T.O.: McNabb made me a better receiver; I made him a better QB

Updated: September 11, 2008, 11:52 PM ET
By Ed Werder | ESPN.com

Terrell Owens -- wearing one of his custom T-shirts that said "iLove" on the front and "Me some me" on the back -- spoke in the Cowboys' locker room Thursday, often about Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb and the reasons for their failed relationship.

"I will say that Donovan made me a better receiver in Philadelphia, but I think Donovan would have a hard time admitting I made him a better quarterback," he said.

Owens also suggested their problems were the result of McNabb being insecure about Owens' popularity surpassing that of the quarterback, saying, "I remember being in that stadium and hearing them chanting my name, and that couldn't bode well for Donovan."

Owens said he has a unique relationship with the Cowboys' Tony Romo because the quarterback "gets me" in a way none of the others ever did.

Owens also said he honestly does not believe what happened in Philly was his fault.

Owens says in many ways he still feels like a kid from a small town in Alabama with something to prove.

Terrell Owens

I will say that Donovan made me a better receiver in Philadelphia, but I think Donovan would have a hard time admitting I made him a better quarterback.

-- Terrell Owens

When asked about how it seemed Philly dominated the NFC East when he was an Eagle, much as the Cowboys are doing now, Owens suggested it was largely because he had changed teams. "The common denominator was me being in both places, but I will let you make that assessment," he said.

In his conference call with the Dallas media, Eagles coach Andy Reid said he was pleased with Owens' turnaround, even though it has occurred with a division rival, and called T.O. "a guy who will go down as one of the greatest ever to play the position."

On a conference call with Cowboys media Thursday, McNabb did his best to avoid the subject of their relationship.

"We had great times here. … It's unfortunate the way things ended up," McNabb told The Associated Press. "But he's happy where he's at and I'm happy where I'm at."

Asked if Owens was a changed man, McNabb said he didn't know. "I'm just a guy on the outside looking in," he said.

McNabb's best statistical season (3,875 passing yards and 31 touchdowns) came in 2004, when he was throwing passes to Owens and the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl, which Owens played in after coming back from a broken bone in his leg.

But Owens publicly demanded a new contract just one year into a seven-year, $48.97 million deal and feuded with McNabb.

Money hasn't been an issue for Owens in Dallas, where he initially got a $25 million, three-year deal. This would have been his final season under that original deal, but this summer the 34-year-old receiver got a three-year extension worth about $27 million through the 2011 season.

Ed Werder reports on the NFL for ESPN. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ed Werder

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