Had to throw away that list of questions that I prepared for today’s scheduled conference call with Cowboys WR Terrell Owens.
Instead, it was Tony Romo who got on the call this morning with most of the media who cover the 49ers.
Said Romo, “(Owens is) a little sick, so they had to call in the backup.”
And what are Owens’ symptoms? “I don’t
And what are Owens’ symptoms? “I don’tknow. He’s just getting checked out by the doc. He’s just under the weather.”
When asked if Owens’ sickness might keep him out of Sunday’s game against the 49ers (I think we all know the answer to that one), Cowboys coach Wade Phillips confirmed Owens was sick this morning but that he “might be at practice later day.”
* * *
Niners quarterback Shaun Hill was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, the NFL announced. And all it took was one good half for him to achieve the honor. Hill became the first 49ers quarterback to achieve a perfect first-half passer rating of 158.3 when he completed 12 of 14 attempts for 192 yards and two touchdowns while leading the 49ers to a 32-point halftime lead against the Rams.
In the second half, Hill completed three of six passes for 21 yards.
* * *
Back to Romo and T.O. . . .
–Romo said Owens understands that all the attention he receives from opposing defenses has a positive affect on the rest of the football team. “If T.O.’s not catching a lot of balls it’s a direct result to what the defense is doing,” Romo said. “If they’re going to take him out of the game, that’s fine. . . . I feel like having the weapons we have at the other positions, he understands that it’s a compliment to him that teams are doing that.”
–When asked about people’s interest in Owens, Romo said, “What you see is what you get, from my perspective. I know you guys might have a different idea of him a little bit. But (he and I) have a great relationship. He works hard. He comes to work every day in practice. It’s a great thing to see for the young guys. They’ve all learned from him. He learned from Jerry Rice.”
–Owens has been a quarterback killer throughout his career. His relationships with Jeff Garcia and Donovan McNabb were very productive, but Owens soured on those two Pro Bowl quarterbacks. Why has Romo and Owens been able to get along (at least to this point)?
Romo says, essentially, because he has thick skin.
“I think I don’t take what people say in moments of emotional situations to heart,” Romo said. “I understand as human beings we all do things we either wish we didn’t do or make mistakes in some ways. I don’t judge anybody or hold them to a standard higher than I hold myself to. It’s allowed me to accept people for who they are and what they are.
“Also, I understand T is not a bad person. He’s actually a really good person who wants to be a good person and he tries hard. He does say things once in a while that you guys jump on and things of that nature, but I don’t ever let it affect me. And it doesn’t affect our friendship or our quarterback-receiver situation. I’m not a prideful guy. I can accept certain things and you move on. He appreciates me as a quarterback. We both understand our success is directly related to each other. If I play well, it’s usually because he played well. And if he plays well, it’s usually because I might have done something well.”
* * *
Romo said the pinkie on his throwing hand, which kept him out of three games, is feeling better every day. He said he feels good going into this game.
The 49ers are in the playoffs!
OK, the 49ers are in the playoffs in the Cowboys’ minds. That’s because the Cowboys feel as if every game is a playoff game.
“The sense of urgency is at a high energy level every day because we understand these games we’re playing are playoff games,” Romo said. “We need to win.”
So there’s no looking past the 49ers this week.
“No way – for multiple reasons,” Romo said. “You watch them on tape and wonder how their record is what it is. Defensively, they look like they’re playing great football. Everybody flies to the ball, they got good talented players and it’ll be a great challenge for us to move the ball on them.
“If we don’t get prepared and play our best, I don’t think we can win this game.”
* * *
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips then got on the conference call, but I’m not sure he was fully awake.
* * *