A Different Take on Terrell Owens

Derick JelleyContributor IJanuary 15, 2009

Let me start by saying that I have never been a diehard fan of any team that Terrell Owens has played on, and perhaps if I were, I would feel different. As it is, I don't believe that T.O. should be entirely blamed for the situation of the Cowboys and his previous teams.

There is not a greater competitor in the game of football than Terrell Owens and this is his only real crime. He has proved himself time and time again in this league. T.O. comes back from an injury quicker and stronger than any other player, just look at his performance in Super Bowl XXXIX.

The reason he recovers so well is not because of some super human strength but rather his dedication to preparing his body and mind to perform at its best.

Owens is often called a "complainer," but does anyone listen to his complaints. His No. 1 concern is not about getting the ball, it's winning (which also happens to be easier if the ball is in his hands).  These "issues" only happen when his teams start to lose.

The problem appears to be that Owens has hurt a few people's feelings along the way. In league that is built on physical toughness, I can't explain why there are so many fragile egos.

If we look at the three quarterbacks whom T.O. has played with for the majority of his career, none are considered to be great leaders or mentally tough. Owens' disputes with Jeff Garcia when both played with the 49ers, were legitimate as Jeff Garcia was not a Super Bowl caliber quarterback and has proved as much since their days together.

Donovan McNabb has been repeatedly criticized for not being able to come through in the big game and still hasn't yet moved on from his benching.

And then there is Tony Romo, the Jessica Simpson dating, All-American boy. Can we honestly consider him a tough QB when many people were questioning whether having Jessica Simpson at games was making him nervous? T.O. said he was throwing the ball to Jason Witten to much and he was probably right.

Let's take a look at the case of Roy Williams, a top tier wide receiver who the Cowboys gave up a major part of their upcoming draft to obtain.

He scored one touchdown and caught 17 passes in his five games with the Cowboys, and there was an obvious hesitation to throw to him despite the fact that with T.O. on the other side he got single coverage and was frequently able to beat it.

Oh, and by the way, the Cowboys were strongly criticized for quitting this season and not living up to there expectations, so maybe Owens had just had enough. I think anyone would be frustrated with others bringing forth less than their best effort if they were giving everything they had.

Now, I'm not saying that TO went about bringing up these complaints in the right way but I do believe that if he were surrounded by tougher men then there wouldn't be as much discussion of them.  

I don't think a quarterback like John Elway or Roger Staubach would have allowed T.O. to talk about them in the way he does. Why didn't Romo or McNabb have come to Owen's and get a little fired up with him and tell him to sit down and shut up?  

T.O. probably would have understood that they are giving everything they have to win and there is a good chance that he would have had more respect for them.

Owens has given everything he has and no one has said anything bad about his efforts on the field.  He is just looking for the same effort from his teammates and once someone sticks up to him and shows him that everyone cares just as much, he will keep his mouth shut.