Long before Terrell Owens became a Cowboy, we all heard about his mouth being bigger than his heart, and his penchant for getting into trouble being greater than his talent.
I never really knew anything about Terrell Owens except for what I heard on ESPN and read in Sports Illustrated. It got to the point where I actually hated the guy, and yet I really knew nothing about the man. Shame on me.
I have now observed Terrell Owens first hand for almost two years. He is everything that I hoped he would be, and nothing like the derelict he was portrayed as by the media. For years they have maligned his heart, his desire and his character, and yet I’ve never seen that Terrell Owens.
The Terrell Owens I’ve seen is a natural born leader. In 2006 I saw him go out there and play hurt for almost an entire season. I would see him cringe with pain everytime he caught a rocket from Tony Romo. Yes, he dropped some of those passes, but even still he was among the leaders in receiving with another 1000 yard campaign, 13 touchdowns and 85 receptions. Incredible…
Those numbers don’t even tell the story of how he took a young unproven quarterback who had no NFL experience under his belt, and helped him become the star he is today. It doesn’t tell the story of a man who played hurt everyday and showed his teammates that playing in the NFL is a privilege not a birthright. Terrell Owens found a home in Dallas, and in Owens, Dallas found an inspirational leader.
Now we are only five games away from the end of the regular season. Owens is on the verge of his greatest season ever. He already has 1,100 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is 300 yards, and 3 touchdowns away from his career highs with five games left to play. He has been Romo’s go to guy all season long. He leads the team in TD’s and in fact, he has more touchdowns then the entire receiving corps combined.
Despite all of Owens heroics and his outstanding production, you don’t hear anything about it from the media. Those same sportscasters and sports writers that were so willing to tarnish Terrell Owens even at the beginning of the season, have all suddenly gone quiet. They have nothing else to say. They are all a disgrace to their profession.
When Brett Favre and Jeremy Shockey scream and holler, or curse out their teammates when they do wrong, or celebrate after a game winning score, they are called gutsy and fiery. When Terrell Owens did those same things in his past, he was called a clubhouse cancer, and a showboat, and an arrogant player.
I am so grateful that Terrell Owens chose to play out his career with the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is where all shining stars belong. I am glad that I got to see the real Terrell Owens have his finest season now in 2007.
Today, I went and purchased a Christmas gift for a little boy and decided on a Dallas Cowboys Jersey. They had every jersey that I could have possibly wanted, but I picked out the one that said "Owens" on the back. It made me feel good inside, and I know it will bring a warm smile to his face on Christmas morning.
I can’t ever take back all the bad things I’ve thought about Terrell Owens before he became a Cowboy. But I can make up for it by making sure I never get swayed by the media again, and by letting people know that if they want to see the real Terrell Owens, they should tune into a Dallas Cowboys football game and watch T.O. do his magic.