"BEGINNING OF THE END" FOR T.O. IN BIG D?
The recent media blitz involving Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens is causing at least one league insider to predict that, based on some of T.O.'s comments, it is the "beginning of the end" of Owens' short-term tenure in Dallas.
In comments on Sirius NFL Radio on Tuesday, Owens discussed his role on his new team's offense. "I feel like when the ball needs to be in a playmaker's hands, I feel like Bill [Parcells] will make that call. I have all the confidence in the world that he'll use me to the best of my ability regardless of who is out there," Owens said. (Thanks to KFFL.com's "Hot Off The Wire" for the quote.)
Possible translation? "I will get the ball."
Possible deeper meaning? "If I don't get the ball, I will get into someone's ass."
Bottom line? "I still love me some me."
And that really is the message here. Owens finally has gotten a chance to indulge himself in the worst case of sports narcissism since Bobby Riggs, who was so desperate for attention that he allowed his 55-year-old ass to get kicked in a tennis match by a superior female athlete in her prime.
In this case, T.O. is allowing his 55-I.Q. brain to spew out stuff that could come back to haunt him before too long.
For now, he merely is happy to be basking in the spotlight, and he isn't regarding the short-term and long-term consequences of his actions. Within the last week, T.O. has said that he was misquoted in his own book, then had his publicist say he was misquoted when he said he was misquoted, and then he blamed the media for painting one of the the most selfish players in NFL history as, you know, selfish.
Also on Sirius NFL Radio, T.O. threw some blame at his former agent, David Joseph, for the contract that he signed with the Eagles, and T.O. said that he was proud of standing up for himself with Eagles management.
The guy hasn't changed, and in our view the worst thing that he could have done was release a book within a couple of weeks of the start of training camp. With all of the opportunities for Owens to publicly demonstrate how much he loves him some him, he's more likely to enter preseason practices with the mindset that it's okay for T.O. to go back to being the same T.O. that got his ass kicked out of Philly.
So the hint of contrition that Owens displayed upon signing with the Cowboys in March was, we believe, a ruse. The guy wanted to get paid, and he said what he had to say to get the $5 million signing bonus in his pocket.
And that's why we're more convinced than ever that there will be problems in training camp. Parcells will ride Owens like a fat kid on a Big Wheel, and Owens won't be able to take it. He might not say anything to the Tuna (or, as the case may be, throw a jersey at him), but our guess is that Owens eventually will run his mouth to the media, which only will make it worse.
Even if T.O. gets to the regular season without an eruption, his quote regarding his expected role in the offense is virtually a guarantee that, unless he gets 10 receptions a game, he won't be happy.
And when T.O. isn't happy, his primary objective is to make as many of the folks around him as possible not happy, either.