Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Friday, March 17, 2006
Owens, Cowboys potential great fit

By Eric Allen
ESPN Insider

The Cowboys signing T.O. is a great move for both parties.

It's a great move for the Cowboys because it gets them one step closer to becoming a Super Bowl contender. Say what you will about his attitude and off field actions, but Owens is a superstar receiver who gives his all on the field every play. He's a tremendous talent who makes things much easier for his teammates because opposing defenses must key in on him to stop him from completely dominating the game.

Terrell Owens
Now T.O. will be cheered for his touchdown celebrations in Dallas. (AP Photo/Vern Steinman)
Because of Owens' presence, RB Julius Jones is going to see less eight-man fronts and WR Terry Glenn will become even more of a deep threat because he's going to see less double coverage with Owens on the other side. This offense has the potential to be quite explosive when you realize the Cowboys also have tight end Jason Witten and QB Drew Bledsoe.

Another reason why this has the potential to work for the Cowboys is because this isn't a situation like in Philadelphia where he was the missing link to a championship. This team is still young and while they have the components to play with anybody in the league, they still are a move or two away from being a serious Super Bowl contender.

Finally, this was a no-brainer for the Cowboys because Owens has shown before that the first year of a contract is the honeymoon period for him. He has a ton of incentive to stay on his best behavior this first season and do what he's told and produce on the football field because he can start to whine about a new contract in his second season after he's put up some numbers that show he's still a top 5 receiver.

Now this is a great move for Terrell Owens because any gains this team makes will be judged to be because of his presence. This is a great opportunity for him to go to a team with a great tradition of winning Super Bowls with an owner who will do whatever it takes to win games and a future Hall of Fame coach calling the plays.

There will be a lot of pundits out there who will say that Bill Parcells and T.O. won't be able to coexist and I believe they are wrong. Parcells will love having Owens on his team because Parcells loves players who give their all on the field and love football. That's Owens in a nutshell. Despite all the suspect behavior over the years and silly comments, Owens is a guy who loves to play football and win games.

I also don't see this as being a problem between the two of them because Parcells has dealt with guys like Lawrence Taylor and Keyshawn Johnson in the past. As long as they busted their butts, they were on his good side. Also, Parcells does a great job of bringing his former players who can and will sit guys down and talk to them about playing for Parcells and how to handle football. Now I'm not saying that Owens can be handled by a current or former player, but that is the type of atmosphere that a guy like him needs to stay level headed.

Also, this is the first time Owens has joined a coach who was won a Super Bowl. He's going to respect the rings on Parcells' fingers because that's proof the coach knows what he's talking about. I think it was easier for him to dismiss his previous coaches because they didn't have Super Bowl rings that they earned as the head guy. Now he has a guy he'll believe when the coach says that if he does things their way he might get to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season.

Of course one of the biggest reasons why this is such a great fit is because it's Dallas. This city loves and knows its football and Owens will never be bigger in the minds of the fans than players like Drew Pearson, Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Roger Staubach, etc. Also, this is a city that is used to great receivers who are a little bit off the beaten path. Owens will fit in perfectly in that regard.

Personally I can't wait to see him play the Eagles twice a year and to see what he has up his sleeve.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.