O Jer-ry…Don’t Bring T.O. to Town!

My worst memory of the Gailey/Campo era Cowboys wasn’t a bad play or a loss. It was the horribly unsportsmanlike display of Terrell Owens, twice running more than 50 yards to midfield to celebrate a touchdown catch on the star amidst a deafening rain of boos from fans who haven’t been shocked or offended to such basal depth, before or since.

My favorite moment of the Gailey/Campo era Cowboys was a few seconds into the second such episode, when safety George Teague absolutely waylaid T.O. on the spot, to defend the honor of that star and all it stands for. Whatever else he did or didn’t do, that alone makes Teague one of my favorite Cowboys of all time. Later, Emmitt Smith (far better a person and player than T.O. ever could be) restored the honor by planting his freshly scored football dead center on the star.

Now the star of champions stands to be soiled beyond repair, with an act potentially more harmful than any in the long history of Jerry Jones’ management tenure. The Cowboys are consisdering signing Terrell Owens.

Will I wake up from this bad dream to realize it’s not true?

Granted, I must admit that I value talent, credentials and ability to a much greater degree than most when it comes to almost any professional endeavour. One can groom an amazing talent to become a hard worker and good leader, as in those who coached Michael Jordan; but one can’t make even the hardest worker and best leader into a Michael Jordan kind of talent, no matter the good intentions and level of effort. That said, everyone has his limits where character must cancel out even the greatest of capability, and Owens far, far exceeds that limit for me. This man is so poisonous, so disruptive, so arrogant, that signing him would be the closest thing America’s Team ever has done to selling its soul to the devil.

There is no other player in the history of the sport the equal of T.O. — in his ability to destroy team harmony. He is without peer in the game — in his thundering obnoxiousness and raging egomania. No one in football can outperform T.O. — as a grotesquely cancerous influence on teammates, coaches and fans. In a Pro Football Hall of Shame, this guy would be unanimously elected, first ballot. Owens is so toxic to his teams that no scientist in the chemical world could devise a comparable concoction of arsenic, cadmium, lead, plutonium, dioxin, PCBs, cyanide, mercury, sulfuric acid and sea snake venom.

Sure, there is a chance Owens would come in remorseful and humble, genuinely begging forgiveness from Cowboys fans for his ugly displays of disrespect on that hallowed blue star, putting his money on the line with a contract heavily loaded with behavior incentives, then quietly play his butt off with full use of all that amazing talent, while praising his teammates and uttering no words of acrimony. There’s also a chance the biggest winning Powerball ticket of all time will fall into someone’s trash, blow out of the city dump truck and flutter into my hands while I’m outside digging post holes. The latter is far more probable.

Give me one reason — just one — that this man would not do everything in his considerable ability to undermine and damage the morale of the team. Time and again, Terrell Owens has proven to be a divisive, antagonistic, egomaniacal knucklehead. He is a lockerroom saboteur of the most despicable degree. If Jerry Jones wants to contaminate the Cowboys with the gridiron equivalent of a Superfund wasteland, one single festering cesspool of concentrated contaminants guaranteed to take years and years for cleanup and recovery, signing T.O. is the answer.

I cannot possibly devise prose to adequately describe Owens’ hideous influence everywhere he has been, a trail of devastation that leaves former teams in smoldering heaps of ruin. Look at San Francisco, where the 49ers (already on the decline, of course) had to be imploded and rebuilt following his rampage of arrogance, pettiness and wanton insubordination. Look at Baltimore, where he didn’t even have to set foot on the field to divide and ransack the organization. And Philly — my word, the swath of bitterness, anger and hatred he carved — it just gets worse and worse with every stop!

Some may contend that Keyshawn Johnson — also of notorious lockerroom repute at prior stops — behaved himself as a model citizen only when coached by Parcells. This much is true (and a good reason, by the way, to re-sign him for anther year or two). Therefore, maybe Owens finally could thrive under Parcells’ iron-fisted rule, they say; to which I ask: What on earth are you smoking? By comparison, Keyshawn wears wings and a glimmering golden halo.

Consider all the players in Cowboys history that opponents and their fans despised for being “arrogant” — Hollywood Henderson, Butch Johnson, Tony Dorsett, Tony Hill, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, Keyshawn. I’m telling you: T.O. has more conceit in a single hair follicle than all those guys combined.

T.O. ruined one good coach (Steve Mariucci) and damn near another (Andy Reid). Parcells has the lowest tolerance for divisive garbage of any coach, and would not stand for disrespectful treatment of himself, his assistants or his players. Such behavior is the core characteristic of Terrell Owens, which virtually guarantees he couldn’t last a full season before being kicked off the team, contract absorbed, millions of dollars wasted. If I am wrong, I’ll be the first to get online and admit it with bells on, and the Cowboys will be a force in the playoffs once again. Don’t hold your breath.

Please, Jerry: Wave at the T.O. bus as it roars past, and don’t let him get off at any price.


3 Responses to “O Jer-ry…Don’t Bring T.O. to Town!”

  1. tornado on March 19th, 2006 1:07 am

    Now that it’s official, all I’ll add is that Jerry Jones (once again) has lost his mind and is acting like a greedy, publicity hungry, egomaniacal idiot. Then again, that’s why he probably can relate to TO so well. In a way they’re two of a kind. But mark my words, dealing with T.O. will drive Parcells out of coaching for good.

    Of course I’ll cheer for the team as fervently as ever, and be happy whenever anyone (including TO) scores a TD. At least TO will be entertaining during the honeymoon period before he starts undermining the team.

    But I will dread the harm that will come when this sorry punk ___hole starts destroying the lockerroom, as is his M.O. They had better milk T.O. for all he’s worth until it inevitably happens.

  2. M. Buler on March 22nd, 2006 8:48 pm

    Doggone it! I was just beginning to be a Cowboys fan again! Being from Philly, I had hated them avidly since the 42-7 shellacking we got at Franklin Field back in the 70’s (that Toby Kieth halftime show a couple of years ago changed my mind). T.O. is a lot of things, a fanatically hard worker, incredibly talented, almost immune to pain, and a jack-off. I honestly believe that he can’t help it. It just seems to shine off of him. After his ’05 Superbowl performance, he should have had all of the Philly fans eating out of his hand. He should have raked in millions with endorsements. Instead, he is the most despised NFL player in Philly, and San Francisco, and in a year or two, once again in Dallas. Good luck youse guys! You’re gonna need it…

  3. M. Buler on June 4th, 2006 11:40 pm

    As much as I dislike TO, it is time to go beyond that and do some rational thinking. In the short term things are looking good for the Cowboys. With Owens drawing double coverage, Terry Glen is going to be wide open a lot of the time. We have seen this happen in Philly with Todd Pinkston, who had a great year when Owens arrived after stinking up the league the previous year. Terry Glen is a much better reciever than Pinkston, and with Bledsoe delivering the ball accurately it is a scenario almost frightening to an Eagles fan. Add to this the Witten option, and the strong Dallas running game. Yikes! Two big questions remain… Can Dallas protect Drew Bledsoe??? Is there a strong back up behind him??? It appears that the only defensive solution to the Dallas steamroller will be to go after the QB. It might just be one helluva football season in big D… At least for a year or two!

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