Owens disputes report he claimed being misquoted

Updated: July 15, 2006, 1:47 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

DALLAS -- Terrell Owens did not claim he was misquoted in his autobiography, the wide receiver's publicist told The Dallas Morning News on Saturday.

On Friday, The Associated Press reported that Owens said that he did not use the word "heroic" to describe his comeback from a broken leg before Super Bowl XXXIX, explaining that it was co-author Jason Rosenhaus, the brother of Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who called that feat "heroic."

That's a far cry from claiming he was misquoted, said his publicist, Kim Etheredge.

"It's most unfortunate that a person would want to take his words and make it sound like he isn't telling the truth and writing his own book," Etheredge said. "There's no discrepancy. It's absurd that a person would try to do that."

Owens made the comment while appearing at a book-signing for "T.O." at a Wal-Mart in Irving, Texas.

In "T.O.", which debuted last week, Owens likens former teammate Donovan McNabb to a bully who spat in his mouth as a teenager while he innocently slept on a school bus.

The new Dallas Cowboys receiver also devotes pages to his perceived vilification in the press and described his quick comeback from a leg fracture in 2004 as, "If you'll forgive me for saying so ... nothing short of heroic."

But forgive him or not, Owens said Thursday during a book signing near the Cowboys' headquarters that it was "T.O." co-author Jason Rosenhaus who invented that particular phrasing.

Rosenhaus is the younger brother of Owens' agent, Drew, who Owens credits in "T.O." for the three-year, $25 million contract he got from the Cowboys in March. Jason often works with his brother on contracts.

"[Heroic] was one of the words that Jason used," said Owens, after signing his book for about 400 fans and collectors at a Wal-Mart near the Cowboys' headquarters. "... I can't say that I called it 'heroic."'

The discrepancy seems to contradict Owens' assertion of "These are my words, straight from me to you" on the book's second page.

But that bothered Cowboys fans at the Wal-Mart about as much as when Dallas signed the controversial receiver, who once grandstanded on the Cowboys' star logo at Texas Stadium when he was with San Francisco in 2000.

"[The book] really makes him across more personable," said Christopher Taylor, 29, who read the first three chapters while waiting in line for two hours.

But it's the fourth chapter, titled "Philly's New Favorite Son," where Owens begins rehashing his soured relationship with McNabb. He traces the root of the friction to when McNabb didn't throw him the ball on a play against Cleveland during his first season with the Eagles.

From there, Owens goes on to write that an unnamed Eagles offensive coach "asked me to be very positive and supportive of Donovan" because McNabb "can get nervous and tight in big games." He later accuses McNabb of cursing at him in a huddle and, by page 56, writes "we were never close again and probably never will be."

Owens also writes at length about his suspension from the Eagles ["I thought it was horrible they were going to deprive me of my livelihood"] and closes the book taking comfort in Cowboys owner Jerry Jones allegedly telling him that he also "knew what it was like to be treated like Darth Vader."

First in line for Thursday's book signing was Jason Hicks, 16, a defensive tackle at Duncanville High School who recently finished a book about former Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.

"I'll read anything," said Hicks, holding a copy of "T.O.", "that has to do with football leadership."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.