NFC East: Ralph Wilson

Is Jerry Jones the new Boss?

July, 30, 2010
7/30/10
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ESPN.com contributing writer Johnette Howard thinks that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is the closest thing we have in professional sports to the late George Steinbrenner. But she's surprised that Jones seems to be downplaying his club's shot at winning another Super Bowl.

Jones
Jones
"Who is this guy soft-pedaling the 2010 Cowboys' chances of winning it all and talking instead about the unpredictable 'journey' that all NFL seasons become?" asks Howard. "Nobody should buy this judicious Jerry. He will not last. And it doesn't become him, anyway. Somewhere down the road, Jones will forget his humility and snap back to who he really is. He is still the man who once dismissed a past bit of bravado by telling a magazine interviewer, "That was just the whiskey talkin'," and maintained that vanity is a good thing because "It makes you go the extra mile."

I wouldn't worry about Jones cutting back on the hyperbole. Believe me, he's spent the last three years daydreaming about the Cowboys playing a Super Bowl in his beloved stadium. Jones and Steinbrenner had a unique relationship that actually led to them becoming business partners. But Jones can't approach The Boss when it comes to impulsive decisions.

If Steinbrenner had been the owner of the Cowboys, I think Wade Phillips would've been fired following the '08 season. In retrospect, that would've been the wrong move. But at the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. Jones still regrets giving up on Chan Gailey so fast, and that's one of the reasons Phillips is still in Dallas.

Steinbrenner and Jones shared a passion for winning, but it always seemed to me that Jones had a little more fun along the way. But if you're making the argument that Jones is now the most recognizable owner in professional sports, you may have a point.

Can you name another owner who might be considered for a guest spot on HBO's "Entourage"? Ralph Wilson, anyone?

T.O. had Buffalo at 'hello'

March, 13, 2009
3/13/09
5:43
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Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

In case you missed it, AFC East blogger Tim Graham had an excellent column Friday about how the city of Buffalo has already fallen in love with Terrell Owens. I especially loved the photo of the wooden carvings of Chris Berman and former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly located outside the Big Tree Inn.

Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas told Graham that he envisions T.O. stopping by the Big Tree to rub elbows with fans following games -- and I can totally see that happening. Here's a quote from the Buffalo Mayor:

"As mayor, if Terrell Owens gets us to the playoffs, I will proclaim a day in his honor," Brown said with a laugh. "I will make it Terrell Owens Day in the City of Buffalo. And that's just for starters. Let's not even start talking about the ticker-tape parade."

Tim's willingness to spend several hours in a Buffalo watering hole is nothing short of amazing. The woman drinking chilled Sambuca seemed especially on point.

Anyway, it's a great read so check it out.

Spanning North America for T.O. stories

March, 9, 2009
3/09/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Owens to Bills -- Anyone see this coming?

March, 7, 2009
3/07/09
7:32
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Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

You had to know Terrell Owens was going to land somewhere in 2009, but most of us didn't think it would happen this quickly. I was actually pulling for Oakland to sign him because the Raiders play at Dallas this season.

Owens leads in big plays
Terrell Owens' numbers may be on the decline, but he still has a knack for making plays when it counts:
Yards/Catch, 3rd Down (2008, min. 5 rec)
Player YPC
Devery Henderson 25.6
Terrell Owens 25.5
Justin Gage 24.9
Demetrius Williams 23.4
Bernard Berrian 22.6
3rd Down 30+ Yard Rec (2008)
Player 30+ Yard Rec
Terrell Owens 5
Steve Smith 4
Devery Henderson 4
Bernard Berrian 4
Greg Jennings 4
Vincent Jackson 4
30+ Yard TD (2006-08)
Player 30+ Yard TD
Terrell Owens 15
Bernard Berrian 12
Randy Moss 10
Greg Jennings 10
Lee Evans 10
Steve Smith 10
-- Compiled by ESPN Stats and Information

But T.O. will be in a Buffalo Bills uniform in '09. I can't get used to writing that sentence. The fact that he signed with Buffalo tells us what we already figured: There wasn't much of a market for him. AFC East blogger Tim Graham on ESPNEWS called it a "marriage of desperation," which sounds pretty accurate to me.

ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli said on ESPNEWS that Bills owner Ralph Wilson was the impetus for this improbable marriage. Pasquarelli said he talked to a Bills coach who expressed shock over the move. Honestly, it just goes against this organization's nature. But, in this economy, maybe the Bills are feeling more pressure than ever to add some juice.

Here's what T.O.'s agent Drew Rosenhaus said on ESPNEWS:

"[T.O.'s] a good fit from a standpoint of trying to make a statement, trying to make a move. ... They want to add a superstar to the mix and he's a great fit."

Rosenhaus praised Bills quarterback Trent Edwards and Buffalo's receiving corps. He also said that T.O. was "very impressed" with the coaching staff. And in a classic Rosenhaus moment, he took a parting shot at the Dallas Cowboys by pointing out that his client would make $800,000 more than he would have made with his former team.

"[Owens] thanks the Cowboys organization for releasing him and adding to his bank account," said Rosenhaus.

Way to stay classy, Drew. The agent also pointed out that "three or four" other teams were vying for T.O.'s services, and said that's why the Bills made such a competitive offer. As you might expect, Rosenhaus declined to name the "three or four" teams.

T.O.'s back in business with Bills

March, 7, 2009
3/07/09
6:29
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Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

 
  James Lang/US Presswire
  Terrell Owens agreed to a deal with the Bills on Saturday.

Former Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens may not have nine NFL lives, but he has at least four. According to a report by ESPN.com's John Clayton, T.O. has agreed to a one-year deal worth $6.5 million with the Buffalo Bills.

The $6.5 million is apparently guaranteed, which would appear to be a huge win for T.O., whose prospects looked bleak when he was released by the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday. T.O.'s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, had predicted his client would have a deal in place by the end of next week, and that sounded pretty optimistic considering T.O.'s much-publicized issues in Dallas. Several teams quickly issued press releases saying they wouldn't be interested in the controversial player, but the Bills were there to catch him.

He'll join an offense led by quarterback Trent Edwards, and he'll play opposite receiver Lee Evans, who's been on the decline since an 82-catch season in 2006. After spending his career with three big-market teams, T.O. is in for a huge change in Buffalo. But it's not like he'll be able to avoid the spotlight. He remains the biggest lightning rod in the league, which will make the Bills' 2009 training camp a completely different experience.

FOXsports.com was the first outlet to report T.O.'s visit to Buffalo. He was reportedly scheduled to leave town Saturday night if a deal wasn't in place, but the Bills obviously moved quickly. I'm sure Bills owner Ralph Wilson spent some time on the phone with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who had offered to be T.O.'s No. 1 reference.

The biggest surprise in all of this is the guaranteed contract. T.O.'s combination of age (35) and past issues screams for an incentive-laden contract, but much like Jones did three years ago, the Bills decided to make a serious commitment to the player. Even for a 35-year-old receiver with a spotless past, making $6.5 million per year would be a tremendous feat. And you wonder why players fall all over themselves to sign with Rosenhaus?

T.O.'s proven that he can destroy any locker room -- no matter how tight it might be. The Bills are being naive to think they could be the exception. But in reality, he's being brought in as a mercenary. Buffalo apparently thinks it's one elite player away from making a playoff run. That seems like a stretch to me in the competitive AFC East.

Tim Graham of AFC East blog fame, this guy is all yours!

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