Owner Jerry Jones was criticized far and wide for giving Owens a three-year, $25 million contract because of the player's selfish and divisive reputation.
Many predicted Owens would tear the Cowboys apart, as was his rep in San Francisco and later Philadelphia.
But the Cowboys and Owens are doing just fine. Coming off a 13-3 record, Dallas is considered the NFC favorite to make a Super Bowl run in 2008.
Owens has caught 28 touchdowns in two years in Dallas and is again recognized as one of the most feared receivers in the game.
Upon signing a three-year, $27 million contract extension with the Cowboys on Tuesday (June 3), Owens couldn't help but acknowledge that he has quietly gotten the last laugh on his critics.
"Upon signing here, I never really knew what to expect," Owens said. "At this point today, I'm very happy. I know I'm a Cowboy for life. I couldn't be more ecstatic about what's going on now.
"This contract really, for a lot of people, it signifies money and they see dollar signs. But for me, it signifies commitment."
The Cowboys committed a $12.9 million signing bonus to Owens, who will be 35 in December and no doubt will retire in a Cowboys uniform.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acknowledged that it is unusual to give a player Owens' age that kind of money, but he said Owens is not the usual player.
"He's exceptionally healthy and exceptionally fit for his age right now," Jones said. "I don't think it's a risk at all to think that you could get the ensuing years.
"Now do I know how many? No. But I certainly know where he is today."
More importantly, Jones said it was something the Cowboys had to do. The Cowboys didn't get a receiver in the draft. They were unable to trade for a proven veteran. And they needed Owens to be there as they try to make a run at an NFL title.
"Here's the main thing: If we started right now, trying to go out and find somebody as accomplished as Terrell Owens, that's a big maybe as far as getting him," Jones said. "More important than anything, if we started right now, trying to develop one, it could take several years.
"We may have a young one on our roster, or we may have an up-and-coming Terry Glenn, but we know what we've got in Terrell."
Owens plans to do his part by not resting on his laurels. He wants to take his game to another level.
"I've been thinking, 'What can I do for my game to get to another level?'" Owens said. "Honestly, I'm going to find ways to work out harder, do things differently, to really escalate my game."
* WR Terry Glenn must sign a $500,000 injury settlement to get on the field with the Cowboys this season. Glenn's right knee was scoped twice last season, forcing him to miss the first 15 games. He did not pass a physical at the end of the season and still has not passed a physical. To protect the Cowboys, the settlement has to be signed. Owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys will be patient with Glenn and wait until training camp and possibly later. But he will be cut if he doesn't sign the waiver so that the Cowboys won't be on the hook for his $1.74 million base salary.
As of June 5, Glenn has refused to sign the waiver.
* LB Greg Ellis returned to practice on Wednesday (June 4) after boycotting OTA workouts the past week because he was upset over the amount of reps he was getting. The Cowboys were taking a longer look at linebacker Anthony Spencer, which also saves some wear and tear on Ellis.
But Ellis didn't trust the Cowboys' motive and envisioned losing his role altogether. Ellis had a face-to-face meeting with coach Wade Phillips on Monday, paving the way for his return on Wednesday. Phillips said he told Ellis that it was important for him to be on the field working with his teammates.
--CB Anthony Henry said he is open to moving to safety if it will be best for the team and prolong his career. The Cowboys could have a potential logjam at cornerback if Pacman Jones is reinstated. Jones could start opposite Terence Newman, allowing Henry to possibly move to free safety. Henry played safety his first three years in college.
"At some point it could happen," Henry said. "I am not sure when. If they made the decision, I would be down (with the move). I think I will make the switch eventually. That's what I have in my mind and plan on doing at some point. I know it's something I could learn and play well. I understand it. Terence (Newman) got paid, they draft a corner in the first round and bring in Pacman. It does affect me. All I can do is play my best and try to be successful and let things fall where they fall."
* WR Terrell Owen had one year left on his contract and will get $27 million in new money for a total of $34 million over the next four years. The deal includes a $12.9 million signing bonus and base salaries of $830,000 in 2008, $2.67 million in 2009, $7.5 million in 2010 and $7 million in 2011.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a learning process certainly, but you can tell his natural skills. We worked him on kickoff return, punt return and, of course, at defensive back. It's up to him obviously -- we all know that and he knows that. As far as the football part, we're trying to get him ready and I think we will. He's really talented. Until you're around him, you really don't know it. You think so. He's just got a lot of natural instincts. He sees the ball real well. Even when he's playing man-to-man sometimes, he sees the ball thrown and gets a good jump on it." -- Cowboys coach Wade Phillips on his first impressions of cornerback Adam Jones.
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