Many people laugh when they hear that Terrell Owens still aspires to play in the NFL. Drew Pearson, a former All-Pro receiver with the Dallas Cowboys, doesn’t think the dream is funny. He says there is “no question” T.O. could still play football at the highest level.
“To me, there’s no question [Owens] could play in the NFL,” Pearson said during an interview with “Ben and Skin” last Wednesday.
“The NFL now, they try to run you out of the league when you’re 30 years old. He’s 38. When you’re 38, it’s very difficult, to try to get back into the NFL, especially when you’re coming off an injury like Terrell was,” Pearson said.
Pearson believes Owens’ character issues are keeping him from getting another shot.
“But it’s not what happens between the lines with Terrell. It’s how he handles things outside the lines, being Terrell Owens, dealing with the fans, being a good teammate. That’s what we were really concerned with developing with Terrell. Going from T.O. to Terrell Owens. But it’s so hard to get to close to Terrell. He lets certain people in. My opinion is he doesn’t let the right people in to tell him the right things. I didn’t want to enable him. I didn’t want to be another one of those guys that have been telling him things all his life that he just wants to hear. I was trying to be that guy that tells him things that he needed to hear.”
Pearson, who is the GM of the Allen Wranglers, explained where T.O.’s relationship with the team went wrong, and why he eventually was released.
“Terrell embraced [his ownership status] initially with tremendous enthusiasm. He was a model citizen and did everything right, but throughout the season, that enthusiasm continually deteriorated,” Pearson said. “The things that we needed him to do or expected him to do just weren’t getting done.
“It just wasn’t a good fit in the end. It was a great fit in the beginning. It got the Wrangler name out there. Terrell performed tremendously, was a great teammate and all that. Somewhere along the line, with him being gone, playing home games and not playing away games, it causes some disruption within your team,” Pearson explained. “You can’t really build chemistry within your football team with one player doing those kind of things. What it led to was other players thinking they can do this and they can do that because they saw Terrell do this and they saw Terrell do that. It was a decision that just had to be made because we are fighting for our playoff lives.
“It was requested to Terrell to be a good team player and step up and maybe play these two road games. That was something that was discussed throughout the season, and this was a time when the team really needed him to step up and show an allegiance to us, and it just didn’t happen.”
I understand what Pearson is saying, but he can only blame himself for that issue. The Wranglers agreed to sign Owens to a contract that would allow him to miss road games. If they didn’t want him having special privileges, they shouldn’t have agreed to those terms. Now I can see why the receiver is contemplating suing the team.
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