The Hall of Fame candidacy of Terrell Owens has been a debated topic. Owens’ former boss, the newly-inducted Jerry Jones, believes Owens should be in. Another Hall of Famer, Dan Fouts, is not so sure.
“I think his numbers are very worthy, but again on the other side of it, I think his actions on and off the field, on the sidelines, in the locker room, and the fact he played for so many teams and was such a great player, the question that comes back to me is if he was such a great player, why did so many of those teams get rid of him?” Fouts said on The Midday 180 in Nashville, per Paul Kuharsky, ESPN. “And I think we all know the answers.”
For the record, Fouts is not entirely wrong. Owens had a number of issues with teams throughout his career. If they happened in one or even two places, the blame could be placed on the other parties. But Owens experienced too many messy breakups to not be thought of as the primary source of the problems.
The problem is that the standards are inconsistent. Owens had issues with the teams he played on, it’s unquestionable. So did Brett Favre. Did anyone even consider keeping Favre out of the Hall of Fame for his off field issues, or his messy breakups with the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets or Green Bay Packers? Will Randy Moss be anything other than a first ballot Hall of Fame receiver? What about Ray Lewis?
Owens is eighth in career receptions, second in receiving yards and third in touchdown receptions. He was a receiver that opposing coaches had to spend an entire week game planning for. Even then, he was rarely shut down, or even contained. If constant off field issues will keep him out, then they need to be applied the same way to others. That hasn’t been the case.