Get Your Popcorn Ready

Christian WindhamCorrespondent IJune 3, 2008

Who thought this would’ve happened?

With Terrell Owens signing with the Dallas Cowboys two years ago, he announced, "Get your popcorn ready." When he signed an extension today—June 3, 2008—the club had the popcorn ready for him, a giant bowl of the buttery stuff, big enough to feed the entire offensive line.

"That's funny," Owens said, scooping a few kernels into his mouth. ESPN quoted.

Does this mean T. O. will finish out his carrier with the Cowboys?

Jones wishes he got off that cheaply. Owens actually cashed in a $7 million bonus, plus a three-year extension worth around $27 million.

While he signed his deal the same day the Cowboys got their first look at their newest standout pass defender and play maker Adam "Pac Man" Jones. Although he's still technically suspended, he's allowed to do everything up to the regular season, and he went through his first practice today.

He capped it by intercepting a pass from third-stringer Richard Bartel, not starter Tony Romo and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown, according to Dallas Cowboys Associated Press.

By taking care of Owens now, the Cowboys helped their salary cap for the upcoming season. They also helped keep their locker room free from what Owens said "absolutely" would have been the distraction of him going through the season as a free-agent-to-be.

Terrell Owens has maintained for months that his status was no big deal. He not only said that to reporters, he told agent Drew Rosenhaus, "I don't want to talk about nothing unless it's something for real."

T.O. knew there had been talks in recent weeks. He got a hunch a deal was close when Rosenhaus flew to join him in New York on Monday.

Owens got the same salary range as Randy Moss. He's also locked up through 2011, when he'll turn 38.

Jones downplayed the age, noting Owens' dedication to fitness and his production. He's already among the career top 10 in catches, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns; he's the active leader and number three all-time in TDs.

He's also focused on the one glaring omission from his resume: A Super Bowl victory. As surprising as it might be for Owens to have controversy-free contract negotiations, here's a bigger stunner: If he plays out this contract, he'll have lasted six seasons in Dallas.

That's a heck of a lot longer than critics expected when he arrived to a wary fan base and a reluctant coach who referred to him as "the player." Owens' first season was marred by injuries, an overdose, and all sorts of wackiness. Then Bill Parcells stepped down as coach. Owens has rarely stopped smiling since; one notable exception was when he broke down crying in defense of Romo after a playoff loss.

Jerry Jones said “Pac Man” looked good for a guy who has been out of the league more than a year.

"He told me the other day he gets sore because he's really been pushing himself the last couple of weeks," Jerry Jones said. "But, in our initial look at him, he's probably in as good shape as anyone out there—not ready to play football, but in good shape."

“Pac Man” remains suspended from the regular season, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday that the cornerback-kick returner can do everything else. Goodell will rule on Jones' regular-season status by September 1.

That's a plus, but nothing more. I had hoped that we could create enough at the league office that the way we're doing it would allow him to do that.

Now that “Pac Man” is this close, Jerry Jones already is envisioning him on the field, wearing No. 21 just like Deion Sanders wore for the Cowboys. “Prime Time” has become sort of a big brother to “Pac Man,” trying to help him follow the rules of the NFL and society.

I think he can help Dallas.

Owens is looking forward to the practice-field competition with “Pac Man.” The one time they faced each other, Owens won but Jones left with T.O.'s cleats because he didn't score a touchdown.

Pulled and cited from many sources, as well as friends. If you have any questions, just ask.