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Terrell Owens answers your questions

Dateline's Stone Phillips posed some of your questions to the NFL receiver.

From his entertaining end zone celebrations to his participation in a controversial commercial with "Desperate Housewives" star, Nicollette Sheridan, to his outspoken remarks about his teammates, all-pro football star, Terrell Owens has been center stage since entering the league in 1996.

As a new season dawns for the highly-talked about receiver, Owens invites Dateline's Stone Phillips into his Atlanta home to talk about his antics, his anger and his just-released autobiography, "T.O."

Below, Owens answers some viewer questions e-mailed in advance of his sit-down chat with Phillips. The exclusive interview airs Dateline Sunday, Aug. 6, 7 p.m.

The best receiver in the game is...
Stone Phillips, Dateline anchor:
So here are questions from our online viewers.  Who’s the best receiver in the game? (sent in by Kelly from La Jolla, Calif.)

Terrell Owens: Who are my choices?  Am I excluded?

Phillips: (Laughter) You can include yourself.

Owens: I‘m gonna say myself. I know there are a number of guys out there and I can name, some of the top guys in there. But, you know, that’s just me having confidence in myself.  I don’t see outside of me.  You know, I gotta go with what I bring to the table and what I bring to my team.  So, I have to feel like I’m the best.

Phillips: What makes you so much better than other receivers in the league— natural talent, conditioning or just pure willpower? (sent in by L.T., MD)

Owens: I mean, I think it’s a combination of all those things.  You know, everybody knows I’m very competitive.  I have an ability that I’ve already honed in on to get better.  And just like you said, my will to win. I’ll do whatever it takes to win.  That was the reason I made it back to the Super Bowl. That was my will, to get back onto that field to help the team win.

Phillips: But, if you had to pick one of the three: natural talent, conditioning or just pure willpower?  If you had to pick one?

Owens: Willpower.

Phillips: Willpower.

Owens: Because the willpower, it’ll enhance those other things to go to another level.

Phillips: It’s the catalyst.

Owens: Exactly.

Phillips:  Secret ingredient.

Owens: Exactly.  It’s like throwing that coal into a steam engine, you know, to get that engine going. 

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Owens: Yeah, I do. Great fans out there—enjoyed my years there.  But, you know, at some point, you have to move on. Like I said, I go back out there in the public and still have fans that’ll come up to me and are very respectful and I’m very receptive to them.

On his future with the Cowboys
A long time Dallas fan wants to know, "The Cowboys are a young team.  If they don’t do well, how will you right the course?" (sent in anonymously)

Owens: Well, I don’t really look at the negatives.  I’m still focusing on the positives.  I know we’ll do well. I realize what they did and didn’t do the last three years as far as making the playoffs. The owners and the coaches brought in players to help those situations where they lack. You think about them bringing in Vanderjagt, the kicker. They brought in Akin Ayodelem the linebacker, things to kind of bolster up our defense. And then you look at myself, offense, in addition to what they already have and Jason Witten and Terry Glenn. And you think about Julius Jones and Marion Barber. And obviously, our quarterback Drew Bledsoe. So, you know, we have some things definitely in tact to take this team to another level.

Phillips: What’s the chemistry going to be like between you and Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe? (sent in by Chrichelle M., Davis, Calif.)

Owens: I mean, it’s already started, you know?

Phillips: How is it?

Owens: It’s great.  You know, we’ve talked and obviously are very aware of things that has happened over the year...

Phillips: So, you’ve spoken about that?

Owens: Right.

Phillips: The situation with—

Owens: Exactly.

Phillips: Donovan or the situation?

Owens: Right, and he was just saying, “Dude, I don’t foresee any problems.” He’s like “As long as we can communicate, you know?  Have that open line of communication with each other, and we shouldn’t have any problems.”

Phillips: And you told him as long as he doesn’t miss you down field for touchdown, everything’s fine.

Owens:  Exactly. (Laughs) No, I mean, that part of it. Like I said, you know, he told me, he’s like, “If I miss something, come let me know.  You know, talk to me.”  He told me, “There’s gonna be times that I do miss things.” And I know that’s possible just like, I may run a wrong route or something.  I may not run the correct depth.  You know, we all make mistakes.  But, he assured me, if we just communicate with which other, we’ll be fine.

Phillips: So, you’re off on the right foot?

Owens: Yeah. Exactly.

On learning from last year's suspension
Another online viewer asks, what did you learn from your suspension last year? (sent in by Don T., Japan)

Owens: I mean, there are so many things.

Phillips: Can you sum it up briefly?  If there’s one thing you learned?

Owens: Really I think just to be more positive. To think things through especially myself and when doing interviews.  You know, I feel like I can still be the honest person that I am if I just don’t steer down the wrong path or if I just give a little bit more thought, you know, to my answers to  those questions.

On the best and easiest defensive backs
Phillips: Who is the best defensive back you’ve faced? (sent in by Brian, Las Vegas, Nevada)

Owens: Today? I mean, there’s probably a couple of guys.  I mean, you think about the top cornerbacks in the league: Champ Bailey, Charles Woodson, DeAngelo Hall.  He’s an emerging star.  So, those are the guys that just come to mind.

Phillips: What makes them tough?  I mean what gets your attention in a defensive back?  Is it strength?  Is it speed?  Is it how they play you?  Is it knowledge and awareness?

Owens: Right, I think number one it’s probably awareness of where I am on the field and that’s "where" as an offense and as a team. As a coach, you find ways to move me around to the advantage and to the disadvantage of a defense.  But, honestly, I don’t feel like there’s anybody out there that can really shut me down. I just feel like I know what I bring to the game.  Very confident in what I do.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have gone to the Eagles, to try to help their team get to the playoffs and get to the Super Bowl.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here in Dallas, to to help us to get to where we need to be.

Phillips: Another question from the same viewer: What NFL defense will be the easiest to go against?

Owens: I’m not sure. I probably better make that assessment after I probably score a lot of touchdowns.

Phillips: I was gonna say were you gonna take the bait and you didn’t take it.                      

Owens: (Laughter) No.

Phillips: That was gonna motivate some defense somewhere in the league if you’d answered that one.

Owens: You know, every Sunday every game is different.  You know, some teams they play better on other days.  So, it just depends on how we come out as a team as far as our enthusiasm and the things that we’ve done to prepare for that game versus what they do.