T.O. says Cowboys drama is behind him but acknowledges 'scapegoat' tag

DUNCANVILLE, Texas -- As Terrell Owens made his personal "Farewell to Dallas" tour this week, holding a football camp for kids and a "Thanks for the Love" party for adults, the flamboyant wide receiver went out pretty much the way he came in -- providing plenty of fodder for folks on either side of the love-hate debate.

Following the youth camp Thursday, Owens talked to reporters about his new situation with the Buffalo Bills and what went wrong with the Dallas Cowboys.

2008 Statistics
Receptions: 69

Yards: 1,052

Touchdowns: 10

"I miss Dallas, but I have a new team," he said. "It's already behind me."

Asked what went wrong between him and Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, Owens repeatedly said, "I don't know."

"Obviously, somebody is lying," Owens said. "All I know is that I'm not here."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said Owens was cut to help establish Romo as the team's unquestioned leader. Owens said Romo could have established himself before, but "that didn't happen."

"So I will be the scapegoat," Owens said. "I'm not here any more, and I wish him (Romo) well."

Cowboys fans still have a love-hate relationship with Owens. Those who love T.O. will point to his willingness to return to Dallas months after being dumped by the Cowboys and to anchor this trip around working with kids. They note the scholarships given out to cover the $195 camp fee and the promotion that brought a boy and his family from Buffalo, N.Y., so folks in his new place of employment don't feel left out. The party at a 48th-floor downtown ballroom is a nice touch.

T.O. haters will point out that the camp wasn't filled up, even with all the giveaway spots. And if Owens really wanted to do something nice, he could have made the camp free, especially considering all the corporate sponsorship and the six varieties of outdated "Getcha Popcorn Ready" T-shirts being sold. Critics also could make an issue of Owens arriving midway through the first day -- he couldn't get a flight the night before? And that party? Tickets cost $20 to $60.

  -- Terrell Owens, on leaving the 
 [Cowboys](/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL) for the 

Owens' three seasons in Dallas provided it all -- great plays, big numbers and a huge assist in turning Romo from unknown backup to Pro Bowl starter. Then there was Owens' accidental overdose and his locker-room conspiracy theories that were disruptive, no matter if they were real. Perhaps the bottom line was this: The Cowboys had an 0-2 playoff record with Owens and didn't make a postseason trip last season, when they were midseason Super Bowl favorites.

Jones was Owens' most loyal supporter -- until March, when the owner told the receiver to take a hike. Owens wound up signing a one-year contract with the Bills.

Plenty of people around Dallas are sorry to see Owens go. That includes Plano's Sandra Fulcher, a single mother whose 7-year-old son, Christian, earned a scholarship to Owens' camp with an essay about what makes a champion.

"He said he thought a champion was someone who helped someone get better, like T.O. helping people at their position," Fulcher said.

Sam Hurd, Owens' main protege on the Cowboys, was among the guest instructors at the camp. Hurd and Owens started Wednesday's afternoon session teaching route-running drills to teenagers. Then Owens joined the youngest kids, like Christian Fulcher, who were working on running plays.

The hulking Owens lined up over the center and growled, "You scared of me?" He then let the kid drive him backward. Owens did it over and over, sometimes rubbing his shoulder and moaning, "You're beating me up!" It never got old for the smiling Owens or the children beaming about strength they didn't know they had.

"I know in the past he's said and done some things," Sandra Fulcher said. "But I like the fact he's giving back to the community. It says a lot that he came down here, even though he's not on the team. It adds closure for the little kids. ... I'm happy and impressed."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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