IRVING, Texas — Terrell Owens has been on his best behavior for quite awhile. The Dallas Cowboys are doing their best to keep it that way.

Both sides agreed Monday to a three-year contract extension worth around $27 million, according to a person close to the negotiations who asked to remain anonymous because it hasn’t been announced.

The key to the deal may not be the length or even the money, which is close to what Randy Moss received.

The best part: Owens will not be playing out the final year of his contract, eliminating a potentially explosive topic from a team that needs its attention on ending an 11-season drought without a playoff win.

Word of Owens’ deal came a few hours after the Cowboys got other good news: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is allowing suspended cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones to join the club all the way up to the regular season and will decide by Sept. 1 if Jones can be fully reinstated.

Owens’ last few deals have been nothing but headline-makers. There was the seven-year, $48.97 million contract he got from the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004, followed by all the complaining he did about it in 2005. The Eagles cut him, letting him sign anywhere else, and he wound up getting a three-year, $25 million deal from the Cowboys.

Jerry Jones sure has gotten his money’s worth.

Owens has provided glitz, jersey sales — and lots of catches. He led the NFL with 13 touchdown catches in 2006, then had an NFC-best 15 more last season. His two-year total is tops in the NFL.

His success also coincided with the emergence of Tony Romo, who went from backup to Pro Bowler by following the simple formula of throwing to No. 81 whenever possible.

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