T.O. is not really ever fondly recalled from a public relations standpoint.
But he unquestionably had seasons to remember with three legendary NFL teams: the 49ers, the Cowboys, and the Eagles.
His production with these three teams can not be doubted. He will make the Hall Of Fame in Canton one day because he was solid, productive, difference-making receiver with all of them.
A Hall of Fame Career
When Owens first came into the League out of tiny Tennessee-Chattanooga, he was playing alongside the one and only Jerry Rice and catching balls from Steve Young.
T.O. was not brash coming up in the Niners organization, but his personality developed when he discovered how good his talents were becoming.
He caught the most touchdowns in his career from Jeff Garcia during those years in San Fran. There were a lot of spectacular plays, both on deep balls and short passes that T.O. took to the house. The 49ers made the playoffs too. And Garcia was no slouch as an NFL QB; he made Pro Bowls.
Owens didn’t play long in Philadelphia, only two seasons, but this is where he made his only Super Bowl appearance. The Eagles wouldn’t have made it to the Super Bowl that year had T.O. not been with the team. McNabb and T.O. had awesome chemistry together during the regular season that ended up 13-3.
In the tumultuous three years in Dallas that followed, T.O. was exhilarating in some games with Tony Romo at the helm. Romo is the one QB still left from Owens’ old days, and T.O. surely remembers them well.
The subsequent years in Buffalo and Cincy, however, were not glorious seasons by any stretch.
It was Philly, San Fran, and Dallas where Owens’ craziness and talents were on full display. He produced big numbers, but he also clashed and bashed with all of his QB’s and wore out his welcome, regardless of what he brought on the field.
So, why would he be welcomed back?
Could T.O. Return To Old Stomping Grounds?
There will come a point this season when a wide receiver will be needed to mend a team’s insufficient depth at the position.
As it stands now, the Cowboys look like the ones in most need of WR help. There’s not too much after Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, and inevitably they will miss games to injury.
Also, it looks like another lost season in Big D. The Boys don’t look like they will win a lot of games, not because of Romo, but, because of what’s around him.
T.O. could end up as part of a reunion of sorts in Dallas for publicity sakes. Would you really put it past Jerry Jones?
San Francisco 49ers
San Fran has their WR position pretty well sewed up with Mario Manningham from the NY Giants, as well as Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree.
With Moss, though, one never knows. If he is a malcontent, could there be a trade out of Moss for Owens?
The team that T.O. probably prefers the most of the three is Philadelphia.
T.O. would surely like the chance to play with Michael Vick because it is one more dynamic quarterback with a strong arm to catch passes from.
A Vick-T.O. combo would be dynamite for the NFL if they could ever be healthy and playing top-notch ball.
If he wants another chance, Owens must stay in shape and keep trying to prove he has something left to leave out on the field.
Is it too much sentimentality to want to see T.O. one more time in one of his old stomping grounds? Can he even make a difference anymore?
It probably won’t happen, but Terrell Owens going back to one of his old teams would make for a helluva storyline in any of the three cities.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com