Terrell Owens has been relatively quiet this season -- and to him, if he's not at least making noise on the field, then that's a problem.
Owens, in an interview that aired Thursday on the NFL Network during halftime of the Bengals-Steelers game, says he is frustrated by his numbers and the Dallas Cowboys' offense. In his view, he says, if Dallas' goal is to get to the Super Bowl, the team "can't obtain that championship if I'm not involved in the offense."
"For me to have the numbers that I have and not really being involved, it is discouraging," Owens said in the two-part interview conducted by Deion Sanders. "It is frustrating, but what can I do?"
Owens, asked Friday in the locker room to elaborate, told reporters that his comments were nothing he hasn't said in the past.
In the NFL Network interview -- the second part of which airs Sunday -- Owens said: "It's going to come, and I think a lot of people, they see that when I get my hands on the ball things happen. I can't throw it and catch it. I can do only one thing. It's not that I can't play, it's the system of which I'm in."
Last season, the six-time Pro Bowler had 81 catches for 1,355 yards and 15 touchdowns, and six games with 100 yards receiving or more.
This season, he has 40 catches for 505 yards and six touchdowns, but only one touchdown in the past four games, and no games with 100 yards receiving. It doesn't help that starting quarterback Tony Romo missed three of the past four games because of his broken right pinkie.
Reporters Friday noted that the Cowboys' offense is the same in both seasons, but Owens says coordinator Jason Garrett's plan is not flexible, and defenses have caught on to his schemes and how to stop Owens.
Garrett, according to the Dallas Morning News, was not available for comment Friday.
"It's a different offense," he said. "It's a lot of flexibility."
Coach Wade Phillips showed no irritation at Owens' observations, saying Friday, "In some cases they are true. I'd say us getting him the football is the most important thing because, again, he's a great player, and we've got to get him the ball. And if he's not getting the ball enough, then it goes back to us."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also shrugged off Owens comments.
"Terrell obviously is one of the most intense competitors I've ever seen," Jones said. "Michael Irvin was more into what Terrell is about in that area than Terrell is. And that is, 'Just get me the ball, and we've got a better chance to win.' "