PRO BOWL 2008
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens scored two TDs for the NFC in yesterday's Pro Bowl.
T.O. was next most valuable for NFC
Terrell Owens isn't headed back to Dallas with a new car, but he did his part in sending a sold-out Aloha Stadium crowd home feeling satisfied.
Minnesota's Adrian Peterson was named the game's MVP, but Owens gave him a run for his money (or in this case, a red Cadillac), hauling in eight passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns in the NFC's 42-30 victory over the AFC.
Owens, who along with 12 Cowboys teammates, got one of the loudest ovations in pregame introductions. The cheers turned to boos after he dropped two easy passes early from teammate Tony Romo and finished the first quarter with one catch for negative yards.
"We've got a lot of fans here in Hawaii," Owens said. "We can make some big plays -- some highlight plays -- that keeps the crowd into the game."
The highlight came midway through the second quarter with the AFC pummeling the NFC 24-7. On a fourth and 13, Romo did one of his famous scrambles in the pocket before finding Owens for a 34-yard gain.
Three plays later, Romo rewarded the six-time Pro Bowler with a 6-yard touchdown pass to trim the deficit to 10, and make a game out of it.
"It's old hat," Romo said of the touchdown. "We've done that before, so it was normal."
The NFC scored on its opening drive, but turned the ball over on its next two possessions as the AFC looked to run away with it early.
The NFC was all but left for dead when a false-start penalty forced a fourth and long from the 41-yard line. Romo, who has made acrobatic plays all year avoiding the rush, did so again, shaking off two defensive linemen before finding Owens on a comeback route open down the middle of the field.
"It was a situation where we're in the West Coast offense," Owens said. "The play breaks down and you just got to make a play. It's something that Tony and I have done all year. We just got to cap it off at the Pro Bowl."
Owens has had his share of run-ins with quarterbacks over the years, and found himself matched up with one he's clashed with -- Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia.
Garcia and Owens were teammates in San Francisco, and had a falling out when Owens left for Philadelphia.
The two seemed to put the past aside as Garcia found Owens twice on the go-ahead drive, including from 6 yards out over the middle to give the NFC a 35-30 lead.
"It doesn't matter who's the quarterback," Owens said. "It's all about X's and O's. Throw it and catch it."
Owens and Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb had the same problems in Philadelphia, but the relationship in Dallas between him and Romo seems to be working much better, despite two tough playoff losses in the last two years.
"We've got a good relationship with each other," Romo said of his wide receiver. "It's fun just being around him and being around most of the guys here. (The touchdown) will be something I'm sure we talk about in the offseason."