On Mar. 4, Terrell Owens received a stunning phone call from Jerry Jones. That day, T.O. was informed that he would no longer don the silver-and-blue uniform and that his short tenure as a Dallas Cowboy had officially ended.
After three years with America's Team, T.O., for the third time in his career, will begin his search for another team who will be willing to put up with his larger than life ego and controversial antics.
The minute this move was made, the No. 1 question for every football analyst was where T.O.'s next stop would be. A plethora of cities were discussed, cities including Baltimore, Jacksonville, and Tennessee. To the surprise of some, one unexpected candidate named was the Oakland Raiders.
Multiple analysts, including ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, claimed that Owens is best suited for the Raiders due to the Raiders' need for a playmaker such as T.O., as well as Al Davis’s love for outspoken personalities such as Owens’.
So, let’s examine this possibility. Would T.O. fit in with the Silver and Black? Obviously, the Raiders' hunger for a star wideout is exemplified in their ability to finish in the bottom five in the league in offense nearly each year.
With Javon Walker’s failure to become the go-to-guy for Jamarcus Russell, T.O. would provide a significant boost that the Raiders’ offense hasn’t seen since the retirement of Tim Brown.
In addition, many people are convinced that if any owner can control and handle T.O.'s personality, it is the iron fisted, dictator-like Al Davis. After all, the Raiders became famous for housing misfit, outspoken players with large egos in their championship days.
However, as a dedicated member of the Raider Nation, I feel it is my duty to speak out strongly against this idea. I plead with our leader, Al Davis, to not pursue this idea in any way or form.
It matters not how much talent T.O. may have left in his 36 year old body. Making Owens a Raider would drive our team even deeper into the ground for a number of reasons.
First of all, the Raiders are in a rebuilding stage. A key factor in rebuilding a team is creating a strong foundation of young, talented players who can provide for the present and future.
No matter how gifted a player may be, signing a player over the age of 35 to start at a key position would do nothing more than set the team back three or four more years.
Second of all, though many Raider fans have been begging for a star wideout, the main focus should be on the offensive line. Since the beginning of football, offensive linemen have received attention and recognition only when they falter and do not produce.
However, the inadequacy of the offensive line has been the root of the Raiders' offensive woes for these past six years. Providing JaMarcus Russell with a star receiver would help, but will be rendered useless if Russell and Darren McFadden must continue to play behind the horrendous five-man mess in front of them.
Third, Owens' attitude. I understand that this does sound a little cliche. When people discuss T.O., his behavior is constantly under a microscope while his play on the field is almost ignored completely.
However, it simply cannot be disregarded. Al Davis has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to disagreeing with him on any topic. I find it impossible to imagine a world where the outspoken Terrell Owens will not try and criticize the controversial ways in which Davis runs the football team, as well as the direction of the organization.
In addition to Al Davis' de facto general style of rule, Owens simply cannot tolerate playing on a losing team. T.O. has become accustomed to catching balls from pro-bowl caliber quarterbacks such as Steve Young, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, and most recently, Tony Romo.
This would be his first time catching from a younger, less talented passer in JaMarcus Russell. His stats would in turn falter, thus providing him with the perfect excuse to be unhappy and unleash his league renown fury on the organization.
JaMarcus Russell would also suffer from this move. Russell already has enough trouble trying to develop in an outdated offense with a new head coach nearly every year. It would simply be too much for him to handle throwing passes to a receiver who will immediately begin whining and complaining the minute that the ball isn't thrown his way.
Pairing a young, developing quarterback with an old, outspoken star means that the owner of the team is asking for disaster.
So, now we will watch and wait in anticipation for another team to call T.O. and offer him a spot on their roster. As long as that team is not my Raiders, I will be perfectly content with it.
I pray to God that when I attend my next Raiders game, and I watch my boys trot out onto the field in their black jerseys, one of those black jerseys will not have "Owens 81" written on the back.
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