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Key and T.O.

Keyshawn and Terrell. Once linked because they were two of the bad boy receivers in the NFL, now linked because one was let go in Dallas and replaced by the other. ESPN Insider (sub. req.) gives their opinion.

3. Keyshawn and T.O. intertwined?
Two of the most prolific receivers in the NFL, who also can make headlines with their outlandish behavior, will be in the spotlight in 2006.

Keyshawn Johnson was quietly run out of Dallas and replaced by the volatile Terrell Owens. Johnson will now try to prove in Carolina that the Cowboys made a mistake.

Both are big, physical receivers. The one huge difference is that Owens still has some deep speed and a big-play element, while Johnson is now strictly a possession receiver. This is probably the last stop for both of these players, and watching them accept their roles this fall will be interesting, to say the least.

Carolina has a big-play deep threat in Steve Smith, and the Panthers will expect Johnson to take away double teams and do the dirty work over the middle. Will he become frustrated if QB Jake Delhomme continues to force the ball to Smith, or will Delhomme realize Johnson is a big target who can make this pass offense more consistent?

In Dallas, Owens should really help Terry Glenn get less double coverage, but the Cowboys want to utilize tight end Jason Witten and rookie TE Anthony Fasano, who both catch the ball well over the middle. When you factor in that Dallas ran the ball 521 times in 2005, it is fair to wonder where the catches for Owens will come from. With marginal offensive line protection, QB Drew Bledsoe was sacked 49 times a year ago, so how long will it take for Owens to implode if he is not getting the ball?

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