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Still Smoldering After 22 Years? Teague vs. T.O. Feud Alive Heading into Cowboys-49ers

George Teague, Terrell Owens have never spoken to each other about their 2000 altercation on the star at Texas Stadium

The short list of DFW sports' greatest "hits":

1. 46-year-old Nolan Ryan putting Robin Ventura in a headlock in 1993.

1a. George Teague summarily dismissing Terrell Owens from Texas Stadium's star in 2000.

As the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers re-boot their iconic rivalry in an NFC Wild Card Game Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium, we're reminded that when they weren't playing for championships they were fighting for pride.

In the 1970s, '80s and '90s, the teams played six times in the NFC Championship Game with a berth in the Super Bowl on the line. By 2000, the success and the stakes had significantly dwindled. But not the intensity.

In perhaps sports’ longest-running, off-field feud this side of Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier, T.O. still – after 22 years – apparently hasn’t forgiven Teague for daring to ruin his moment of self-aggrandizing while preening on the most sacred star in sports. Or, for that matter, even acknowledged the former Cowboys safety's security-guard role in one of the most memorable touchdown celebrations in NFL history.

“Nah, we’ve never spoken,” Teague told us recently. “But I tried. I called him. Reached out. A while back I had an idea for a business venture, and I thought we could make some money together. But … I guess he’s not over it yet. Which is fine. I’ll live.” 

Teague may not be in the Ring of Honor, but he cemented his Cowboys legacy by famously knocking the San Francisco 49ers’ receiver off the midfield star while Owens celebrated a touchdown catch in San Francisco's blowout win on Sept. 24, 2000. A year later, he carried a giant American flag in leading America’s Team out of the tunnel before its first game after 9/11.

Six years after the infamous incident, Owens joined the Cowboys for three productive, drama-filled seasons. Teague retired after the 2001 season. 

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These days, he's still making magic moments in Dallas.

In 2017 Teague became head coach of a John Paul II High School outfit that had lost 32 consecutive games, and orchestrated a transformation that took the Cardinals to the TAPPS Division I State Championship Game in 2019. Then Teague, also a motivational speaker, was promoted to the school's athletic director. And last summer he served as a special assistant in Cowboys workouts at The Star.

Color T.O. unimpressed, even though he and Teague also played high school football down the road from each other in Alabama.

Teague-T.O. clearly isn’t one of those flimsy team “rivalries” where the fans fight but the players kneel together in post-game prayer. Or one of those insulting, fabricated WWE hostilities.

After all these years, it still feels real.

“George? It didn't hurt,” Owens barked in a 2019 in an interview with comedian Kevin Hart. “It was real weak. Just like your game – it was real weak. It didn't even faze me. I see all the comments and stuff: ‘Oh, he got clocked’ or whatever. I’m like, ‘Bro, he just grazed over the top of me.’ … Probably the biggest hit he had the whole game.”

Owens had a Hall-of-Fame-level career. But Teague authored two of the most indelible images in Cowboys’ history.

While some have yet to learn about Cowboys-49ers, a couple of guys apparently will never forget.