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Owens is both a speed and possession receiver

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I found this article on ESPN Insider (sub. required) the other day but didn't get around to posting it until today. The guy who wrote it broke down the Cowboys passes in 2005 into short, middle, and deep passes and then broke them down by receiver. As expected, he found Keyshawn Johnson did well in short and middle passes but was terrible on deep passes. Terry Glenn was aces on deep passes but not very good on short and middle routes.

He then broke down pass totals for Terrell Owens over the same amount of games and found that he excelled in all the areas, often turning short passes into long gains. Here was his conclusion.

The addition of Owens means the Cowboys now have two viable deep threats, which actually might create a problem. The Cowboys threw only 68 deep passes in 2005, as compared to 93 in 2004. Owens likely will receive more vertical attempts than Johnson did, but I cannot see his supplanting Glenn as the primary vertical threat. Glenn simply doesn't possess the skill set to be anything other than a vertical threat, which limits the roles he can fill.

Fortunately, Owens' skill set is varied enough that he can fill a number of roles. If the Cowboys need him to be a possession receiver who can move the chains, Owens can do it. If they need him to be an explosive vertical receiver who can take some of the coverage away from Glenn, he can do that as well.

I don't know whether Jerry Jones had all this in mind when he paid Owens a king's ransom, but he did make a wise investment. Owens' value as a deep threat is well known, but his flexibility is the rare commodity that sets him apart from most other receivers.