T.O. show returns to Philly

Hostile crowd eager to show how much they don’t miss controversial receiver

This is what’s going to happen in Philadelphia on Sunday: Terrell Owens will receive a warm ovation from the crowd; he and Donovan McNabb will embrace at midfield before the game, reminiscing about their days together; and Andy Reid will tell Owens he wished he still had him.

And then a pig will start flying and a certain place well south of Philly will freeze over.

In reality, when Owens makes his return to Philadelphia, expect an emotionally charged Eagles crowd to razz him and expect McNabb to have one of his best showings.

Which makes this an unbelievably interesting game. In case anyone forgot: Owens spent two seasons — well, 1½ — with theEagles, helping them reach the Super Bowl. And then the problems started, between he and McNabb; between he and the organization.

Owens lost.

But he gets to remind the Eagles twice a year just how good he still is. In three games with the Dallas Cowboys, Owens has 14 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown. He also leads the NFL in headlines since the start of training camp, first because of injuries, then because of his 25-million-reasons-to-live drama.

Owens certainly will have a big say in who wins this game, considering he’s still an elite wideout. So, too, is unheralded teammate Terry Glenn, who has 15 catches for 229 yards and three touchdowns.

But Owens will find a different Eagles team than the one he left. Only a miracle comeback by the New York Giants has prevented Philly from being undefeated. And the Eagles have shown that they still have a passing game. Receiver Donte Stallworth is averaging 20.7 yards on 12 catches. And Reggie Brown averages 19.3 yards on 11 catches. But both are battling injuries.

However, the Dallas cornerbacks are excellent. And if Eagles running back Brian Westbrook can’t play, it makes the Eagles one-dimensional. It’s hard to beat good defenses without a balanced attack.

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