Terrell Eldorado Owens (/ˈtɛrəl/; born December 7, 1973), popularly
known by his initials, T.O., is a former
American football wide
receiver. A six-time
Pro Bowl selection, Owens holds or shares several
National Football League
National Football League (NFL) records. Over 16 seasons, his 15,934
career receiving yards rank second in NFL history and his 153
receiving touchdowns rank third.
Owens played college football and basketball at the University of
Tennessee at Chattanooga, and was selected in the third round of the
1996 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Owens was traded to the
Philadelphia Eagles in 2004 after a spat with 49ers front office
members. Two years later, he was released and signed to another large
pact by the Dallas Cowboys, only to be given his unconditional release
on March 4, 2009. Owens also played for the
Buffalo Bills and
Cincinnati Bengals in 2009 and 2010, respectively. He played for the
Allen Wranglers of the
Indoor Football League
Indoor Football League in 2012.
While he was one of the best players of his era, Owens also created a
significant amount of controversy during his professional career, and
also attracted attention for his flamboyant touchdown celebrations.
Owens was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2018 class.
1 Early life
3 College career
4 Professional career
4.1 San Francisco 49ers
4.2 Philadelphia Eagles
4.3 Dallas Cowboys
4.4 Buffalo Bills
4.5 Cincinnati Bengals
4.6 Allen Wranglers
4.7 Seattle Seahawks
4.8 Possible NFL comeback
4.9 Flag football
Desperate Housewives skit
5.3 Spitting incident
5.4 Hall of Fame
6.1 Celebrations for San Francisco
6.2 Celebrations for Philadelphia
6.3 Celebrations for Dallas
7 Professional statistics
8 NFL records and career notables
9 Other work
9.1 The T.O. Show
9.2 Time Out with T.O. (Podcast)
11 External links
Owens was born to L.C. Russell and Marilyn Heard in Alexander City,
Alabama. He grew up with three other siblings and was raised by his
mother and grandmother. He enjoyed watching football, especially
his favorite player, Jerry Rice. However, Owens’ grandmother
initially forbade him from playing sports until high school. Owens
attended Benjamin Russell High School, where he participated in
football, baseball, track, and basketball. Owens did not start on
his high school football team until his junior year, when one of his
teammates missed a game due to illness.
Owens is the son of Terrell Sr. and Marilyn Heard. Owens is the father
of two daughters and two sons, by four different mothers. In
September 2011, Owens was sued by Melanie Paige Smith III, the mother
of his daughter, for failure to pay child support, but the case was
settled prior to trial. Owens insisted that the reason for the
missed child support payments was due to his wages decreasing in the
NFL and Smith was aware of his circumstances.
On a May 8, 2012 episode of Dr. Phil, three of the four mothers to his
children accused Owens of either coming up short in his monthly child
support payments or not paying at all. Owens said he was paying some
$45,000 per month in child support at one time.
While enrolled at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Owens
played basketball, football, and ran track. Owens played in the
Basketball Tournament. While playing football in college,
Owens wore the #80 jersey to honor his idol, Jerry Rice.[not in
citation given] He became a starter during his sophomore year. Owens
caught 38 passes for 724 yards and eight touchdowns during his
sophomore year, and 34 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns
during his junior year. Having gained respect in the NCAA, Owens faced
double coverage more frequently during his senior year, and was
limited to 43 receptions for 667 yards and one touchdown. Owens
previously held the single season receptions record at Chattanooga
until it was broken in 2007 by Alonzo Nix. In his senior year, he
anchored the school's 4 × 100 relay team at the NCAA championship. He
also participated in the Senior Bowl, a college all-star game played
by college seniors, in preparation for the NFL Draft.
San Francisco 49ers
Because he played his college football at UT-Chattanooga, an FCS
school that did not have a winning season during his time there,
Owens' visibility to NFL scouts was lessened, and he dropped to the
third round of the 1996 NFL Draft, where the San Francisco 49ers
drafted him 89th overall. Owens played his first professional game
against the New Orleans Saints, where he served as a member of the
49ers' special teams. His first two catches were recorded against the
Carolina Panthers on September 22, 1996, for a total of six yards. His
first touchdown came on October 20 against the Cincinnati Bengals; in
the fourth quarter he caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Steve Young
that tied a game eventually won by the 49ers 28–21.
After the 49ers' top receiver
Jerry Rice suffered a torn ACL early in
the 1997 NFL season, Owens took Rice's place in the lineup, beating
out former 1st round pick
J.J. Stokes for the job. He and
quarterback Young helped the 49ers win 13 games that season; Owens
finished with 936 receiving yards and eight touchdowns; he added a
touchdown in San Francisco's playoff win over the Minnesota
1998 was another 12–4 season for the 49ers and the first 1,000-yard
year for Owens, as he caught 67 balls for 1,097 yards and fourteen
touchdowns; he even had a rushing touchdown in October against the St.
Louis Rams. In the Wildcard playoff game, the 49ers faced the Green
Bay Packers who had beaten them five straight times, three of them
playoff games. Owens struggled, dropping a number of passes as a
result of being briefly blinded by late-afternoon sun. Despite this,
Young kept throwing to Owens and he redeemed himself by catching the
game-winning touchdown (immortalized by the impassioned game call of
49ers radio play-by-play announcer Joe Starkey) for a 30–27 comeback
In 1999, Owens had 60 catches for 754 yards and four touchdowns. Young
retired after the 1999 season after he was unable to pass medical
tests as a result of a concussion sustained that season, and Jeff
Garcia was named the 49ers' starting quarterback. In 2000, the 49ers
only managed to win six games. However, Owens had a record-breaking
day on December 17, 2000 with 20 catches for 283 yards in a 17-0 49ers
win over the Chicago Bears. The record-breaking 20 receptions
surpassed a 50-year-old mark held by
Tom Fears (it has since been
surpassed by Brandon Marshall, who made 21 receptions in a game in
2009). Owens finished the year with 1,451 receiving yards and thirteen
The 2001 49ers had a 12–4 record but were defeated by the Packers in
a Wild Card playoff game. Owens finished with sixteen touchdown
catches (half the 32 thrown by Garcia that season) and 1,412 receiving
yards. The 49ers followed up in 2002 with a 10–6 record and their
NFC West title; in this season, Owens had 100 catches for 1,300
yards and 13 touchdowns. The 49ers hosted the
New York Giants
New York Giants in the
Wild Card playoff round, and after falling behind 38–14, the 49ers
erupted to 25 unanswered points; Owens had two touchdown catches and
caught two 2-point conversions in the 49ers' 39-38 win. However, they
were shot down 31–6 against the soon to be Super Bowl champion Tampa
Bay Buccaneers, who held Owens to only four catches for 35 yards.
Steve Mariucci was fired and former Seahawks coach Dennis
Erickson took over. The ensuing season in 2003 proved subpar as the
49ers finished 7–9. It was here that Owens decided to leave. In the
summer of 2004, when Garcia, who had been released in the off-season,
was a member of the Cleveland Browns, and Owens was a member of the
Philadelphia Eagles, Owens appeared in an interview for Playboy
magazine, where he was asked about long-standing rumors that his
former teammate Garcia was homosexual, to which he implied he thought
there might be truth to the rumors.
Although Owens was eager to leave the 49ers, the 49ers asserted that
Owens' previous agent, David Joseph, had missed the deadline to void
the final years of his contract with the team. The National Football
League Players Association and Owens disputed this assertion,
contending that the deadline referred to by the 49ers was not the
applicable deadline. On March 4, 2004, San Francisco, believing it
still held Owens' rights, attempted to trade Owens to the Baltimore
Ravens for a second round pick in the 2004 draft. However, Owens
challenged the 49ers' right to make the deal. Owens assumed that he
would become a free agent on March 3, and did not believe that the
earlier deadline was applicable. Hence, he negotiated with other teams
in advance of his expected free agency, and reached a contract
agreement with the Philadelphia Eagles, whose fan base strongly
supported Owens in his desire to play for the team. The NFLPA filed a
grievance on his behalf.
Before an arbitrator could make a ruling on Owens' grievance, the NFL
and the three teams involved in the controversy reached a settlement
on March 16, 2004. The Ravens got their second-round pick back from
San Francisco, and the 49ers in turn received a conditional
fifth-round pick and defensive end
Brandon Whiting from the Eagles in
exchange for the rights to Owens. Owens' contract with the Eagles was
worth about $49 million for seven years, including a $10 million
In September 2004, Owens released an autobiography: Catch This! Going
Deep with the NFL's Sharpest Weapon, which he co-wrote with
bestselling author Stephen Singular.
Owens (81) with the Eagles talking to a coach.
On December 19, 2004, Owens sustained a severely sprained ankle and a
fractured fibula when
Dallas Cowboys safety Roy Williams took him down
with a horse-collar tackle; Williams' horse-collars resulted in
injuries to several NFL players, and the horse-collar tackle was later
prohibited. Owens' injury required surgery, including insertion of
a screw into his leg, and Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder stated that
he would miss the rest of the season, with only an outside chance of
playing in the Super Bowl if the Eagles advanced.
After the Eagles defeated the
Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship
game, Owens defied the advice of his doctors and played in Super Bowl
XXXIX. Owens' trainer, James "Buddy" Primm, helped bring Owens
back much sooner with the use of Microcurrent and a hyperbaric
chamber. Owens started in the game and had nine receptions for 122
yards, but the Eagles lost to the New England Patriots. After the
game, Owens stated that the media would have called
Brett Favre "a
warrior" for playing with such an injury, but that "For me, they said
I was selfish."
On April 2005, Owens announced that he had hired a new agent, Drew
Rosenhaus, and indicated that he would seek to have his contract with
the Eagles renegotiated. Owens made $9 million in 2004 (most of which
was bonus money, as his base salary was only $660,000), and was
slated to make $4.5 million in 2005. This two-year amount did not
place Owens in the top 10 paid wide receivers playing. He also made a
comment that he "wasn't the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl." The
remark, directed at quarterback Donovan McNabb, caused a controversy
to heat up between them. On July 1, Owens' relationship with the
Eagles became even more tense after Eagles owner
Jeffrey Lurie and
Joe Banner denied Owens permission to play basketball
in a summer league under the auspices of the National Basketball
Association's Sacramento Kings.
Owens, with the negotiating help of Rosenhaus, continued to lobby for
a new contract. Owens and Rosenhaus met with Eagles head coach Andy
Reid and president Joe Banner, but no agreement was reached (this was
in line with the Eagles' policy against contract renegotiations).
Owens threatened to hold out of training camp until a deal was
reached, but reported to camp on time. When the 2005 football season
began, Owens was in the second year of a seven-year, $49 million
contract. However, the contract was heavily back-loaded, and while the
$49 million figure was routinely touted by the sports media as an
example of Owens' greed, the money guaranteed to him was under the
annual average for a top-tier wide receiver.
In 2005, after a game against the
Dallas Cowboys on October 9 in which
the Eagles lost, Owens was seen by reporters wearing a throwback
jersey of former Cowboys player
Michael Irvin on the team
plane. On November 2, Owens was involved in an argument in the
training room with team ambassador Hugh Douglas, which led to a
fistfight between the two. The argument was reportedly started
after Douglas said there were players on the team who were faking
ESPN interview the next day, Owens made several comments
that Eagles fans perceived as verbal jabs at McNabb and the team.
In this interview, when asked whether or not he agreed with a comment
made by analyst
Michael Irvin saying that the Eagles would be
Brett Favre was on the team, Owens replied, "That's a
good assessment. I would agree with that." Owens went on to state that
if Favre were the Eagles quarterback, "I just feel like we'd be in a
better situation." Owens stated on his radio show that his remarks
were taken out of context, noting that he had just stated two
questions prior that the Eagles' record would also be better had
McNabb not been injured.    While he did not comment on
Owens' slight at the time, McNabb later stated in an interview that
"It was definitely a slap in the face to me."
Two days after the interview aired, the Eagles suspended Owens
indefinitely for "conduct detrimental to the team." According to
Owens' agent Drew Rosenhaus, head coach
Andy Reid demanded that Owens
make a public apology to McNabb. An apology was drafted by Rosenhaus,
but Owens balked at reading a specific apology to McNabb, and crossed
that part of the statement out. The apology he read on TV did not
address McNabb directly. The following day, Reid announced that
Owens' suspension would be increased to four games and that he would
be deactivated for the remainder of the season.
On November 8, Owens and Rosenhaus held a news conference at Owens'
residence, where he apologized to the fans, the team, and McNabb
specifically, and also made an appeal for reinstatement to the
team. The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the
Eagles, claiming violation of the sport's collective bargaining
agreement, but Owens' suspension and deactivation were upheld by an
The next season, Owens was released by the Philadelphia Eagles
franchise and eventually signed with the Dallas Cowboys.
Owens in August 2007
On March 14, 2006, the
Philadelphia Eagles released Owens. Four
days later, on March 18, 2006,
Jerry Jones announced that the Dallas
Cowboys had signed Owens to a 3-year, $25 million deal, including a $5
million signing bonus, with a $5 million first year salary.
Owens returned to the field during the Cowboys' 2006 season opener
against the Jacksonville Jaguars. While the game ended in a Jaguars
victory, Owens recorded 8 receptions for 80 yards and one touchdown.
The following week against the Redskins, Owens broke his finger while
blocking, and was forced to leave the game. He had a plate screwed
into the finger, and returned to play the team's next game against the
Tennessee Titans, where he accounted for 88 receiving yards.
The following week, Owens made his highly anticipated return to
Philadelphia, where he played his former teammate, Donovan McNabb.
Upon his return, Owens was met by a hail of angry jeers and taunts,
including chants of "O.D." throughout the game. Despite pregame
talk about a weak Eagles secondary, Owens struggled throughout the
game. Owens had three catches for 45 yards, while the Cowboys went on
to lose, 38–24.
After the Cowboys defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 38-28, owner Jerry
Jones revealed that Owens had injured a tendon on the same finger that
he broken earlier in the season. The doctors recommended season-ending
surgery, but Owens elected to risk permanent damage to his finger and
decided to wait until the end of the season to repair the damage.
"There's no question about what he's willing to do for his team",
Owens in July 2008
Owens led the league in regular season with 13 touchdown
receptions. On March 1, 2007, he underwent surgery twice to repair
his right ring finger.
In the 2007 season, Owens and the Cowboys began to live up to their
potential. On November 18, Owens set a new career high and tied a
franchise record, with four touchdown catches against the Washington
Redskins. With his touchdown catch against Green Bay on November 29,
Owens became the first player in NFL history with at least one
touchdown catch and six receptions in seven straight games. Also with
this win, the Cowboys clinched a playoff berth for the second
consecutive season, making this the third time Owens would participate
in back-to-back postseasons. Owens was one of the starting wide
receivers to represent the NFC in the
Pro Bowl along with Arizona
Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. On January 9, Owens made the
All-Pro team along with teammates
Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware. On
December 22 in a week 16 game against the Carolina Panthers, Owens
caught his 15th touchdown catch of the season to set a new Cowboys
record for touchdown catches in a season. During this game, however,
Owens suffered a high ankle sprain after making a catch in the second
quarter, which kept him out of the rest of the regular season. Owens
was leading the league in receiving yards and was second in receiving
touchdowns at the time. He finished the season with 81 receptions, 15
touchdowns, and 1,355 receiving yards, as the team finished 13-3 and
clinched the NFC's top seed.
Owens returned for the divisional playoff game against the Giants,
where he caught four passes for 49 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys
lost the game, however, 21-17 and Owens broke down crying during the
postgame press conference in a now-infamous incident.
In the 2008 Pro Bowl, Owens caught 7 passes for 101 yards and 2
touchdowns in an NFC win. Despite his efforts, Minnesota Vikings
rookie running back
Adrian Peterson was named MVP.
In the Cowboys' second game of the season, the last Monday Night game
at Texas Stadium, Owens passed
Cris Carter to move to second in
touchdowns behind former teammate Jerry Rice.
The Cowboys released Owens on March 4, 2009. Owens later said that
Jones had assured him that he would be remaining with the team and
that he was blindsided by his release.
On March 8, 2009, the
Buffalo Bills signed Owens to a 1-year, $6.5
million contract. Owens had his first catch with the Bills when he
had a 27-yard play on a 3rd-and-1 in the 25-24 loss to the New England
Patriots at Gillette Stadium. With that catch, he passed former Bills
Andre Reed on the all-time Top 20 career leaders list for
pass receptions. Owens debuted with 2 catches for 45 yards in the
game. Owens caught his first touchdown pass with Buffalo in a 33-20
win over the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 20, 2009. Owens had his
best game with the Bills in a 15-18 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars,
with 9 receptions for 197 yards and a touchdown. Owens and Ryan
Fitzpatrick set a Bills record for longest touchdown reception when
Fitzpatrick connected with Owens for a 98-yard TD. The 98-yard
touchdown reception is Owens' longest touchdown reception. He also
became the oldest player to have a touchdown reception of 76+ yards
(35 years, 350 days).
Owens became the sixth player to reach 1,000 receptions in a career.
He accomplished this during a game against the
Atlanta Falcons from an
8-yard pass from Brian Brohm.
Owens (middle) with
Chad Ochocinco before a game against the New
England Patriots in September 2010.
On July 27, 2010, Owens signed a one-year contract with the Cincinnati
Bengals. It was reportedly worth two million dollars, with another two
million dollars possible from bonuses. He joined
Carson Palmer and
Chad Johnson, both of whom lobbied for the Bengals to sign Owens. With
the retirement of Isaac Bruce, Owens spent his last active season in
the NFL as the active career leader in receiving yards. He received
his customary number, #81, given to him by free-agent acquisition wide
Antonio Bryant in exchange for an undisclosed sum of money,
some of which went to a charity of Bryant's choice.
Cleveland Browns in Week 4, he had a spectacular game with
10 receptions, 222 yards and a touchdown of 78 yards on the day. On
December 21, Owens was placed on injured reserve, for the first time
in his 15-year career. He still managed to lead all Bengals'
receivers (including Ochocinco) with receptions (72), yards (983), and
touchdowns (9) for the season. However, the Bengals fell from a 10-6
record the year before Owens joined to a 4-12 record with Owens. The
Bengals decided not to re-sign Owens for the 2011 season.
He suffered a torn ACL during the 2011 offseason and underwent surgery
in April 2011. According to his agent, he was cleared to play
again on October 19. He held a televised workout on October 25,
which no NFL teams chose to attend.
On November 2, 2011, the
Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League
announced they had extended a six-figure contract offer to Owens to
play for the Wranglers in the 2012 season. On January 18, 2012,
Owens announced via
Twitter that he had accepted the Wranglers' offer
and joined their ownership group, with an official press conference to
follow the following week. In his debut for the Wranglers, Owens
caught three passes for 53 yards and three touchdowns as the Wranglers
Wichita Wild 50-30. His statistics were: 8 games played;
35 catches; 420 yards; 52.5 YPG; 12 yards per catch; 45 longest catch;
and 10 touchdowns.
On May 29, 2012, Owens was released. The Wranglers' co-owners stated
Owens was released for showing a lack of effort both on and off the
On August 6, 2012, Owens signed a one-year, $925,000 contract with the
Seattle Seahawks. On August 26, 2012, Owens announced on his Twitter
account that the Seahawks had released him.
Possible NFL comeback
On January 13, 2015, in an interview with
Sports Illustrated Now,
Owens stated that he had not retired and that, after a hiatus, he had
trained with numerous NFL players during the
2014 NFL season
2014 NFL season and the
offseason. He did not state when he planned to return to the NFL.
On June 28, 2017, Owens played as team captain for Team Owens in the
inaugural game for the newly formed American Flag Football League.
Desperate Housewives skit
On November 15, 2004, Owens, wearing a
Philadelphia Eagles uniform,
appeared with popular television actress
Nicollette Sheridan (of the
ABC series Desperate Housewives, in character as Edie Britt) in an
introductory skit which opened that evening's Monday Night Football
telecast, in which Owens and the Eagles played the Cowboys at Texas
Stadium. Some observers (especially then-
Indianapolis Colts coach Tony
Dungy) condemned the skit as being sexually suggestive because of
Sheridan removing a towel (see video), and ABC later apologized
for airing it. However, on March 14, 2005, the Federal Communications
Commission ruled that the skit did not violate decency standards,
because it contained no outright nudity or foul language.
Some media outlets in Dallas reported on the morning of September 27,
2006 that Owens had tried to kill himself by intentionally ingesting
an overdose of hydrocodone, a pain medication. A police report
filed on the night of September 26 seemed to confirm the attempt,
saying that Owens's publicist, Kim Etheredge, found him unresponsive
with an empty bottle of pain killers, pried two pills from his mouth,
and called 9-1-1, after which an ambulance transported him four blocks
Deep Ellum condo to Baylor University Medical Center.
According to the police report, Owens and Etheredge both said he was
depressed, and Owens answered "yes" when asked whether he had intended
to harm himself. Owens' publicist, however, refuted the report,
stating that Owens had suffered an allergic reaction to the medication
combined with a dietary supplement.
ESPN reported that about half the
police report was blacked out, including the phrases "attempting
suicide by prescription pain medication" and "a drug overdose".
Owens left the hospital later on September 27. At a news conference
after his release, Owens denied having made a suicide attempt, stating
that he expected to join the team for practice the next morning. He
stated that he was "not depressed" and was "very happy to be here",
and denied that doctors had pumped his stomach, calling speculation to
that effect "definitely untrue". The press conference took place
after Owens had run routes and caught passes with the Cowboys at the
team's practice facility in Valley Ranch.
Afterwards, Owens' publicist stated that she felt the police had taken
advantage of Owens. The president of the union representing Dallas
police officers subsequently demanded an apology from Owens and his
publicist for her comments, which he said damaged the reputations of
three patrolmen. On Thursday, September 28, the Dallas Police
Department reported the incident to be an "accidental overdose" and
ended their investigation.
The pain medication Owens had ingested had been prescribed to him for
a broken finger he had suffered in a week 2 victory against the
Bill Parcells had noted in a press conference a
few days before the incident that the medication Owens had been taking
had made him sick, and he had been prescribed a milder pain killer.
After the December 16, 2006 game against the Atlanta Falcons, Falcons
DeAngelo Hall stated that Owens spat in his face after a
play early in the game. Game officials and reporters were unaware of
the incident and Owens was not asked about it until his post-game
interview with the NFL Network, when he confirmed it. Owens said,
"I got frustrated and I apologize for that. It was a situation where
he kept hugging me and getting in my face. He had a lot of words, I
didn't. I just wanted to come and prove I’m not a guy to be schemed
with." Hall said that he lost all respect for Owens. When made
aware that Hall was saying Owens did it deliberately, Owens said that
it was an accident that occurred while they were in each other's face,
talking trash. Despite no video evidence, the NFL fined Owens $35,000
for the incident. After initially refusing to take a phone call
from Owens, Hall was convinced by
Deion Sanders to speak with Owens
two days after the incident and later stated that they "cleared it all
Hall of Fame
Owens was not voted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of
eligibility, despite being statistically ranked near the top of every
receiving category in the history of the NFL. Owens was a finalist
in 2017, but was snubbed again as seven other individuals were
elected. Commentators attributed Owens' exclusion to his issues
off the field.
Owens was voted into the 2018 Hall of Fame class on February 3,
During his playing career, Owens attracted attention for his
flamboyant celebrations after scoring touchdowns, some of which
resulted in fines from the NFL front office.
Celebrations for San Francisco
On September 24, 2000, in Dallas, Owens twice sprinted to midfield
after scoring touchdowns and stood on the Dallas Cowboys' star logo.
The second time, Cowboys safety
George Teague leveled him at midfield,
which started a confrontation between the two teams. Teague was
ejected from the game, while Owens was suspended for a week by head
coach Steve Mariucci.
Monday Night Football
Monday Night Football game against the
Seattle Seahawks on
October 14, 2002, Owens pulled a Sharpie marker out of his sock to
sign the football he caught to score a touchdown, and then gave the
ball to his financial adviser, who happened to also be the financial
adviser of Shawn Springs, who was covering Owens on the play. He was
criticized by Seahawks coach
Mike Holmgren for the stunt, but was not
punished by the 49ers or the NFL. However, in the wake of the highly
publicized incident, the league immediately adopted a new rule banning
players from carrying "foreign objects" with them on the
Celebrations for Philadelphia
The "Bird Dance", "The Bird", or "Wing Flap" became T.O.'s trademark
dance with the Eagles. T.O. did the "Bird Dance" frequently during
the 2004 season after a big play or touchdown. His touchdown
celebration was mocked by
Hines Ward in the Eagles' first loss of the
season at Pittsburgh. After scoring on a reverse, Ward flexed and
began flapping his arms like a bird.
Owens imitated and mocked the trademark pre-game ritual dance of
Baltimore Ravens linebacker
Ray Lewis after scoring a touchdown while
playing against the Ravens in the 2004 season.
Celebrations for Dallas
On the Thanksgiving Day game against the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers on
November 23, 2006, Owens, after catching a pass for a touchdown,
dropped the ball in an oversized
Salvation Army Red Kettle, donating
the ball to the Salvation Army. About the touchdown celebration,
Owens was quoted as saying, "That was my donation. I hope it's worth
as much as the fine."
On September 16, 2007, Owens mocked
Bill Belichick after catching a
touchdown against the Miami Dolphins, by hiding behind a field goal
post and holding the football to his face in a video camera fashion,
as if secretly spying and filming the game. The Cowboys were penalized
15 yards for "excessive celebration". On September 19, 2007, the
league fined Owens $7,500 for the celebration.
On November 4, 2007, against his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles,
Owens flapped his wings, mimicking the dance he did while with the
Eagles. This, coupled with Owens' tumultuous stay with the Eagles and
his subsequent tenure with the Cowboys (an Eagles division rival),
earned the boos of the crowd. After the game, Owens was quoted as
saying, "There's a lot of love in those boos."
Led the league
NFL records and career notables
This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by
verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements
consisting only of original research should be removed. (January 2011)
(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Only player in NFL history to score a TD against all 32 NFL teams
Only player in NFL history to score two or more touchdowns against all
32 NFL teams
Only player in NFL history to have an 800-yard receiving season with 5
different teams (Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys,
Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers)
Only player in NFL history to have a 150-yard receiving game with 5
different teams (Bengals, Bills, Cowboys, Eagles, 49ers)
Only player in NFL history to have a 200-yard receiving game with 3
different teams (Bengals, Cowboys, 49ers)
Oldest player to accumulate 200 combined yards/receiving yards/yards
from scrimmage in a single game (36 years, 300 days)
Consecutive seasons with at least 6 touchdowns, 2000–2010 (11) –
Marvin Harrison 1996–2006,
Jerry Rice 1986–1996, Don
Consecutive seasons with at least 5 touchdown receptions, 2000–2010
(11) – tied with
Marvin Harrison 1996–2006, Cris Carter
1991–2001, Tim Brown 1991–2001, Rice 1986–1996, Don Hutson
Consecutive seasons with at least 5 touchdowns, 2000–2010 (11) –
Frank Gore 2006-2016,
Marvin Harrison 1996–2006, Cris
Carter 1991–2001, Tim Brown 1991–2001, Rice 1986–1996, Don
Consecutive seasons with at least 4 touchdown receptions, 1996–2010
Consecutive seasons with at least 4 touchdowns, 1996–2010 (15)
Consecutive seasons with at least 3 touchdown receptions, 1996–2010
Consecutive seasons with at least 3 touchdowns, 1996–2010 (15)
Consecutive seasons with at least 700 receiving yards, 1996–2010
(15) - tied with Tony Gonzalez, 1999-2013
One of seven players to have at least 2 receptions of 90+ yards (John
Taylor, Mike Quick, Gaynell Tinsley, Steve Watson, Willard Dewveall,
and Mike Wallace)
One of 12 players to have at least 2 offensive TDs of 90+ yards
49ers franchise records
Most receptions in a single game: 20 (12/17/00 vs Chicago Bears) (Week
Most receiving yards on a Sunday game: 283 (12/17/00 vs Bears) (Week
Eagles franchise records
Most receiving touchdowns in a single season: 14 (2004)
Most receiving yards per game, season: 109.0 (2005) 763 in 7 games.
Cowboys franchise records
Most consecutive games with a receiving touchdown: 7 (2007). Record
Franklin Clarke (1961–1962),
Bob Hayes (1965–1966) and
Dez Bryant (2012)
Most touchdown receptions in a single game: 4 (11/18/07 vs Washington
Redskins). Record shared with
Bob Hayes (12/20/70)
Most receiving yards per game, career: 76.3 (2006–2008)
Bills franchise records
Longest reception: 98 yard TD (11/22/09 vs Jacksonville Jaguars) (Week
Longest play from scrimmage: 98 yard TD reception (11/22/09 vs
Jaguars) (Week 11)
Bengals franchise records
Most combined yards/receiving yards/yards from scrimmage in a single
game by a player over age 30: 222 (10/3/10 vs Cleveland Browns) (Week
5th player to reach 150 touchdowns
6th player to reach 1,000 career receptions, 6th player to reach 100
touchdown receptions, 6th player to reach 14,000 receiving yards
3rd player to reach 150 touchdown receptions, 3rd player to reach
15,000 receiving yards
Through 15 seasons, has 156 total touchdowns (153 receiving), 15,934
receiving yards, 1,078 receptions, 39 rushing attempts, 251 rushing
yards, 3 rushing touchdowns, 5 kickoff returns, 23 kickoff return
yards, 2 fumble recoveries, 13 fumble return yards, and 3 two-point
Averaged one touchdown per game in 2001, 2004, and 2007
Has had nine 1,000 yard seasons, including five consecutive
Reached 100 catches in only 14 games in 2002
Led League in receiving touchdowns in 2001, 2002, and 2006
Third all-time in regular season receiving touchdowns behind Jerry
Rice and Randy Moss
Second all-time in regular season receiving yards behind Rice.
Eighth all-time in regular season receptions behind Rice, Tony
Gonzalez, Marvin Harrison, Cris Carter, Tim Brown, Larry Fitzgerald,
and Jason Witten
Owens is depicted in a photographic work by contemporary
Hank Willis Thomas entitled Liberation of
T.O.: Ain't no way I'm go'n in back ta'work fa'massa in dat darn field
(2004). The work was featured in "Frequency", the Studio Museum in
Harlem's 2006 exhibition of emerging artists.
Owens rapped in a single titled "I'm Back", available for download on
Outside of his football career, Owens also appeared in various
commercials, television shows, and films. Owens played himself, as a
wide receiver wearing #82 for the fictional Miami Sharks, in the 1999
film Any Given Sunday. In 2003, he appeared in a commercial for
ESPY Awards where he caught a home run ball from
Barry Bonds in
McCovey Cove. Owens appeared in an episode of Punk'd, starring
Ashton Kutcher, which is based on his November 19, 2005
In August 2008, Owens was featured in the pilot episode of the web
series FACETIME, on My Damn Channel. He and
Three 6 Mafia
Three 6 Mafia interview
each other in the episode.
He starred in a summer 2009 reality show on VH1, dubbed The T.O. Show;
the show followed Owens and his "best friends and publicists" as they
re-evaluated Owens' personal life.
Owens appeared in the NBA All-Star celebrity game again in 2009
scoring 17 points including two alley-oops, to secure his second
consecutive MVP award.
In June 2009, Owens starred in ABC's reincarnation of Superstars, a
sports competition show from the 70s where celebrities are paired with
professional athletes. The first episode is rumored to have ended in
controversy, as evidenced by a leaked clip of partner supermodel
Joanna Krupa calling Owens a "prima donna".
As a one-time rating sweeps week stunt, Owens replaced
anchor Jeff Russo for their 6:00 p.m. newscast on May 18,
On May 8, 2012, Owens appeared on Dr. Phil with the mothers of 3 of
his children to discuss relationships.
NBC Sports reported that Owens has become a model.
In 2014, Owens made a cameo appearance in R&B singer Faith Evans'
music video "I Deserve It", featuring
Missy Elliott and Sharaya
On September 5, 2017, Owens was announced as one of the celebrities
set to compete on season 25 of Dancing with the Stars. He is partnered
with professional dancer Cheryl Burke.
In 2017, Owens competed on the special for the
MTV reality series The
Challenge titled Champs vs. Stars.
The T.O. Show
In the summer of 2009,
VH1 premiered The T.O. Show, which followed
Owens in his personal life off the football field. The show was
renewed for two additional seasons.
Time Out with T.O. (Podcast)
In September 2013, Owens launched a podcast on the Sideshow Network
with co-hosts comedian
Alonzo Bodden and former-Survivor contestant
and podcast host, Rob Cesternino. Shows are released each Wednesday
and the discussion centers on the week's NFL games and news. Comedian
Roy Wood, Jr.
Roy Wood, Jr. has been a regular guest.
Guests have been from both the sports and entertainment worlds. Some
of them have been: Ron Artest, Ray J, comic Sam Tripoli, and writer
^ "Sources: Cowboys cut T.O". Sports.espn.go.com. March 5, 2008.
Retrieved March 5, 2009.
Terrell Owens Biography – Played Multiple Sports in High School
and College, Courted Controversy, Set New Records".
Biography.jrank.org. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
^ Williams, Charean (2006-06-18). "He's just Terrell back home".
Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
^ "He's just Terrell back home".
Terrell Owens Biography". JockBio.com. Retrieved November 12,
Terrell Owens Interview". PickSixPreviews.com. Retrieved January
^ Freeman, Chris (June 22, 2017). "Terrell Owens' Net Worth 2017 - How
Rich is TO Now? - The Gazette Review".
Terrell Owens Faces Incarceration for Failure to Pay Child
Support". Retrieved April 11, 2011.
Terrell Owens issues a statement regarding child support case ".
Todaysloser.com. July 1, 2011. Archived from the original on December
31, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
Terrell Owens faces his children's mothers on 'Dr. Phil'". NFL.com.
Retrieved May 13, 2012.
^ a b Grasso, John (2013). Historical Dictionary of Football.
Scarecrow Press. p. 296. ISBN 9780810878570. Retrieved
August 8, 2017.
Terrell Owens Bio". NFLPLayers.com. Archived from the original on
July 31, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
^ Pierson, Don (September 2, 1997). "1st Injury Of Career Puts 49ers'
Rice Out For '97". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
^ "1st Injury Of Career Puts 49ers' Rice Out For '97".
Terrell Owens Playoffs Game Log - Pro-Football-Reference.com".
^ "CANDLESTICK PARK THROUGH THE YEARS". National Football League.
Retrieved December 22, 2013.
^ McGowan, Ryan (August 13, 2004). "Terrell Owens: Go Back to Fourth
Grade". SportsColumn.com. Retrieved January 7, 2009.
^ "Text of arbitrator Richard Bloch's ruling".
^ "Stephen Singular". Simon & Schuster.
^ Eric O'Keefe (May 27, 2005). "Roy Williams Will Play by Rules,
Including His Own". The New York Times.
^ Maske, Mark (December 20, 2004). "Ankle Injury Likely to End Owens'
Season". Washington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
^ a b Clayton, John (February 6, 2005). "Playing injured, Owens still
a handful". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
^ Mishra, Raja (February 3, 2005). "Specialists say Owens risking
career". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
^ "USA TODAY Salaries Database". Asp.usatoday.com. November 5, 2008.
Archived from the original on October 14, 2007. Retrieved March 5,
^ Pasquarelli, Len. Justs say no, Eagles are saying publicly.
ESPN.com, July 5, 2005. Retrieved February 14, 2008.
^ "Today in Philly Sports History: TO Wears Irvin Jersey After Loss to
Cowboys, 2005". CSN Philly. December 9, 2008. Retrieved August 4,
^ Rys, Richard (September 16, 2014). "Terrell Owens: 10 Years After
the Eagles". Philadelphia magazine. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
^ "Owens-Douglas fistfight contributed to suspension". ESPN.com.
November 7, 2005. Retrieved February 14, 2008.
^ Owens, Terrell; Rosenhaus, Jason (2006). T.O. Simon & Schuster.
p. 162. ISBN 9781416534433. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
^ "Former Teammate Says He Had a Fight With Owens". The New York
Times. Associated Press. November 7, 2005. Retrieved August 17,
^ a b c Rosenhaus, Drew; Rosenhaus, Jason (2008). Next Question: An
NFL Super Agent's Proven Game Plan for Business Success. Berkley
Books. ISBN 9781440633782. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
^ Smith, Michael (February 2, 2006). "McNabb: T.O. situation was about
money, power". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
^ Farmer, Sam (November 6, 2005). "Eagles Suspend Owens for Remarks".
Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
^ a b Longman, Jere (November 8, 2005). "Eagles Suspend Owens for
Season". The New York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
^ "Eagles say Owens won't return this season". ESPN.com. Associated
Press. November 4, 2005. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
^ "Owens apologizes to Eagles and fans". USA Today. November 8, 2005.
Retrieved August 17, 2017.
^ Maske, Mark (November 24, 2005). "Owens Loses Arbitration". The
Washington Post. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
^ Owens is finally released by Eagles Archived March 27, 2007, at the
Wayback Machine., NFL.com, March 14, 2006. Retrieved December 20,
^ Willis, George. Not the T.O. show Archived December 21, 2008, at the
Wayback Machine., New York Post, October 9, 2006. Retrieved December
^ T.O.'s finger injury likely permanent, Jones says – The
Philadelphia Inquirer, December 17, 2006
^  Archived February 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
^  Archived February 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
^ Aron, Jaime (March 5, 2009). "Cowboys release star WR Terrell
Owens". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved March 6, 2009. [permanent dead
^ Owens Blindsided By Release ESPN, March 29, 2009
^ Bills sign Owens to one-year, $6.5 million deal, NFL.com, March 8,
2009. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
^ "History Story". profootballhof.com. Retrieved October 10,
^ Writer, CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports. "Bills'
Terrell Owens has 1,000th
^ Tadych, Frank (2010-07-28). "Owens will wear signature No. 81 for
Bengals". NFL Network. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
^ Tadych, Frank (November 9, 2010). "Owens on pace to reach contract
incentives". NFL Enterprises LLC. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
^ "Bengals' receivers are very green as a group". FOX Sports. August
1, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
Terrell Owens acting during knee rehab". ESPN.com. August 24, 2011.
Retrieved October 19, 2011.
^ Florio, Mike (October 19, 2011). "T.O. is officially ready to play".
profootballtalk.com. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
^ "Terrell Owens' agent waits for calls".
ESPN.com news services.
October 26, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
Allen Wranglers Extend Offer To Terrell Owens". AllenWranglers.com.
Allen Wranglers. November 2, 2011. Archived from the original on
January 7, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
^ Watkins, Calvin (January 19, 2012). "
Terrell Owens to join Allen
ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth. ESPN. Retrieved January 19,
^ "T.O. catches 3 TDs in indoor league debut".
Terrell Owens released by Allen Wranglers". CBSSports.com.
Retrieved October 10, 2015.
^ "Terrell Owens,
Seattle Seahawks agree on contract". NFL.com.
^ SI Wire. "
Terrell Owens says he hasn't retired, is training with NFL
players – NFL – SI.com". SI.com. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
^ Taylor, Tom (June 29, 2017). "Star-studded flag football league
leans on NFL influences in debut". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July
Desperate Housewives on Monday Night Football". Spike.com. November
16, 2004. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
^ Archer, Todd. T.O.: 'There was no suicide attempt, Dallas Morning
News, September 27, 2006. Retrieved December 20, 2006.
Terrell Owens Suicide Attempt, The Smoking Gun, September 27, 2006.
Retrieved December 20, 2006.
^ Owens refutes report, says he didn't attempt suicide, ESPN.com,
September 28, 2006. Retrieved December 20, 2006.
^ Glauber, Bob (September 27, 2006). "Owens denies suicide try".
^ Daley, Ken (2006-09-29). "Owens Owes Dallas Police an Apology,
Official Says". NY Times. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
^ Aaron, Jamie. Police Say Owens Accidentally Overdosed[permanent dead
link], Associated Press, September 28, 2006. Retrieved December 17,
^ Pasquarelli, Len. Hall: 'I lost all respect for the guy', ESPN.com,
December 17, 2006. Retrieved December 17, 2006.
^ Hall, T.O. friendship now all wet, MSNBC, December 17, 2006.
Retrieved December 17, 2006.
^ NFL Fines Dallas Cowboys'
Terrell Owens $35,000 for Spitting on
Opponent, FoxNews.com, December 18, 2006. Retrieved December 20, 2006.
^ "Falcons' Hall takes call from T.O., says feud is over -
^ a b "One Hall of Fame voter sheds light on why
Terrell Owens didn't
make it in".
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Pro Football Hall of Fame predictions: Will Terrell Owens
finally get in?".
^ "10 best NFL touchdown celebrations that drew fines".
^ Beacham, Greg (2000-09-25). "Mariucci Disciplines Owens for Dallas
Incident". ABC News. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
^ Holmgren calls incident 'shameful ... a dishonor', ESPN.com, October
15, 2002. Retrieved December 20, 2006.
^ No luster off T.O.'s Dallas star so far, USA TODAY, August 10, 2006.
Retrieved September 1, 2010.
^ Rand, Jonathan (2006).
300 Pounds of Attitude: The Wildest Stories And Craziest Characters
The NFL Has Ever Seen. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 7. Retrieved
^ Hayes, Joshua (2017-06-17). "Pittsburgh Steelers: Top 13 Moments of
Hines Ward's Career". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
^ "Owens' Dance Ruffles Ravens". LA Times. 2004-11-01. Retrieved
^ Since 1997, the
Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game halftime show
has traditionally started the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Christmas
^ Orsborn, Tom. Cowboys QB Romo ties mark in win over Buccaneers
Archived May 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., San Antonio
Express-News, November 24, 2006. Retrieved December 17, 2006.
^ STEVEN WINE, AP Sports Writer (September 16, 2007). "High-scoring,
ball-hawking Cowboys beat Dolphins 37-20". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved
May 13, 2012.
^ "Cowboys Hammer the Eagles With Ease". Washington Post. Retrieved
September 27, 2012.
^ a b "PFR". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 10,
2015. [permanent dead link]
Philadelphia Eagles Single-season Receiving Leaders –
Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved
October 10, 2015.
Dallas Cowboys Single-season Receiving Register".
Pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
^ a b "
Buffalo Bills Single-season Receiving Register".
Pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
^ a b c
ESPN Player Card, ESPN.com. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
ESPN NFL Scoring Stats, ESPN.com. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
^ NFL Career Receptions Leaders, pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved
March 4, 2012.
^ Brockington, Horace. Wavelength?. NYArts, March/April 2006.
Retrieved January 7, 2007.
^ "Official Store of Terrell Owens : I'm Back mp3 Download".
Terrellowens.com. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008.
Retrieved March 5, 2009.
Any Given Sunday
Any Given Sunday full credits". IMDb.com.
^ Kupelian, Vartan; Mike O'Hara (October 30, 2005). "Garcia was Wing
for a day in
ESPN spot". The Detroit News. Archived from the original
on July 29, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2006.
Terrell Owens Official Website –
Terrell Owens Image & Video
Gallery Message Board". Terrellowens.com. Archived from the original
on May 11, 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
Terrell Owens & Three 6 Mafia". My Damn Channel. Archived from
the original on March 13, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
^ Dallas Cowboys' Owens Gets Own Reality Show ESPN.com, January 26,
^ "T.O. pulls in another MVP trophy in wild celebrity game". NBA.com.
February 14, 2009. Archived from the original on April 29, 2009.
Retrieved March 5, 2009.
Joanna Krupa Insults Terrell Owens". ABC. January 23, 2009.
Retrieved January 15, 2009.
^ Pergament (May 20, 2009). On a slow day, TV news goes overboard for
^ "Shows – A Football Star's Daddy Drama". Dr. Phil.com. May 8,
2012. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
^ "The Hype: T.O. and his abs sign modeling deal". NBC Sports. Yahoo!
Sports. March 9, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
I Deserve It
I Deserve It feat.
Missy Elliott & Sharaya J" by Faith Evans".
Vh1. Archived from the original on September 11, 2014. Retrieved
September 10, 2014.
^ Russian, Ale (2017-10-11). "Cast Revealed! Josh Murray, Shawn
Johnson and More Stars to Compete in MTV's The Challenge: Champs vs.
Stars". People. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
^ "Sideshow Network :: Time Out with Terrell Owens".
Sideshownetwork.tv. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014.
Retrieved February 14, 2014.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Terrell Owens.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Terrell Owens
Career statistics and player information from
NFL.com • ESPN • Yahoo!
Sports • SI.com • Pro-Football-Reference
Cincinnati Bengals bio
Seattle Seahawks bio
Terrell Owens on IMDb
The T.O. Show
Time Out with T.O. (Podcast)
NFL single game receptions record
December 17, 2000 – December 13, 2009
Links to related articles
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
1996 NFL draft selections
NFL annual receiving touchdowns leaders
1933: Burnett, Caddel, Johnsos, Karr, Kelly, McNally & Richards
1935: Hutson & Karr
1949: Fears, Kavanaugh & Taylor
1953: Pihos & Wilson
1958: Berry & McDonald
1963: Barr & Collins
1964: Mitchell, Morris & Pope
1965: Hayes & Parks
1967: H. Jones
1973: H. Jackson
1975: Gray & Swann
1981: Jenkins & Watson
1993: Rice & Rison
1995: Carter & Pickens
1996: M. Jackson & Martin
2005: Harrison & Smith
2008: Fitzgerald & Johnson
2009: Davis, Fitzgerald & Moss
2012: J. Jones
2015: Baldwin, Marshall & Robinson
National Football League
National Football League NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018
Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
J. H. Johnson
Wide receivers /
NFL 2K series
ESPN NFL Football
ESPN NFL 2K5
All-Pro Football 2K8
2K – 2K2: Randy Moss
2K3: Brian Urlacher
2K4: Warren Sapp
2K5: Terrell Owens