In Bill Parcells’ final season as a head coach, his Cowboys signed Terrell Owens. The two didn’t always see eye to eye, but Parcells, a Hall of Famer himself, said he believes Owens’ production warrants a place in Canton.
Asked directly on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles if he would vote for Owens, Parcells answered, “I think I would. I think I would.”
Having said that, Parcells didn’t sound extremely enthusiastic.
“I had my issues with him a little bit, but that’s not unlike some other players and you just have to deal with those things and make the best of it. Sometimes it’s not comfortable for everybody but you have to make the best of it,” Parcells said.
Owens was a five-time first-team All-Pro, and statistically he matches up favorably with any receiver not named Jerry Rice in NFL history.
“He certainly was highly productive,” Parcells said. “He was highly productive and did some very remarkable things on the field. He also came with some other things that you had to deal with. And sometimes they weren’t always pleasant for some of the places that he was. But that being said, it’s a production business and he did produce at an extremely high level.”
Still, Parcells did acknowledge that Owens was more than just a pain in the neck, and sometimes his antics actively hurt the team.
“There are things that go unseen by the public, and people watching the games — there are things that happen on the field that, even when they happen, the fans and the laymen do not recognize what happens,” Parcells said. “And in his case, he was somewhat unreliable in some of the things he would do. Sometimes we’d have a route that was called at 12 [yards] and he’d run it at nine [yards]. Well, that disrupts your quarterback and things like that. But that being said, he still was highly productive and I do think he warrants very, very strong consideration. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t get in very shortly.”
There seems to be a groundswell of support for Owens after he was voted down this year. It’s unclear, however, whether that groundswell has caused any members of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee to change their minds.