IRVING, Texas (AP) - Terrell Owens can gripe all he wants. His
buddy Chad Ocho Cinco doesn't want to hear it.
Only four touchdowns this season? Only one celebration penalty?
Only one loss?
Ocho Cinco wishes he had such problems. The receiver formerly
known as Chad Johnson is so mired in muck that he can't even get
the NFL to let him wear his new surname on the back of his jersey.
So, this week, in anticipation of facing T.O. and the Dallas
Cowboys on Sunday, the rebranded Cincinnati Bengals receiver
decided it was time to shake up things. Out went the low-key act of
recent months. In came the flamboyant act that's made him, well,
"I'm not holding nothing back," he said at the start of a
19-minute conference call with Dallas reporters. "Somebody's got
Off he went, riffing on a hoped-for trade to the Cowboys: "They
would have to change all of our damn games to pay-per-view because
you need to pay to see that (expletive). I'm serious. I'm so
serious. They would have to put all the games on pay-per-view.
Because you can't just watch a show like that for free; 81 and 85?
Come on, now. Please."
He jabbed at his team's reversal since 2005, "the year
everybody went to jail and got arrested," and the Bengals went
11-5 and made the playoffs: "Maybe the bad was a good thing. It
sounds dumb to say, but look at it. We have cleaned house and
nobody is getting in trouble anymore - no DUIs, no arrests. Now
we're getting ... whupped. I don't know. Maybe I should go out,
have a drink, get in trouble."
And he closed by revealing his TD celebration plans for Sunday:
"I love Dallas so much, I'm going to take my helmet off, pay
the fine, and kiss the star. ... That's not a sign of disrespect,
is it? That's a good thing, isn't it? ... I don't think it's bad. I
think it's cool. Tell Jerry Jones I said hello. Give me a call some
The Bengals might as well do things differently considering how
their current plan has gone. A loss Sunday and they'll be 0-5 for
the first time since 2002, when they started 0-7 and finished 2-14.
Other possible changes besides Ocho Cinco coming out of his
shell: newly signed Cedric Benson getting some carries; Chris Henry
catching passes now that his four-game suspension is over; and
Carson Palmer starting at quarterback again after missing the last
game with a sore elbow.
"Guys are still hungry and feel desperate for a win because
we're not used to this and this isn't us," said Palmer, perhaps
forgetting Cincinnati's woeful history prior to his arrival. "It
seems bleak from everything you hear in the media and people on the
outside of the locker room, the way they're talking. But in no way
is this team going to give up or take any team lightly or not
prepare the right way, whatever the case may be. We're going to get
ready to go into Dallas and win."
Just the Bengals' luck, they picked a bad time to try sneaking
up on the Cowboys.
Dallas is coming off a 26-24 loss at home to the Washington
Redskins that damaged its standing in the NFC East and ruined its
dream of sweeping a soft October schedule to be unbeaten going into
a Nov. 2 showdown with the New York Giants.
The way the Cowboys lost added to the agony.
The defense gave up big plays and continued its trend of not
making many; the Cowboys have zero interceptions. The offense,
meanwhile, revolved around Owens at the expense of the running
game, yet it still wasn't enough to satisfy No. 81, prompting talk
of a possible rift between Owens and quarterback Tony Romo.
"I learned a while ago, as soon as we lose a game ... it's a
Chicken Little thing," Romo said.
Owens was too busy defending his remarks about not getting the
ball enough against Washington - despite 18 passes thrown his way,
plus two handoffs - to stir up things with Ocho Cinco.
However, T.O. did acknowledge his counterpart is the better
"He is too big to dance well," Ocho Cinco said. "I'm
Ocho Cinco has yet to dance this season. Through four games, his
total stats look like a single afternoon's worth of production: 11
catches, 116 yards, one touchdown. That lone score came last Sunday
and he didn't dare make a big deal out of it.
"I have no room for that right now," he said.
Owens has added to his celebration collection with a pair of
tributes to Olympic sprint sensation Usain Bolt. In the opener,
T.O. scored, then dropped into a starting-blocks pose, only to draw
a flag because he touched his hand to the ground. A week later, he
cruised into the end zone and crossed the goal line with a
"He got me beat this year," Ocho Cinco said. "He got me beat
"Hopefully," said Cowboys cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones,
"we can keep it like that."
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)