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Mid-Day: Cowboys Heading Out To Seattle

What's The Scoop:
Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells put his team through a 45-minute walk-through practice Friday morning at the River Ridge Complex before boarding buses around 1 p.m. (PDT) for the charter flight to Seattle.

The Cowboys will open the 2006 preseason schedule at 7 p.m. (PDT) Saturday at Qwest Field in Seattle against the defending NFC champion Seahawks. The team will return immediately after the game and resume training camp practice with two workouts on Monday.

Parcells did not address the media following Friday's walk-through, but did tell his players following Thursday's practice, especially the young ones, to guard against "stage fright."

Still not practicing are Terrell Owens, Marcus Spears, Justin Beriault and Rocky Boiman. There is a good chance Owens and Spears will return to practice on Monday. A decision is expected on Beriault's status early next week and chances are Boiman, who had surgery to repair a compound fracture of his right thumb earlier in the week, will not return to practice until the Cowboys get back to The Ranch (Aug. 22).

Parcells is expected to take extended looks at some of his younger players Saturday night, including starting fourth-year quarterback Tony Romo, who confirmed on Friday he will start the first preseason game. The Cowboys need to make a decision on Romo since he is in the final year of his contract, and want to "play him a lot," according to Parcells.

Romo said he is looking forward to starting, which will be his first since meeting Western Illinois his senior year at Eastern Illinois.

"I'm excited," Romo said. "It's another football game, but I don't prepare any differently."

Other young players expected to play prominent roles on Saturday are running back Tyson Thompson, defensive end Jay Ratliff, receiver Sam Hurd, safety Pat Watkins, nose tackles Montavious Stanley and Thomas Johnson, offensive guard Cory Procter and defensive end Jason Hatcher.

While kicker Mike Vanderjagt, who said he is suffering from a sore groin and quad, will handle the place kicks, the kickoffs will be divided between Shaun Suisham and Tyler Fredrickson.

Quick Shots:

  • According to veteran receiver Johnnie Morton, a man without a job at this point of training camp, the Cowboys, along with Seattle, New England and Atlanta have expressed some interest in his services. Parcells said on Wednesday the Cowboys were in the market for a more experienced wide receiver, and might be willing to trade for one. Sources say, though, if the Cowboys should acquire one though trade, it likely would not happen until closer to the start of the season, since you never know when injury might deplete a deep position at this time. Also, chances are the Cowboys are not interested in bringing in a costly receiver, like one who was drafted in the first couple of rounds.
  • The Seahawks will have a slew of players missing Saturday's game, including safety Michael Boulware, tight end Jerramy Stevens, defensive lineman Marcus Tubbs, defensive lineman Rocky Bernard, wide receiver Darrell Jackson, wide receiver D.J. Duckett, wide receiver Keenan Howry, cornerback Jimmy Williams, defensive lineman Grant Wistrom and defensive lineman Joe Tafoya.
  • No word yet on a contract extension for inside linebacker Bradie James, but you get the idea talks have heated up and that an extension might be close since the fourth-year linebacker's agent has been in town talking with Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones the past few days. James is playing in the final year of his contract for $1.53 million.
  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was very pleased with the choice of Roger Goodell as the new NFL commissioner. Jones said continuity was a big plus in Goodell's corner, since he has been working in the NFL since 1982 and has spent the past years as retiring Paul Tagliabue's right hand man. "It was a logical thing," Jones said.
  • Safety Roy Williams continues to get a few snaps at linebacker on the team's nickel defense. But Parcells said, "That would only be a situational defense, if we use it." Much might depend on if he trusts veteran Marcus Coleman and rookie Pat Watkins to play safety in the nickel.
  • Former Green Bay general manager Ron Wolf, at camp again to help out Parcells, told his friend that running back Marion Barber reminds him for former Jets running back Freeman McNeil.
  • Recently-sign wide receiver LaShaun Ward told Parcells he did not have a pair of required slacks for the charter flight to Seattle since he had just come in for a workout in the morning and was signed in time for practice. So as the players were walking off the field following the walk-through, Parcels barked at running back Tyson Thompson, telling him to give Ward a pair of his pants. "You're in charge of (dressing) Ward," Parcells said.

You Should've Seen:
Rookie free-agent cornerback Quincy Butler intercepted two passes during team drills in Thursday's lone afternoon practice. The second was a nice grab while running underneath the receiver. Parcells turned to one of his assistants after the second to make a point of saying, "That's two today." Sure was.

Who's Hot:
Well, with nearly two weeks of training camp completed, and the first preseason game scheduled for Saturday night, the hottest guy in camp so far has been Sam Hurd, the rookie free-agent wide receiver from San Antonio. He catches everything in his radar, but best of all, for a guy who was not drafted, he gets open.

Who's Not:
A tie between Terrell Owens and Justin Beriault. Neither has practiced since the beginning of August, Beriault out since the 1st with a concussion and swollen knee and Owens out since the 3rd with a strained hamstring. There is one significant difference, though. Owens will be back, maybe as soon as Monday. Beriault's stay on the roster will be determined by a few upcoming tests. If the doctors don't like what they see, he could get released.

Injury Update:
CB Terence Newman, slightly sprained left ankle (8/8)
LB Rocky Boiman, fractured right thumb (8/7), surgery (8/8)
WR Terrell Owens, sore hamstring (8/3)
S Justin Beriault, mild concussion (7/31)
DE Marcus Spears, knee (meniscus) - had knee scoped (7/30)

Missed Practice:
LB Rocky Boiman (thumb)
WR Terrell Owens (hamstring)
S Justin Beriault (concussion)
DE Marcus Spears (knee surgery)

Returned to Practice:
CB Terence Newman, limited (8/9)
WR Terry Glenn, limited (8/9)

WR LaShaun Ward, signed (8/9)
TE Erik Jensen, signed (8/9)
QB Matt Baker, signed (8/6)
LB Kai Parham, released (8/6)
QB Jeff Mroz, released (8/6)
DE Vontrell Jamison, released (8/2)
DE Jason Davis, signed (8/1)
LB J.J. Horne, released (7/31)
WR Ahmad Merritt, released (7/31)
CB Byron Parker, released (7/31)
TE Brett Pierce, placed on injured reserve (7/31)
T Flozell Adams moved from PUP to active roster (7/30)
LB Bobby Carpenter, signed (7/29)
T E.J. Whitley, placed on injured reserve (7/29)
T Flozell Adams, placed on active PUP (7/28)
S Darrell Brooks, released (7/28)
G Shannon Snell, released (7/28)

Top BILL-ing:
"I don't know. He didn't do it in college, and I'd prefer not to find out." - Bill Parcells when asked if he thinks Marion Barber could be the team's lead runner.

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