CARROLLTON, Texas -- Terrell Owens can't stop talking about his days with the Dallas Cowboys -- and Jerry Jones can't stop listening.
"I'm drawn to when he's featured on certain segments, and I read carefully what's written," the Cowboys' owner said Thursday. "I'm interested."
Many Cowboys would prefer to let T.O. be out of sight and out of mind, relieved to no longer have to react to everything the wide receiver says or does.
So why does Jones, the boss who dumped the disgruntled employee, remain fascinated?
"He's credible with me," Jones said. "That's what makes it interesting."
Players are cut all the time, even star players, and their bitterness toward the previous team usually goes away once they settle in with a new team, as Owens has done with the Buffalo Bills.
But Owens keeps fanning the flames, often speculating that quarterback Tony Romo and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett pushed for his release in Dallas. Just a few weeks ago -- on May 19, more than 10 weeks after he was cut -- Owens posted this unedited note by Twitter: "blame the OC & romo!! but i'm happy 2 b where i am but i miss the other guys tht were & r true teammates."
More barbs could be coming in Owens' upcoming reality TV show.
"I don't know that it's blowing off steam. He could, just like anybody else, (have) conjecture," Jones said. "And I'm not being critical of him. At all. I really am not. Like I said, I'm just interested in his comments."
Jones also shot down Owens' conspiracy theory.
"I know how the decision was made and the very people he's mentioning might not know because I had to ultimately put all the rationale that I had together and make the decision," Jones said. "All I'm saying is, if he or anybody else mention people, it could be news to them. That's not how the decision came about."
Since the release, Jones has made it clear that Owens was cut to help improve locker-room harmony. Yet the owner said Thursday, "I did not think (his personality) was disruptive to this team."
"I did not," Jones repeated. "As a matter of fact, you have a huge percentage of our team -- coaches and otherwise -- that thought his personality was a positive thing."
That comment came in response to a question about this saga dragging out.
"Terrell's got the personality that kind of keeps it going, too, and that's not a bad thing at all," Jones said.
"It goes on and on," Phillips said. "It's best to just go forward. We had a great relationship when Terrell was here, and he did a lot of great things for us. It's going to be tough to replace him as far as I'm concerned."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press