While he wore a Cowboys-branded Santa hat on his head, Owens
certainly wasn't joyful Christmas night. His frustration was
evident after a 23-7 loss, when he scored the only Dallas
touchdown, then complained several times that not enough passes are
coming his way.
"I just feel like I'm not involved early in the game," Owens
said. "Everybody knows that's what I do. Every team that I've
played on, I've been involved early and often. It's hard to get in
the flow when you're getting a ball here, a ball there."
Owens isn't the only frustrated Cowboys receiver. Terry Glenn and Owens totaled just three catches for 40 yards Monday night.
"I don't think we're trying to win; no, not on offense," Glenn was quoted Tuesday in the Dallas Morning News. "You have to execute and get everybody involved. I try not to let it get to me. Man, I've been fighting it all year. I'm trying to be a team player, but there's no reason for it. No reason for it.
"I'm not alone. The whole offense is frustrated," Glenn said. "They are looking around saying, 'Why can't we do anything when we have all these weapons?'"
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn't miss Monday's dull performance either.
"A game like this indicts us at the top just straight through," Jones told reporters after the game. "It's disappointing. I'm disgusted. I really am. After tonight, you have to look at the entire organization, and I do. I'm about as frustrated as I've been in my 17 years as owner."
Owens had only three balls come his direction before halftime,
all on the drive that ended with his 14-yard TD pass with 36
seconds left to get Dallas within 10-7. He also caught a 9-yard
pass and another attempt resulted in an illegal contact penalty
against the Eagles.
Those were Owens' only catches in the game.
After the Eagles stretched their lead to 16-7 in the third
quarter, Owens let an almost perfectly thrown deep ball by Tony
Romo go right through his hands along the sideline. He said there
should have been a penalty on Brian Dawkins, who was defending him.
"He bumped me way down the field and I started to regroup. By
the time I looked up and located the ball, it was right on me,"
"All receivers are going to drop the ball," Romo said,
Romo, the Pro Bowl quarterback whose 142 yards were his fewest
in his nine starts, threw toward a double-covered Owens early in
the fourth quarter. Dawkins was there again, making a nifty
over-the-shoulder grab for an interception.
"Late in the game, they start throwing to me," Owens said.
"By that time, it's too late. I'm giving full effort. I want to be
Owens didn't have a catch in the first half in his much-hyped
October return to Philadelphia, when he finished with only three
grabs for 45 yards and the Eagles won 38-24.
This time, Owens hardly had an impact and the Eagles took
control of the NFC East race. Dallas could have clinched its first
division title since 1998, but now must beat Detroit and have
Philadelphia lose to Atlanta in the regular-season finale. The
Eagles and Cowboys are both 9-6 and guaranteed playoff spots.
"It's not necessarily embarrassing that we lost to them," T.O.
said. "I was embarrassed by the way we played offensively."
Owens insisted it wasn't a personal grudge match for him against
the Eagles, the team that he helped lead to the Super Bowl in 2004
before being suspended midway through last year. That included his
bitter and public feud with quarterback Donovan McNabb.
T.O. certainly doesn't have a problem with all the Eagles. He
spent part of Christmas Eve visiting with some of his former
Philadelphia teammates at their hotel.
"What about it?" Owens said. "That shouldn't have any bearing
on the game. That's my time and you know those guys are my friends.
I'm not going to shy away from my friends for anybody."
As for what he might say to his current quarterback about
getting the ball more, Owens indicated that the problem wasn't
Romo, but rather the plays being called.
"I don't think it's necessarily anything Tony and I need to
talk about. He knows that I'm going to try my hardest to make some
plays for him," he said. "When the plays aren't really designed
for me to get involved in the offense, he's going to go with the
plays that are called."
Owens even got in on defense for a play, as a deep safety about
30 seconds after his touchdown at the end of the first half. But
Jeff Garcia, 4-1 since replacing the injured McNabb, instead dumped
the ball for a shorter gain and left 1 second on the clock for a
half-ending field goal.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.