I guess this is the portion of the show where I'm supposed to rip Terrell Owens. Where I'm supposed to say he's at it again. That he's nothing more than a cancer in the locker room and will never get along with any of his quarterbacks.
I'm sorry, I can't do it.
I can't do it because Owens did nothing wrong. Well, not yet anyway. Whatever dispute he has with Tony Romo and Jason Witten isn't one that he has staged publicly. In fact, he has gone as far as to say he has no problem with Romo and Witten when asked about the reported dispute this week.
Now, of course, there is a problem. Then again, there's a problem with the entire Dallas Cowboys. This was a team that was the preseason Super Bowl favorite and the undisputed best team in the league after a 3-0 start and is now 8-5 and faces the very real possibility of not making the playoffs.
But T.O. is "up to his old ways" for trying to fix a car that is clearly broken and isn't likely to cross the finish line if it doesn't get a tune up.
Owens says he wants to be more involved with the offense and thinks that if he can get the ball in his hands the Cowboys will have a better chance of turning around their season. It's a statement that most of the Cowboys, including head coach Wade Phillips and owner Jerry Jones have agreed with, but Owens is deemed as the "bad guy" because of his past discretions.
One of the most deceiving stats when Owens is criticized for saying he needs to be a bigger part of the offense is that Romo has thrown to Owens more times than Witten or any receiver on the team. The problem is many of Romo's passes that are supposedly directed towards Owens are uncatchable or have been picked off as was the case time after time in Pittsburgh. Simply because Romo throws the ball in Owens' vicinity more than any other receiver doesn't mean he's giving him more chances if he can't catch it. That's partly why Witten leads the Cowboys with 64 receptions while Owens is second with 55 catches. Now Owens isn't completely innocent, he has dropped seven passes, but Owens is fourth in the NFL with 58 "passes not caught," which are throws in which Owens was the intended receiver but did not catch the pass, whether due to a drop, pass deflection, interception, whatever. Well, seven were drops, the other 51 are the reason why Owens is frustrated.
Owens isn't alone in his feelings. He was joined at a Monday morning meeting with offense coordinator Jason Garrett by fellow receivers Patrick Crayton and Roy Williams, and according to numerous reports out of Valley Ranch many of his teammates, including most defensive players, think Owens and the other receivers have a point in their discontent. By the way, who wouldn't after the way the Cowboys lost to Pittsburgh in a game that was ultimately decided when Romo threw an errant pass to Witten in coverage that was picked off and taken back for a touchdown? Both Crayton and Owens were visibly open on the deciding play.
There's a difference between a player who is a cancer and a player who wants a chance to cure his team. While Owens may not have the best track record with quarterbacks, I'm not about to crucify a player for thinking he can help turn around his team's season. Who knows, maybe this controversy is exactly what the Cowboys need to shake up their season. They certainly weren't going anywhere by staying at status quo.