Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Is T.O. Maturing?
I know that if I were a professional wide receiver--scratch that, a Pro Bowl wide receiver for The Dallas Cowboys, I would be frustrated with Brad Johnson being my quarterback. Now, let me make it clear that this is not a bashing-Johnson column; rather, it is one that a) shows the maturity of Terrell Owens (complete with examples!) and b) proves the already well-known fact the Brad Johnson is past his prime. Brad has had a great career, let's not forget that. But now, at 40 (seriously, he's that old), he has no business starting at quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.
If sunday's escape (not win, it was an escape) against Tampa Bay didn't make it evident enough, then...you have no eyes. Johnson is the furthest thing from mobile, can't make quick reads, and always checks down to the little bailout dump downs. This was illustrated by his illustrious 3.8 yards per attempt. Even Navy had more yards per attempt when the played SMU. (Not really, it's called exaggeration. But if you haven't heard, click here and you'll understand.) In one instance Johnson did decide throw the deep ball--T.O. had beaten Akim Talib--and under threw it so badly Talib looked like the second coming of Deion Sanders.
So, being a Cowboys fan--of just being a citizen of the United States--you probably were ready for another frustration-fest from Terrell Owens. Yet, it never came. In fact, I'm sure ESPN was so upset that he did not loose his cool that they tried to fabricate a story saying he did (ESPN can be good at this. read: T.O. suicide attempt). His production has fallen violently this year, and it isn't all his fault. with 30 catches and 431 receiving yards, he is on pace for 60 grabs and only 860 yards, which would actually be his worst (full) season since his rookie year.
I ask you, now, to put yourself in Owen's shoes. Mighty frustrating, isn't it? Your Super Bowl-talented team in disarray behind a quarterback who would lose a throwing contest to Bethany Hamilton might tip an emotional person over the edge. In Owens' case, it has before. Many, many times. This time, however, Terrell has reacted differently. With maturity. In his interview with Ed Werder this week, Owens passed on multiple questions, because he did not, as NFC East blogger Matt Mosley put it: "want any part of the numerous questions about quarterback Brad Johnson."
Owens focused on the positives this time, citing that he threw the ball with Brooks Bollinger (Cowboys' third string QB...a lot younger than 40) and was impressed. Hint, hint. The only time frustration peaked through all week was a tactful quote:
"You're at a wide receiver position and you're capable of making plays," he said. "And you've made your career because of making plays, and you're not making them. It is frustrating."
And there you have it, the maturation of Terrell Owens. Hopefully most can realize that he guy is the ultimate competitor and just wants to help his team win. Yes, his antics may sometime cause people to think otherwise, but no one is as passionate about the game as Owens. Let this mark the beginning of the Brooks Bollinger campaign. That or the hurry-up-and-get-healthy-Romo campaign. The Cowboys need something this week against the Giants, and Brad Johnson is not it...unless "it" is holding for Nick Folk.
***DallasDedicated in no way meant to put down Bethany Hamilton. In fact, she should be praised and applauded for her unbelievable will and ability. We just think Brad Johnson can't throw the ball.
--In other news, the Mavericks open the regular season tomorrow night against Houston. More on the game soon.