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He was deactivated for most of the 2005 season by the Philadelphia Eagles due primarily to behavior stemming from a contract dispute and conflicts with other Eagles' players, including quarterback Donovan McNabb. On March 18, 2006, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced that Terrell Owens signed a contract to play for the team.
Owens was born into a troubled home in Alexander City, Alabama. He immersed himself in sports from an early age, idolizing Jerry Rice. He was not a distinguished high school athlete, and only managed to earn his first starting position during his senior year. After completing high school, Owens chose to accept a scholarship from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Owens played basketball, ran track and played college football for the UTC Moccasins while enrolled at the University of Tennessee. He played in the 1995 NCAA Tournament in basketball and anchored the schools 4x100 relay team. To pay tribute to his idol, Jerry Rice, Owens wore a #80 on the football field. As a freshman, Owens saw limited playtime, catching only six passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. During his sophomore year, new head coach Tommy West promoted him to starter. Owens would go on to catch 38 passes for 724 yards and eight touchdowns. During his junior year, Owens headlined the team's offense, catching 58 passes for 836 yards and six touchdowns. During his senior year, Owens faced double coverage every week, and was limited to 43 receptions for 666 yards and one touchdown.
San Francisco 49ers
Based as much on his size and speed as on his demonstrated ability, Owens was drafted by the NFL's San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft. While Owens was ecstatic to play alongside his idol, Jerry Rice, he maintained a solemn attitude during the team's practice sessions. Owens played his first professional game against the Atlanta Falcons, where he served as a member of 49ers special teams.
In the 1997 NFL season, Terrell Owens became a big name for the 49ers, when Rice went down early in the season with a torn ACL. He and quarterback Steve Young helped the 49ers win 13 games that season. In a wild-card playoff game the next year, after dropping a number of passes, Owens redeemed himself by catching a game-winning touchdown against the Green Bay Packers for a 30-27 comeback victory. This play has been dubbed The Catch II.
The following season was a disaster for the 49ers, as they fell from grace to a 4-12 record. Young retired after the 1999 season, and Jeff Garcia was named the 49ers starting quarterback. In 2000, the 49ers only managed to win six games. However, Owens had a record-breaking day on December 17, 2000 with 20 catches for 283 yards versus the Bears. His single-game reception total surpassed the 50-year-old mark held by Tom Fears.
The 2001 49ers managed to capture a 12-4 record but were defeated by the Green Bay Packers yet again during a wild-card match. The team's success was hampered by Owens' feuds with Garcia and head coach Steve Mariucci. Those feuds were temporarily put aside during the 2002 season when the 49ers surged to win the NFC Western division and earned a home playoff date against the New York Giants. In that game the 49ers produced the second-greatest comeback in NFL playoff history by coming back from a 24 point deficit (14-38) and winning 39-38 behind amazing performances from Garcia and Owens in particular. Although the team lost its subsequent game to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the season had been successful. Still, that did not prevent ownership from firing Mariucci after the season's conclusion.
Following a subpar team season in 2003, Owens left the 49ers. Immediately after breaking off all ties to the 49ers, Owens appeared in an interview for Playboy magazine, where he created controversy after insinuating that Garcia was homosexual.
Although Owens was eager to leave the 49ers, Owens's previous agent, David Joseph, missed the deadline to void the final years of his contract with the 49ers. On March 4th, 2004, San Francisco traded Owens to the Baltimore Ravens for a second round pick in the 2004 draft. However, Owens challenged the 49ers' right to make the deal. Owens assumed that he would become a free agent on March 3, and did not believe that the earlier deadline was applicable. So he had negotiated with other teams in advance of his expected free agency, and had reached a contract agreement with the Eagles, whose fan base strongly supported Owens in his desire to play for the team. The NFL Players Union filed a grievance on his behalf.
Before an arbitrator could make a ruling on Owens's grievance, the NFL and the three teams involved in the controversy reached a settlement on March 16, 2004. The Ravens got their second-round pick back from the Niners, and the Niners in turn received a conditional fifth-round pick and defensive end Brandon Whiting from the Eagles in exchange for the rights to Owens. Owens's contract with the Eagles was reported to be worth $49 million for seven years, including a $10 million signing bonus.
In September of 2004, Terrell Owens released a purported autobiography: Catch This! Going Deep with the NFL's Sharpest Weapon. The 288-page book was ghostwritten by Stephen Singular. Owens admitted in 2005 that he has never actually read his own "autobiography."
Early success in 2004, leg injury, and Super Bowl XXXIX
The 2004 season got off to a great start for the Eagles, who won each of their first seven and 13 of their first 14 games; as well as for Owens, who averaged a touchdown catch per game before his injury. Owens gained a tremendous amount of popularity throughout the league, especially among the Eagles fan base. On December 19, 2004, Owens sustained a severely sprained ankle and a fractured fibula when Dallas Cowboys safety Roy Williams committed a horse collar tackle against him, before the technique was outlawed. This specific injury was given as one of the major reasons that the horse collar tackle was made illegal before the next season.
With the Eagles heading to Super Bowl XXXIX, Owens shocked the media by announcing he would play no matter what, even though team doctors stated that his injury would take several more weeks to heal. Skeptics were silenced when Owens started the game and played well; the result was 9 receptions and 122 yards, though the Eagles still lost to the New England Patriots. After the game, Owens criticized the media by saying that a player like Brett Favre would have been praised for such bravery.
Contract renegotiation before 2005 season
In April of 2005, Owens announced that he had hired a new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, one of the most aggressive agents currently representing NFL players, and indicated that he will seek to have his contract with the Eagles renegotiated. Owens made $9 million in 2004, and was slated to make $3.5 million in 2005. He also caused considerable controversy with a comment to the effect that he "wasn't the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl," the remark apparently directed at Donovan McNabb, who angrily denounced Owens for making it. On July 1 the Eagles denied a request made by Owens for permission to play basketball in a summer league under the auspices of the NBA's Sacramento Kings.
|11 year NFL career||160||801||11715||14.6||114||0|
|11 year NFL career||160||25||159||6.4||2||0|
Kick Return Stats
|11 year NFL career||160||5||78||15.6||0||0|
Fumble Recovery Stats
|11 year NFL career||160||9||1||1||13||0|