Owens caught two third-quarter touchdown passes and another in the fourth, turning a tight game against the Houston Texans into an easy 34-6 victory Sunday - helping the Cowboys avenge an embarrassing loss to their in-state rivals four years ago and reminding everyone why owner Jerry Jones signed the volatile receiver.
Owens' touchdowns covered 3, 21 and 2 yards, and his celebrations grew with each.
He did a little dance after the first, which gave Dallas (3-2) its first lead, and even shared a hug with his latest sparring partner, passing game coordinator Todd Haley. He capped his second score by standing on the bench with his arms extended, then went all out on the third.
Owens marched to one of the star logos in the end zone and struck the arms-out, look-at-me pose that once got him in trouble in Texas Stadium. This time, cheers followed and Owens responded by giving the ball to a fan in the stands. He then ran back to the bench waving his arms, drawing louder cheers and a standing ovation.
Houston (1-4) led 6-3 at halftime, reviving visions of a stunning 19-10 victory over Dallas in the first game in Texans history back in 2002.
But they didn't have it in them again, with turnovers on three straight drives - including two interceptions by David Carr - keeping them from scoring again, and the defense allowing the Cowboys to score on five of their six second-half possessions.
Until Sunday, Owens' Dallas tenure was marked mostly by problems: The hamstring injury that landed him on a stationary bike and off the field for most of the preseason, a fine for being late to work, an accidental overdose and a shouting match this week with Haley.
Tension seemed to be mounting again as Owens went nearly the entire first half without a catch and with passes rarely coming his way. Then Haley and Drew Bledsoe quickly made up for it.
Owens capped the first drive of the second half by snagging a 3-yarder in the end zone while getting grabbed and jabbed so much that cornerback Lewis Sanders was penalized for pass interference. Owens was too busy dancing to notice the flag. When he returned to the bench, Owens hugged Haley and patted coach Bill Parcells on the backside.
There was plenty to savor, most importantly the fact that the score put Dallas ahead for the first time, 10-6. It also was Owens' second touchdown of the season and his first in Texas Stadium as a member of the Cowboys.
After an interception by Greg Ellis gave Dallas the ball at Houston's 23, Bledsoe missed a wide-open Jason Witten in the end zone on second down. Then he went back to T.O. The throw was lobbed and Owens made a nice adjustment, fending off a cornerback with another defender coming at him.
Another pickoff led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Marion Barber, then Mike Vanderjagt kicked a 21-yard field goal.
On Dallas' final drive, Tony Romo replaced Drew Bledsoe and threw the first two passes of his career: a 33-yarder to Sam Hurd, then the TD to T.O.
Owens finished with five catches for 45 yards. It was his 25th game with multiple touchdowns, the fourth-best total in NFL history.
Bledsoe bounced back from his awful game against Philadelphia to go 17-of-28 for 168 yards and two touchdowns, with no turnovers. Julius Jones ran 22 times for 106 yards, his third straight 100-yard game, and Barber scored for the fourth straight game.
Carr went 15-of-27 for 128 yards with the two interceptions, matching his total coming in.
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