’t spell Tim without a big “I” in the middle, I just got to admit that I agree with one famous T.O. utterance: “I love me some me.”

So bring him on down, Jerry, and let’s watch the Cowboys unravel. Not to mention the fact that your relationship with Bill Parcells, one that has been far less volatile than many imagined, will go right down the toilet.

Randy Galloway contacted former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson. He, too, thinks this won’t end well.

“Everything with Terrell is about compensation, and what amount of money he can be happy with. Almost every player feels he’s underpaid. That’s part of the business. But as we saw in Philadelphia, the money issue with him can tear apart a locker room. It’s always going to be an issue. It will be this time, too.”

Even so, he might consider taking the gamble under the right circumstances.

“To me, it depends on how secure the coach is,” he said. “If he’s got a five-year deal, then I wouldn’t mess with a Terrell Owens. But if I’m in a situation where I needed to win this year, then, yeah, I’d do it. Go ahead, give it a try. What is there to lose for a coach?”


“I don’t mind a little tension on a good team,” Johnson said. “But on a struggling team, it will destroy you. And in the long run on any kind of team, it’s not good. With Terrell, he’s going to be disruptive. He’s going to be yelling at Drew [Bledsoe], he’s going to divide your locker room. It may be sooner, it may be later, but it will be a negative for your team. If you want his talent, you’ve also got to be willing to accept that.”

Are the Cowboys a great wide receiver away from a Super Bowl? Probably not. They need at least one more starting caliber offensive lineman, an upgrade at safety, some depth at linebacker and, perhaps most of all, a decent kicker. That’s all doable, though, between the draft and free agency.

Update: SI’s Jeff Chadiha takes a more positive angle, arguing, “Signing T.O. fits in well with Jerry Jones’ philosophy.”

If Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones really is going after Terrell Owens — and there’s little reason to think he isn’t — he couldn’t have lucked into better timing. It’s a move that surely carries plenty of risk, but Jones has never backed away from a gamble that can pay huge dividends. That’s exactly what he’s looking at with Owens now, the chance to land a big-time playmaker who can likely be had for a bargain basement price.


What the owner also realizes is that there may be little competition for Owens. The Kansas City Chiefs are willing to offer only a one-year deal with no guarantees and a ton of incentives. Denver has said its interest in Owens is “overblown,” even though it’s the only team that has met with him.

I’d be surprised if the Cowboys were able to get him for “a bargain basement price.” I would think 31 teams would sign him if they could do if with little risk.

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