Orlando, Fla. — The Dallas Cowboys haven't done one jumping jack, stretched a hamstring or run a single sprint. They're not even due into training camp until Friday.
Terrell Owens, though, is sure managing to wedge his way into the news. Call them previews to coming distractions.
After signing a three-year, $25 million deal - with $10 million guaranteed - in March, Owens was relatively quiet during the offseason and relatively absent from Cowboys workouts.
Now he's making up for lost time. During the past 10 days, Owens has managed to put himself in the news practically daily while promoting the release of his 242-page autobiography, T.O., which he co-authored with Jason Rosenhaus.
Included in the public-relations blitz were more jabs at Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb and claims from Owens that he was - and this is rich - misquoted in his own book, when he referred to his comeback from a broken right fibula and sprained ankle to play in the Super Bowl as "nothing short of heroic." During one book-signing appearance, Owens told reporters the word "heroic" came from Rosenhaus. Unfortunately for Owens, a spokeswoman for the publisher denied that claim.
In a stopover on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Owens blamed the media for portraying him as a selfish player. Owens said the media used him "to gain viewers' attention," which leads him to be "misunderstood." He says other athletes have warranted such treatment, but he's the one who has been "vilified."
Said Owens: "That's the million-dollar question: Why me?"
Then he ripped McNabb some more.
As if we needed more of a reason to follow Owens' clown act, how can anyone not be wondering how Bill Parcells will deal with the best wide receiver in the NFL who doubles as the game's No. 1 jerk? It's as if Owens believes the former excuses the latter.
Then again, Owens insists he hasn't done anything wrong.
Here's a question: Why not talk about his potential chemistry with Drew Bledsoe? Or how his big-play ability might help the Cowboys' running game? Or about Dallas' being a championship contenders? You know, a remark that has something to do with the team.
Because none of that has to do with "me," as in he.
It's almost enough to make you hope the whole thing blows up in the Cowboys' face. The last thing we need is the next generation of athletes and fans-no matter the sport-looking at Terrell Owens as a model for superstardom. Hopefully, the opposite is happening right now.
But there's this: Owens' Cowboys jersey is now the No. 1 seller in the NFL, league merchandise figures show.
How 'bout them Cowboys?