The speculation that Terrell Owens may be released in the next few weeks is running rampant. There are definitely two opposing views on what the Cowboys should do with him. One argument is that he opens up everything for the offense and the Cowboys will take a step back offensively without him. The other view is that T.O. is poisoning this team with his antics and the Cowboys must get rid of him if they want to win.
The reality is that the Cowboys can win with him and they can win without him. The decision to keep him or dispose of him is not going to make or break this team's chances next season. I personally believe that we would be better off without the distractions that seem to follow his every move. But I also understand that he has unbelievable talent that is not easily replaced.
The decision to keep him or cut/trade him is a fork in the road for the direction this team will take next season. Without him on the team it would seem that most of the distractions for the players and the coaches would be eliminated. The coaches could put more focus on utilizing every player on the offense and exploiting the weaknesses of the opposing defenses. Tony Romo wouldn't have to worry about whether T.O. would throw one of his patented tantrums if the ball didn't come his way.
But on the other hand, the way that the Cowboys are defended would probably change dramatically. The defenses would probably be much more balanced and we likely would not see the safety playing 20 yards from the line of scrimmage any more. Major adjustments to the offense would have to be made. But it is not as if this team has a lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball to allow for changes to be made. With Jason Witten, Marion Barber III, Felix Jones, Roy Williams, and Tony Romo it seems that Jason Garrett would still have plenty of weapons at his disposal.
Don't forget about the impact that defense and special teams play in a game. The Cowboys would have probably made the playoffs had it not been for a defensive collapse against the Baltimore Ravens. And the special teams errors combined with a defensive letdown in the 4th quarter cost the Cowboys the game against the Steelers. The Cowboys need improvement on punt returns, punt coverage, and kickoff coverage. They need the defense to consistently perform at a high level. Terrell Owens has no impact on either of these units.
I am really crossing my fingers that T.O. is gone before next season. I believe the team unity would improve dramatically, especially on the offense, but I am not one of those fans who is going to threaten a team boycott if I don't get my way. I have come to accept the fact that Jerry Jones doesn't have much interest in my opinions on the management of his team. I'll keep hoping that Jerry does what I want him to do, but I believe that this team will win no matter what decision is made on Terrell Owens.