Thursday, March 5, 2009

TO out in "Big D".....

The Dallas Cowboys told wide receiver Terrell Owens Wednesday night he was going to be released, the club apparently ending more than two months of off-season speculation.
But as of 10:30 a.m. (CST) Thursday, no team official has confirmed numerous reports of his release, although several of Owens' teammates said they received text messages last night from their teammate about the move. No press conference has yet to be announced to address not only Owens' release but that too of veteran strong safety Roy Williams, who also has been informed of being released.
Following the disappointing end to the 2008 season a number of team sources told various media outlets the organization was split on the controversial receiver's status. Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones downplayed speculation the club was discussing a potential release of Owens. As recently as last weekend Jones was shrugging off direct questions about the reports.
Apparently the team decided Owens' negative impact on the locker room weighed heavier than his three straight 1,000-yard, double-digit touchdown seasons. The outspoken receiver was often at the center of turmoil during his time in Dallas - from his first training camp with the team to the very end. Owens grabbed headlines for wearing a Tour de France-style cycling outfit while rehabbing a camp injury during his lone season with Bill Parcells in 2006, and most recently reports claimed he was irritated by quarterback Tony Romo's relationship with tight end Jason Witten.
Heading into the final year of his initial three-year contract with the team, the Cowboys inked Owens to a four-year, $34 million extension last summer that included a $13 million signing bonus. Owens' accelerated prorated signing bonus will count $9.6 million against the team's salary cap this year, sending the team's total of dead money for this season to nearly $15 million against the $127 million salary cap.
That number would soar close to $20 million with the expected release of strong safety Roy Williams, who would count another $4.4 million against the cap.
The Cowboys now have five receivers remaining on the roster. They traded three 2009 draft picks to Detroit for Roy Williams six weeks into last season, and still have five-year veteran Patrick Crayton, as well as two three-year veterans in Miles Austin and Sam Hurd. Isaiah Stanback is heading into his third year with the club.

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