Should the Dallas Cowboys Release Terrell Owens?

David PuccioContributor IJanuary 14, 2009

This is a tough question, a compelling argument can be made to release him, yet an equally compelling argument can be made to keep him.




Release him:


The guy will be 37 before the end of next season, his skills have started to diminish, and he is among the league leaders in dropped passes annually.


He is considered by many to be a poor route runner and he does not get along with the offensive coordinator and head coach in waiting Jason Garrett. 


He may have caused a rift between Tony Romo and Jason Witten, and he may be a negative influence on the younger receivers like Roy Williams, Miles Austin, and Patrick Crayton.


The Cowboys have already released Pacman Jones and have decided not to resign Tank Johnson. 


Chemistry played a major role in this year's 9-7 finish, and team morale played a major role in the 44-6 loss to the Eagles, so perhaps removing all of the distractions and negative influences from the team is what is necessary. 


Jerry Jones traded two No. 1 draft picks to acquire Roy Williams, so at 27, with talent like his, the Cowboys need to make him a focal point of the offense.  Garrett used him sparingly after the trade, was it because he was having trouble becoming accustomed to the offense or was it because Garrett was trying to make Owens happy?


The latter was probably true, yet Owens allegedly claimed that Romo always throws to Witten and that they secretly planned plays that did not include him.  All that being said, it can’t be explained why Owens had more balls thrown his way than Witten.




Keep him:


Owens is arguably one of the greatest receivers in NFL history, and he can be credited with much of Romo's success.  We can only wonder how Romo's career would have started had he not had a breakout receiver such as Owens. 


Owens claims that he is a good teammate; remember this teary-eyed statement?  “That’s my teammate. That’s my quarterback.” 


Owens also claims that he never made the Romo/Witten remarks and that they were nothing more than an Ed Werder fabrication. 


Last year, Jones signed Owens to a new contract, including a $12 million signing bonus, which means there will be a big salary cap hit if he is released.  Jones claimed that the hit would be so large it could prevent them from resigning DeMarcus Ware. 


If Owens was released, it would leave the load to Roy Williams, and it can also be noted that with all of the talent that Williams has, he has yet to show it. 


He has had only one 1,000 yard season and was nonexistent once coming to the Cowboys. 





Releasing Owens is not really a feasible option this off-season.  Regardless of his age and his alleged chemistry issues, he is still an elite NFL receiver who makes Romo a better quarterback. 

Roy Williams, as good as he could be, has yet to prove that he can be he can be a No. 1 receiver and unless they find a good free agent wide receiver, they have nobody to replace him. 

While chemistry was certainly an issue, the Cowboys' main problem this season was their offensive line protecting Romo, opening holes for the running backs, and injuries. 

The Cowboys are moving into a new stadium next season and Jerry Jones wants to put a competitive and exciting team onto the field.  He has never shied away from questionable characters and probably will not do so now.

Many of us have heard that Owens is a locker room cancer but very few of us have been in the locker room to witness it.  As long as Owens is in the league, there will be people following him trying to break the next “shocking” story.  

Owens should be back in Dallas next season, but as he gets older, his leash is getting shorter.