ESPN NEWS WIRE (ESPN) - Terrell Owens was "blindsided" by his release from the Dallas Cowboys, he said in an interview with Rogers Sportsnet, a Canadian television channel.
The 35-year-old Owens said he had been told by team owner Jerry Jones he would remain with the Cowboys.
"You hear all the speculation, and you talk to the owner of the team, and he reassures you, you're not going anywhere and then, out of left-field ... you get blindsided," Owens said.
Owens signed a four-year contract extension with Dallas last summer, but signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills after his release from the Cowboys.
"I don't have anything to say, but we have a great relationship," said Jones on Saturday, speaking to reporters at the Cowboys' new stadium in Arlington, Texas. "I'm sorry we didn't get this year in on the contract, but I don't have any pointed comment to what he said that there were people within the organization that didn't want him here. I read the substance of [the comments]. Bottom line is I don't really have any comments."
Jones said Owens indeed had several advocates when the owner discussed the move with top personnel throughout the organization. Jones said the decision rested on how the Cowboys could help Roy Williams succeed as the team's No. 1 receiver and how they could push the development of younger receivers.
"It was one [decision] I hadn't made up until right about the time we announced it," Jones said.
Owens said it remains his belief the decision was not completely made by Jones.
"I know whole-heartedly he wanted me there," Owens said. "There were some people I know who got in his ear that pressured him to make that decision. For that, it's sad. You let two or three people conspire to get me out of the situation."
The Cowboys traded for Williams in October, and Jones also said at the time of Owens' release that the addition contributed to the move.
"You take age as a consideration. ... In this particular case, we have an outstanding player in Roy Williams, and it was a significant factor in the decision I made to release Terrell."