The Aftermath: How Mercenary T.O. Leaves His New Team and His Former Team

Matt CullenAnalyst IMarch 8, 2009

There was a prediction I made on on Wednesday night when I heard the news of Owens getting released that I got completely whiffed on; I said that nobody would sign him.

Less than 72 hours later, I find out that Terrell Owens has signed a one-year deal worth $6.5 million with the Buffalo Bills according to ESPN's John Clayton. I guess I underestimated the value of a receiver of his talent regardless of his history.

So where does this put the Buffalo Bills, the only team in the AFC East to finish with a record under .500. How are the Dallas Cowboys left off, a team that despite SB aspirations found themselves outside of the playoffs.

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills were the Washington Redskins of AFC last year, both surprised people only to free-fall in the second half of the year finishing last place in two very tough divisions.

So I guess it is only fitting that the two of them have made arguably the biggest splashes in free agency.

Offense: The Bills offense finished a glorious 25th in the league statistically. Marshawn Lynch had somewhat of a disappointing year barely getting over 1,000 yards.

QB Trent Edwards showed potential last year before getting a concussion in the first quarter in a Week Five matchup in Arizona. In his next five games, Edwards threw 4 TDs and 8 INTs, Buffalo lost four of those five games.

Edwards injured his groin in Week 13 and missed two weeks.

His replacement, JP Losman, lost to Miami in a game where they essentially had home-field advantage taken away by playing in Toronto and closing the roof. The second game was against the Jets, a game that many believe Losman just gave away at the end.

Owens should make an immediate impact, complimenting the speedy Lee Evans who has seen his production go down in the last two years. The Bills receiving core also includes the reliable Josh Reed and the potential of big sophomore James Hardy.

Edwards when healthy is certainly a solid option at QB with a quick release and only 25 years old.

One would have to wonder how T.O. would like having Edwards throw to him (considering his prior issues with QBs that were Pro-Bowlers), but I would think that Owens would not have signed this quickly if he didn't like what he sees in the Stanford graduate.

Overall: Defensively the Bills were 14th in the league overall, hindered by an ability or lack thereof to rush the QB. (Much like their NFC counterpart Washington Redskins) This should be helped by the return of DE Aaron Schoebel who missed the last 11 games of the season.

As much as I like Rex Ryan, I think the departure of Laveranues Coles and the retirement of Brett Favre makes the Jets have one of the worst offenses in the league.

I like the Buffalo Bills to finish ahead of the Jets as well as the Miami Dolphins, who slightly overachieved last year.

I think a division crown is probably out of the question barring another injury to Brady but with all of these factors and a Tennessee Titans team losing the best defensive player in the league, the Buffalo Bills will be in the Wild Card hunt down the stretch.

Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys, expected to be a front-runner in the NFC had SB aspirations derailed with injuries at the QB and RB positions as well as a memorably bad December (that seems familiar) as they finished 9-7 and a half game out of the playoffs.

Offense: As much as I don't like move as a Dallas Cowboys fan, it would be rather hasty to say that the Cowboys offense is even close to doomed with the departure of Terrell Owens.

Dallas, now thanks to injuries last year have, discovered that they have three quality RBs in Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice. These three, if healthy, give the Dallas Cowboys a very deadly running game.

The offensive line had its problems last year (like Flozell Adams for instance) but if should be helped by the return hopefully of a healthy OT Kyle Kozier to play along side Flozell Adams.

The Dallas Cowboys also still have arguably their best receiving target for Romo still (Jason Witten), Roy Williams, reliable Patrick Crayton as well as Sam Hurd and speedster Miles if brought back.

Overall: This still potentially explosive offense is in-tact along with a defense despite being much maligned finished eighth in the league last year. There are still some issues at Safety but the group was line none other in rushing the passer and acquired veteran LB Keith Brooking as well as DT Igor Olshansky (who fit quite nicely in San Diego with Wade Phillips)

There's no reason to think talent-wise that the Dallas Cowboys can't at least make the playoffs if not go a long way. (Especially considering the rough off-season that Philadelphia has had.)

Overall Aftermath

There is no reason to think that neither Dallas or Buffalo will at least be playoff contenders if not make a run. Even the biggest critics of Terrell Owens would admit that he has never 'killed a team' in his first season and the Buffalo Bills were able to sign him for just a one year deal.

Owens' presence in the Bills' offense is much needed, and I expect him to make a big impact.

The Dallas Cowboys, though playing in a tough division certainly have one of the more talented teams in the league...Again. Whether or not they take me out back to shoot me in the head again remains to be seen.

At the very least though, both of these teams are contenders. And as the Arizona Cardinals showed all you have to is make it to the new year, and you are a threat to go all the way.

The Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys should both have high hopes in what should be another great NFL season.


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