According to leaked reports, former Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles receiver, Terrell Owens, was voted into the NFL Hall of Fame in the 2018 class. Owens has been one of the more controversial candidates; his numbers on the field scream Hall of Famer, but his numerous distractions off the field and brazen style with the media has kept him out for the last two years. It’s led to a debate about what should keep an NFL player out of the Hall of Fame.
Based on Owens numbers, he’s a shoe-in HOF’er:
He ranks second all-time in receiving yards. Andre Reed, Art Monk, Steve Largent, James Lofton, and Michael Irvin all have fewer receiving yards than Owens and they are all Hall of Famers.
He ranks third all-time in receiving touchdowns, behind only Jerry Rice and Randy Moss.
He ranks eighth all-time in receptions.
Additionally, he helped elevate the teams he was a part of for most his career. Our own DannyPhantom described this last year when Owens missed the Hall of Fame.
During Owens eight years in San Francisco, the 49ers would make the playoffs five times. As soon as he left, the 49ers would go on to win only two games the following season and wouldn’t sniff the playoffs until eight years later when Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach.
Owens then joined an Eagles team that was already great. In 2004, Philadelphia was coming off three straight NFC Championship appearances, however they came up short each time. With the help of Owens, the Eagles had a franchise best 13-3 record. The Eagles would have a great season and finally made it over the hump and reached the Super Bowl. Despite being three weeks from recovery from injury, Owens played in the Super Bowl and had nine catches for 122 yards. Owens had suffered a severe sprained ankle and fractured fibula after being horse collared by Cowboys safety Roy Williams (an incident that changed the rules of the game). He risked his career to help his team on the game’s biggest stage.
Owens would then join a Cowboys team that had missed the playoffs the previous two seasons. Immediately, he sparked the offense. The Cowboys would make the playoffs in each of his first two seasons, including tying their franchise best 13-3 record in 2007. In case you’re keeping track, that’s three franchises that went 13-3 with Owens. Tony Romo has had many great seasons with the Cowboys, but none was greater than his franchise touchdown record breaking season where he had Owens by his side.
Owens was also very durable, playing in 201 out of a possible 219 regular-season games. Despite all the hullabaloo about his off-the-field antics, Owens was never in trouble for domestic violence, drugs, DUIs, run-ins with the law or the various other things committed by other NFL players.
Many Cowboys fans never wanted Owens in the first place, after the incident at mid-field involving the star logo. Once he was in Dallas, his downfall was probably cemented when he decided to take on quarterback Tony Romo, arguing that he and Jason Witten were drawing up secret plays and that Romo was forcing the ball to Witten.
Owens received a reputation around the league as a locker-room cancer, a guy who eventually wore out his welcome at his three major stops along his NFL career. It’s even rumored that part of the reason Bill Parcells left Dallas was that Jerry Jones forced Owens on him.
It’s never been in doubt that Owens had Hall of Fame numbers, and the fact that he was kept out of the Hall for the past two years has been kind of a joke. It felt like revenge from the media who votes on the members because of Owens’ contentious relationship with them, and the way he went about things that was not to their liking. It was kind of absurd.
Love him or hate him, Terrell Owens is a Hall of Fame talent and deserves enshrinement. Things have finally been put right.