TO is out, but why now?
By nature, I donâ€™t surprise easily.Â But I was stunned to learn last night that the Dallas Cowboys had released wide receiver Terrell Owens, although there had been persistent rumors that he might be cut in order to improve morale in a sharply-divided locker room.
Shocked, because TO, for all the controversy that he invariably generates, was coming off a productive season during which he caught 69 passes for 1,052 yards â€“ averaging 15.2 per catch â€“ and 10 touchdowns â€“ which tied him for five among NFL receivers.
Taken aback, because he received a signing bonus of $12 million just last year.
Puzzled, because of the timing.Â Why didnâ€™t Dallas release him prior to the opening of free agency?Â The would have allowed the Cowboys to pursue such proven available receivers as TJ Houshmanzadeh or Laveranues Coles, both of whom have since signed with other teams.
Bewildered, because that leaves the under-achieving Roy Williams as the top receiver on a team that went 9-7 and failed to reach the playoffs last year.
Dallas astonishingly gave up first-, third- and sixth-round draft picks to acquire him in a a trade from Detroit.Â Williams managed just 36 catches for 430 yards and two scores for the entire season.
But maybe it figures that a team that gave way too much to land Williams would release TO at a time when it didnâ€™t make any sense to make that decision.Â Way to go, Cowboys.
The speculation is already percolating as to where TO will end up next.Â A number of teams could use a player of his proven talent, if not his history of causing problems with coaches and fellow players.Â Heâ€™s also 35 years old, relatively ancient for a wide receiver.
One possibility is Oakland.Â Another is Denver.Â Some are predicting Washington.Â Owens has limited his options because heâ€™s burned plenty of potential bridges that could have led to potential jobs.
He alienated current Minnesota head coach Brad Childress, who served as offensive coordinator during TOâ€™s tenure with Philly.Â And he alienated new Kansas City head coach Todd Haley, who served as offensive coordinator during the first year of TOâ€™s stay in Dallas.Â Way to go, TO.