IRVING, Texas (AP) – Terrell Owens screamed it on the sideline against Philadelphia, in the locker room after a loss and repeated it again Wednesday: “Why am I here?”
The volatile receiver admits he’s frustrated with his role on the Dallas Cowboys, but not simply because he’s off to his worst start in years. According to T.O., he’d be fine if Dallas was winning and he had mediocre statistics.
It’s the Cowboys’ being 2-2 combined with the reduced numbers that he can’t tolerate.
“I do have a problem when I don’t feel like I’m involved enough,” he said. “I know I can make a difference. That’s not me being arrogant. I just know what I bring to the table. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. … I want to win. I came here to help this team win.”
Owens spoke the entire 45 minutes the locker room was open to reporters, passionately describing his feelings on many subjects. He even revealed that the ongoing issues he’s faced the last few months, from a hamstring injury in training camp to an accidental overdose, have driven him to “sit in my house in the dark” instead of having much of a social life.
He never directly criticized quarterback Drew Bledsoe or coach Bill Parcells, the playbook or the play calling.
In fact, T.O. had few specific complaints _ just the general one about not getting the ball enough.
“I haven’t really gotten started yet,” he said.
Owens has 17 catches for 232 yards and one touchdown. It’s his fewest catches after four games since 1999 and his fewest yards at this point since 2002. His three-game streak without reaching the end zone is his longest drought since 2000.
In a loss Sunday against the Eagles, his former team, Owens caught only three passes for 45 yards. However, there were 13 passes thrown his way _ five more than to any other Dallas receiver, Parcells noted Wednesday. Owens dropped one and two were intercepted, including one that likely would’ve been a touchdown.
“The opportunities are there,” he said. “We’re just not connecting.”
Owens knew when he signed with Dallas in March he was joining an offense that wasn’t designed to showcase a specific receiver. However, he acknowledged for the first time Wednesday he expected that to change for him _ like it did in Philadelphia.
“Dude, I am playmaker,” he said. “These guys know that. It’s simple. … Get the ball in the playmaker’s hands.”
Owens was mostly supportive of Bledsoe, especially compared to how he’s talked about his previous quarterbacks. He even added he is working on his route-running “to give the quarterback better looks, things of that nature.”
“I think we all need to play better,” Owens said. “That was one of the things he came up to me and said. Even after the game, he sent me a text that said, `Stay with me,’ he’ll play better for me. You can only respect that. He’s trying his best to get the ball to me in certain situations. It’s hard when he has a lot of pressure on him.”
Bledsoe reiterated Wednesday that T.O. is a quality receiver who wants the ball and the quarterback is happy to try getting it to him.
“I’ve never had a receiver, at least not one who is worth anything, that was happy with the number of times they touch the ball,” Bledsoe said. “I told him when he got here, `Listen, I don’t expect you to be happy all the time. If you don’t get to touch the ball enough, I don’t expect you to like that. At the same time, you have to keep playing hard for me and give me good information when you come back.’ And he’s been very good about that.”