Sports Outside the Beltway

Terrell Owens Spits on DeAngelo Hall

Emotionally unstable Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens has added yet another bizarre incident to a very strange meltdown of one of the best players in the game. He apparently spit on Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall during last night’s game.

The early report from DMN’s Calvin Watkins was inconclusive:

Terrell Owens could face a severe fine by the NFL after Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall said the Cowboys receiver spit in his face in the first quarter. “He had a couple of nice catches, and you expect that, he’s a great player,” said Hall, who covered Owens most of the night. “Right before the first punt though, we kind of got into each other’s faces, talking back and forth, and I lost all respect for him when he spit in my face.”

Owens said he may have accidentally spit in Hall’s face while he was yelling at him. “He was so close,” Owens said to a reporter after the game. On the NFL Network, Owens apologized. “I got frustrated, and I apologized for that,” he said of spitting. “It was a situation where he kept bugging me and getting in my face. He just kept getting in my face.”

There was no penalty on the play.

That makes it sound like Owens might have “sprayed” Hall during heated trash talking. Having watched the NFL Network interview this morning, though, it certainly sounds more like Owens admits he intentionally spit on Hall, although perhaps he instantly regretted it. As Deion Sanders–hardly an Owens basher–observed during the interview, there’s not much more distasteful act one athlete can commit against another during competition.

ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli has more.

“That’s like the No. 1 thing in the National Football League,” Hall said. “You don’t spit in another grown man’s face. Hopefully, the NFL can see it and go back and watch the film just before the first punt of the game. We were kind of walking face to face, and he just hauled off and spit in my face. I lost all respect for the guy, man, after that.”

The league is almost certain to review the incident, particularly given Owens’ admission, and if there is video documentation, the Dallas star figures to land a five-figure fine; for perspective, Redskins safety Sean Taylor was fined $17,000 for spitting in the face of the Bucs’ Michael Pittman during Washington’s wild-card playoff victory over Tampa Bay last January. Game officials did not see the Owens-Hall spitting incident because Owens was not penalized.

It’s a despicable, childish, thing to do. Owens has made some excellent plays for the Cowboys this year but, sadly, has seemingly learned nothing from the embarrassment of being benched by the Eagles last year.

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