Although owner Jerry Jones' rhetoric regarding Owens' future with the Cowboys has been very consistent, there was still the matter of a $3 million roster bonus to guarantee Owens' return.
Jones has stated since the end of the season that he intended to pay Owens the bonus.
With the Cowboys facing a Friday deadline of paying the bonus or releasing Owens, Jones came through on his word.
Owens was absent from the team's Organized Team Activity workout and was unavailable for comment.
The Cowboys are betting that year two of the Owens era in Dallas will provide more production and less drama than year one.
Owens joined the Cowboys in February 2006 after two tumultuous and controversial seasons in Philadelphia, signing a three-year, $30 million contract.
Owens said he came to Dallas looking for a fresh start. He promised to be a better man and teammate than he was in previous stints with the Eagles and 49ers.
However, the controversy in Dallas began shortly after the ink was dry on his contract.
Owens skipped the team's offseason program and then missed the majority of training camp with a hamstring injury.
He even mocked his absence from training camp practices and time spent on a stationary bike by donning a Tour De France jersey and cycling helmet. He was fined by the Cowboys for being late for team meetings and missing a rehab session.
Of course, the real drama didn't start until the season began. Owens' 2006 season included a fractured hand, an accidental overdose of painkillers and media battles with then-coach Bill Parcells over his role in the offense and verbal fights with then-receivers coach Todd Haley. He accused Parcells of not asking about his health following the overdose. He accused someone in the Cowboys organization of being a snitch to the media and vowed to confront them.
He also suffered a torn ligament in his right ring finger.
Owens had an eventful first season in Dallas. He led the Cowboys with 85 catches for 1,180 yards and a league-high 13 touchdowns. He also led the league with 17 dropped passes, partly due to the finger and hand injuries.
He underwent two offseason surgeries to repair a torn tendon in his right ring finger.
With Owens now healthy, Jones believes Owens is poised to have a bigger impact in 2007.
Owens Outlook Optimistic
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