T.O. set to face Cowboys, says, 'I'm no cancer,' expects Super Bowl

01:58 AM CDT on Thursday, August 5, 2010

From Staff and Wire Reports

The Cowboys will face Terrell Owens when they battle the Cincinnati Bengals in Sunday's Hall of Fame exhibition game.

But Owens thinks he'll be returning to Dallas later this season.

"I didnt come to (Cincinnati) to mess, Owens told this week. "Were looking to be in Dallas Feb. 6.

That's right: Owens believes the Bengals, who signed him to a one-year deal last week, are destined for the Super Bowl.

"If you work maintenance, you better get some more light bulbs, Owens said, "because were going to light up the scoreboard.

The 36-year-old also thinks he got a bum rap in his previous stints, which included the Cowboys.

When asked by about the biggest myth about him, Owens said: "Im a cancer in the locker room. That Im a distraction. How am I distraction that if over the years you take an incident and someone blows it out of proportion and its not nearly as bad as it's supposed to be? Then of course Im going to look bad. Over the years there have been some small incidents that have been blown straight out of proportion.

"I pride myself with the fact that my grandmother raised me right and taught me right from wrong. You see guys that had DUIs, domestic violence, club altercations and rape violations, and then myself, I get thrown into the same category as those guys and I can't see how that is. Again, it's ignorance, if you ask me. I've had no off-the-field problems, and it's mind boggling."

Owens still considers himself a top NFL receiver.

"Im a playmaker. I know Michael Irvin has adopted that title, but thats what I do and have done throughout my career is make plays. The coaches know what Im capable of once the ball is in my hands. Theyre going to get all of Terrell on the field. Im glad to be with my new team and well see where it takes us.

Owens took a heavy-incentive contract and less money up front to sign with Cincinnati. But he doesnt seem to mind.

[HIGH-LIGHT]"I definitely took a pay cut to grasp the opportunity to win a Super Bowl," he said. "I know Im worth more than what Im being paid. But Im here playing with my good friend Chad (Ochocinco) and playing with a team that definitely has an opportunity to win the Super Bowl.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

T.O. might be playing in the Hall of Fame game, but he also believes he deserves to be inducted when his career is over.

"At this point, Im already in the Hall of Fame; I just dont have a bust," Owens said.

The Bengals seemed amused at Owens' antics. For now.

"He hasn't slowed down," said quarterback Carson Palmer, who worked out with Owens in California this month. "He's a guy that's kind of ageless and he's still got a lot left in the tank."

"It's a circus," Palmer said. "Him and Chad, them being them. It's funny. I was laughing."

Palmer knows that Owens has a reputation for turning on his quarterback. Owens got a chance to join the Bengals in part because Palmer lobbied to sign him after watching their workouts in California.

"I think Carson being that quarterback that can get the ball up and down the field at any given point on the field that makes my mouth water," Owens said. "I've longed to have a quarterback like Carson."

Now he's got him. Got his favorite number, too.

Owens wore his customary No. 81 at practice, part of a deal he made with the previous owner. Former Cowboys receiver Antonio Bryant got the number when the Bengals chose him over Owens in the off-season, giving him a four-year deal.
Bryant agreed to give up his number.

"I'm a realist," Bryant said. "I said, 'Hey, man, I'm not going to make no big spectacle about it. You've got a bigger legacy and a number than I do. I've been on several teams like you, but I've changed my number several times. You've had the same number.

"I don't need your money," Bryant said. "All I want you to do is take care of one of my little league programs in Miami. Send them a small donation and we'll go from there.'"

TO could clean up at a Super Bowl, assuming that Super Bowl is a brand name for a lavatory from the planet Krypton.