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T.O. earning his keep

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This post is for BTB regular Cowboy Mike, who thought the good play of Terrell Owens this season needed more spotlight. So I started throwing some thoughts together on Owens' season, and how much it all has changed since Romo took over. Indeed, Owens is putting together a season worthy of being a #1 WR on a winning team and worthy of the money we are paying him. But before I got down to writing the article, Nick Eatman beat me to it over at DC.com. Eatman - who I think is top-notch in covering the Cowboys - points out that Owens' numbers are excellent so far and are gaining steam with Romo at the helm. According to Eatman, he's on pace for 85-90 catches, around 1,250 yards receiving and 11-12 TD's. That's a very good year. But - and there is always a but with T.O. - it's the outside stuff that always seems to be the measure of the man.

I've criticized Owens in the past, before he came to Dallas. He did things that I thought hurt his teams. Since he's been in Dallas, I've tried to judge him on what he's done this year, forgetting his past. Owens has become a forgotten storyline on the sidelines and the locker room now that he has Romo and now that we are winning; he's happy, and the team is happy. His on-the-field field play is now the story, and that has been very good.

Only two things have really bothered me since he's been here, the sleeping through the meetings and the radio comments about Haley after their little run-in. But neither were catastrophic, pretty run of the mill stuff for professional sports. On the field, Owens is delivering, and with Romo in the game, he's delivering big-time. He's averaging 92 yards a game since Romo came in, and is demanding double-team coverage but still getting 6.6 catches a game. He also scores, alot.

The only problem with Owens is the occasional drops. Eatman speaks to that issue.

All I know is there seems to be more focus on his dropped passes, which are sometimes debatable anyway.

Why don't we focus more on the 61 catches? How about the 831 receiving yards? Or better yet, the eight touchdowns?

Let's not let the real facts get in the way.

And no, I'm not oblivious to the things that come out of his mouth sometimes.

Eatman tattles on the sanctity of the press box.

It's not just with the fans, but the media, too. When a bad pass from Tony Romo lands at his feet, possibly grazing his fingers about two inches from the ground, the press box erupts with "DROP !!!." Yet, Owens comes back with an 18-yard reception on the next play. Silence.

Or Terry Glenn drops a pass on the same drive just in front of the Cowboys' sideline. Nothing.

That's the problem I have with all of this T.O.-bashing. It's never consistent. If Owens is going to be blasted for a few faults, then why is he not praised for the good things?

And let's be honest, the good has completely outweighed the bad, without question.


There you have it. I agree, on the field he's producing like we hoped. The drop against Washington has gained mythical status. Hey, I know it was bad, really bad, but it was one play. He's had a couple of other drops, too, but over the balance of the season, he's produced. That's why we brought him here.

Jones/Barber vs. Barber/Jacobs.

[Julius] Jones is on pace for a career-high 1,240-yard season, and [Marion] Barber has the league's third-most rushing touchdowns (9) as a third-down and short-yardage complement to Jones. Together, they have rushed for 1,345 yards and 12 touchdowns on 310 carries, an average of 4.3 a carry.

[snip]

Tiki Barber is the NFL's fourth-ranked rusher (1,080 yards) with five games left in what he says is his final season. He only has one touchdown, however, thanks to the coaching staff leaning on [Brandon] Jacobs' giant nose for the end zone. The 265-pounder has eight rushing touchdowns, just behind Marion Barber.