My first thought upon seeing photographs this weekend of Dirk Nowitzski’s con-artist GF was “love is truly blind”. After all, she could do so much better. On second thought, perhaps not, as former NFL vet Tony Banks explains, stenography courtesy of the Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend and Reese Dunklin.

Banks on Wednesday told The Dallas Morning News that Cristal Taylor is the same woman who tried to turn his life and career upside down in 1997.

œThis is unbelievable, he said. œThis is wild. I can™t believe it™s the same chick.

Banks said he believes Taylor went by the name of Theresa when they met in 1997, when he was 24 and in his second season with the St. Louis Rams.

œShe called me and wanted to see me; I said, ˜No.™  Banks recalled. œShe sent me her picture in the mail and she was just gorgeous. Me being a kid, thinking I was the best thing since sliced bread, I gave her a call and ended up dating her.

Banks said it was a decision he rued almost immediately, recalling œshe showed her crazy [side] pretty early…I remember she camped out in front of my crib one time when I had another female friend in town. She (Taylor) wasn™t too happy about that.

Soon, Banks said, Taylor began making harassing calls to him, his agent, his marketing team and even first-year Rams coach Dick Vermeil, œtrying to run my name through the mud.

Banks said that largely because of the situation involving Taylor, Vermeil became concerned about his young quarterback™s off-the-field conduct and maturity level.

œIt wasn™t a good way for me and Dickie V. to start off, Banks said. œDick thought about drafting Jake Plummer that first year because of this stuff.