I had the same problem getting mine off. I used a large pry bar and was able to get it off near the passenger side end. Good luck. I scraped a few knuckles getting mine off.
2003 Jeep TJ Silver 4.0L, Auto, 5.13 G2 D44's on 35's
1998 Jeep TJ Sahara Black 4.0L 5-Speed, Replacing the frame
1997 "GI" Jeep TJ OD Green 2.5L, 5-Speed, lifted on 33's