Vikes may be first to see T.O.
By Jaime Aron AP Sports Writer IRVING, Texas -- Get your popcorn ready: Terrell Owens could make his highly anticipated debut for the Dallas Cowboys tonight. Owens went through his second straight practice Wednesday morning following a 10-day lay...
By Jaime Aron
AP Sports Writer
IRVING, Texas -- Get your popcorn ready: Terrell Owens could make his highly anticipated debut for the Dallas Cowboys tonight.
Owens went through his second straight practice Wednesday morning following a 10-day layoff caused by a tender left hamstring. Although he was limited in both workouts, trainers pushed him hard earlier in the week -- and he's emerged from it all feeling good enough to possibly be involved in the preseason finale against the Minnesota Vikings.
How much probably won't be known until kickoff.
Coach Bill Parcells said he's considering having Owens suit up, even if it's only to get him acclimated to the team's sideline routine. There's also a chance Owens will get into the game.
"That'll be up to him," Parcells said. "If he feels like he wants to get some plays, then we'll think about it. If not, we won't."
If so, the first time No. 81 trots on the field at Texas Stadium with a star on his helmet should be a wild scene.
He could get a standing ovation from fans thrilled to have him on their side. Or maybe he'll be booed by fans who haven't forgiven him for disgracing the star logo six years ago or for things he's done since joining the Cowboys. The best bet might be some of both.
For the most part, Owens has been embraced by the locals. His jersey already is a top seller and some fans might have purchased the blue and white "Getcha Popcorn Ready" rubber bracelets for sale on Owens' Web site; the quote was one of the more memorable lines from T.O. at his introductory news conference in Dallas.
In the two practices since Owens returned, his work was somewhat like a cram session. Most of the plays he ran were balls coming his way or situational tests Parcells puts the offense through to see how they'll respond.
"There were a lot of things he wants a feel for so he can be caught up a little," Parcells said.
While Owens has gone from likely being out as of Monday to perhaps playing as of Wednesday, Parcells refused to say Owens would definitely play in the opener a week from Sunday in Jacksonville.
"Well, what's he looked like? How's he practiced? What does he look like he knows? There could be a lot of reasons why he might not play," Parcells said. "I don't know what's going to happen."
Whatever happens involving Owens -- on Thursday, for the opener and throughout his Dallas tenure -- probably won't surprise Vikings coach Brad Childress.
After all, Childress went through all sorts of ups and downs as Owens' offensive coordinator in Philadelphia the last two seasons.
The Cowboys have gone 3-0 this preseason without Owens. The defense has allowed only two touchdowns and a field goal, while quarterback Drew Bledsoe has led the first-team offense to four touchdowns and two field goals in eight drives.
Minnesota (2-1) should provide a tough test for Bledsoe. The Vikings' starters have allowed only one touchdown this preseason, and that came when Pittsburgh surprised them by using a no-huddle scheme.
Neither squad will be at full strength, though. Besides Owens' iffy status, Dallas left tackle Flozell Adams is out with a calf injury. Minnesota cornerback Fred Smoot (sore ribs) is likely to miss the game.