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Is T.O. for real, or is he just acting?


Last season I had some fun by calling T.O. a pod-person. It was kind of in jest but it was kind of serious. When I heard we were signing T.O. a couple of years ago I was very skeptical. I knew he had the talent, I saw what he did in San Francisco and what he did in Philadelphia, but that was on the field. He was already starting to tear apart the team in San Francisco off the field before they jettisoned him. I watched the sideline tantrums, the belittling of Jeff Garcia, and of course, the despicable desecration of the star. At that time I wanted no part of him. Then he ended up in Philly and when he helped them get to the Super Bowl and made a super-human effort to play in that game coming off of the leg injury, it made me ill. Basically, any time Philly succeeds in football it makes me ill. But when the next season rolled around and the old T.O. was back and was ripping apart another team, I giggled in glee. Good, I thought, glad to see the Eagles going down in flames.

Then Jerry Jones decided he was going to bring T.O. to Big D and I thought he’d lost his mind. Sure I salivated at his talent, but dreaded the inevitable blow-up that would crush our team. The first year was a rocky one as T.O. and Tuna never could get together. But last year, once Wade Phillips was brought on board it was like we had a re-born T.O. And that’s when I started the pod-person jokes because it was like an alien presence had invaded his body and created a whole new persona. I was still a little weary; I thought the old T.O. could come back at anytime.

But now, I’m almost convinced that T.O. is a changed person for good. I know I might be jinxing things by saying it, but he really does appear to be a new man. If there was one thing I thought might trigger a repeat of his past was the fact that he’s entering the final year of the three-year contract he originally signed. The words renegotiation, T.O. and Drew Rosenhaus together scare me more than Romo’s singing at a Cubs game. Seriously, if there was to be a meltdown I thought this would be the trigger.

But go to this article or this article and read the comments from the new T.O. Unless his recent stint on Flavor Flav’s new show has turned him into Al Pacino, I don’t think he’s acting. He sounds sincere.

The highlights are he wants to end his career in Dallas and go into the Hall of Fame as a Cowboy. He claims he’ll let the negotiations play out and it won’t be a distraction. He wants to play another 3-5 years if he’s still playing at a high level. He wants everyone to remember that Terry Glenn could be back and that even if Jerry did bring a Roy Williams or Chad Johnson or whoever, he would be just fine with it. He only cares about winning and not individual stats. He wants to get back to the playoffs badly and finish it this time with a Super Bowl victory. He says he helped Tank Johnson fit in when he came on board and will do the same with Pacman. T.O. praises Jerry Jones, Calvin Hill and crew for making the Cowboys a team where everybody can fit in.

Yeah, it does sound too good to be true. But that’s the new T.O., as long as he's not just acting.

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