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"I don't think (being released) is going to stop him from playing football," Hurd said. "He's going to be back on somebody's team."
Don't look for him to replace Laveranues Coles on the Jets. The team has no interest in Owens because of the distractions he'd bring, a person familiar with the team's thinking told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The Cowboys signed Owens in March 2006, despite the bitterness some fans had for him having celebrated on the team's midfield star logo while playing for the 49ers. At his introductory news conference, Owens declared, "Getcha popcorn ready" and he certainly kept things interesting.
His first season included an accidental overdose that police initially called a possible suicide attempt and an obviously strained relationship with coach Bill Parcells. Yet it also included the most TD catches in the NFL and the birth of Romo's stardom.
With a new coach and coordinator in 2007, Owens set a club record with 15 TD catches and Dallas tied the best record in franchise history at 13-3, only to lose its first playoff game. He tearfully supported Romo afterward, then a few months later received a $34 million contract extension at a news conference that featured a humongous bowl of popcorn.
The Romo-Owens relationship appeared to fray late this past season, with Owens upset about everything from game plans to pass distribution. He had 213 yards in one game, but cracked 100 yards in only one other game, the otherwise forgettable finale.
Dallas already has a replacement as the top receiver in another Roy Williams, who led the NFC in yards receiving in 2006. The Cowboys gave up a first-, third- and sixth-round pick in the upcoming draft to get him from Detroit midway through last season.
In addition to Williams and Hurd, the Cowboys also have receivers Patrick Crayton and Miles Austin, plus Jason Witten, among the best receiving tight ends in the NFL.
What Romo and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett no longer have are any concerns about is whether No. 81 is happy.
"I know it takes a lot of pressure off Romo," Hurd said. "A guy like him demands the ball and you want to get him the ball. Now he can look at all of us and see which one is open on any given play. ... I don't think that was a problem. That's just what could and might start happening."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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