MINNEAPOLIS — Like it or not, when the Class of 2018 induction ceremony concludes Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio, you’ll have to call Terrell Eldorado Owens — arguably one of the NFL’s biggest villains in the last two decades — a Hall of Famer.
Owens, a 1996 third-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers, ranks eighth all-time in catches, second in receiving yards, and third in receiving touchdowns. He also spent three seasons in Dallas and earning one of his six Pro Bowl and one of his five All-Pro selections in 2007.
He also led the league on receiving touchdowns as a Cowboy in 2006. It was one of three Owens earned during his 15-year career. However, he was passed over for election the last two seasons because of actions both on and off the field.
There was the incident that came in 2000 against the Cowboys that earned a blindside hit from George Teague after catching a Jeff Garcia touchdown pass.
There was the Monday Night Football “Sharpie” incident in October 14, 2002. It involved Owens autographing a football and presenting it to his financial adviser sitting in an end zone luxury suite rented by Shawn Springs, the CB he had just beaten on the play.
Two months later and after scoring a touchdown in a December contest with the Green Bay Packers, Owens celebrated with a pair of Pom-Poms borrowed from a 49ers’ cheerleader. There was also the infamous spitting incident December 16, 2006 involving former corner back Deangelo Hall.
And the tangle with former receivers coach Todd Haley two months earlier in October.
Despite a highlight play dubbed “The Catch II,” and nine receptions, 122 yards as an Eagle in Super Bowl XXXIX due to a leg fracture and torn ligaments suffered during the 2004 regular season, his Hall of Fame candidacy has been hotly debated the last few years.
That will no longer be an issue after Saturday’s announcement and his acceptance of a gold jacket less than seven months.
Marcus Matthews-Marion is the managing editor of TexasHSFootball, covering prep football throughout the Lone Star State and collegiate and professional football throughout the country. Follow him on Twitter, @TheMJMatthews, and read more of his content here.
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