Born Terrell Eldorado Owens on December 7, 1973 in Alexander City, Alabama, the future star wide receiver, also known as T.O., was a four-time letterman in football at Benjamin Russell High School in his home town where he also played baseball and basketball.
A 3rd round draft choice out of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 1996, he went on to complete 592 receptions for 8,572 yards and 81 touchdowns in his first 8 NFL seasons.
His 20 catches vs. Chicago in 2000 set an all-time NFL record.
Despite his tremendous talent, TO has become one of the game's more controversial figures (he practically invented the touchdown victory dance) with a childish bent and a marked reputation for not playing well with others.
An early transgression occurred in 2002 when Owens scored a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks and - with millions watching on national television - retrieved a Sharpie pen from his sock, signed the football, and handed it to his financial advisor sitting in the stands.
In 2004, Owens was embroiled in yet another controversy when he appeared in a Monday Night Football promo (video), opposite Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan, who seductively dropped her towel and jumped into the arms of the Philadelphia Eagles star.
On the field, Owens had 77 receptions for 1,200 yards and a record 14 touchdowns before severely injuring his ankle late in the season. He missed the final two games and the first two playoff games before a return to the Super Bowl, in which he had nine receptions for 122 yards.
During the early 2005 season, Owens went out with a groin injury during a practice as he renegotiated his seven-year deal with the Eagles worth $49 million.
In November 2005, professional football's favorite bad boy was under a four game suspension following comments "detrimental to the team" after Owens' public complaint that the Eagles showed "a lack of class" by not recognising his 100th career touchdown against San Diego on October 23, 2005.
A permanent ban was later handed down when coach Andy Reid informed Owens he would not be returning to the Philadelphia Eagles for the remainder of the season. It was in March 2006 that the Eagles management, in a one-sentence statement, finally announced that they were officially cutting him from the team.
Days later, however, in a surprise move the Dallas Cowboys announced they had signed the star receiver to a three-year, $25 million contract including a $5 million bonus and $5 million salary this season, $8 million in 2007 and $7 million in 2008.
Owens, who missed most of the preseason because of a hamstring injury, began the 2006-2007 season with a broken finger and was expected to be on the injury list until October.
News agencies since then kept a close eye on reports that Owens was once again hospitalized in Dallas for an adverse reaction to painkillers that he was prescribed for his injury. However, his appearance on a live news conference - looking fit and healthy - seems to have dispelled any speculation about Owen's readiness to return to the field for the Dallas Cowboys in early October.
To end the year, a "frustrated" TO admitted to spitting in the face of Atlanta Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall during a mid-December game in 2006. Owens was fined $35,000 for the incident.