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Mid-Day Report: Owens Back At Practice

What's The Scoop:
Terrell Owens made his much-anticipated return to practice Wednesday afternoon in Oxnard, Calif., but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll suit up for Monday's preseason game against the New Orleans Saints in Shreveport, La.

The Cowboys' star receiver had missed 13 consecutive days of practice with a sore left hamstring before trotting out in uniform for his first practice since Aug. 2. Head coach Bill Parcells, who had been non-committal about Owens' possible return during his daily news conference a few hours earlier, said he would need to see how sharp he looks before deciding if he will play in the nationally-televised game Monday night.

"He has missed a lot of time," Parcells said. "So it wouldn't be so much whether he practiced or not as how he looked while he practiced and did he get enough practice to make a good judgment about playing him.

"I don't want to jeopardize the early part of the season by making a mistake here, I really don't."

Meanwhile, the Cowboys' other two top receivers haven't practiced either this week. Patrick Crayton will miss at least a week with a high ankle sprain and Terry Glenn has been bothered by a sore foot caused by compensating for the painful blisters under his big toe. Glenn still was not practicing on Wednesday.

"I think today would be probably 50 percent of the practices we have prior to Jacksonville," Parcells said. "So we need to get going here if possible."

This would be a start, getting Owens back on the field. The veteran wide receiver must be integrated into the Cowboys offense and develop some continuity with quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

Quick Shots:

  • Second-year guard Cory Procter has impressed Parcells in camp, but Procter isn't pushing projected starter Kyle Kosier for the left guard position - yet.
  • Rob Petitti, one of the Cowboys' three right tackle candidates, will play some at left tackle against the Saints. Parcells plans to rotate Marc Colombo and Jason Fabini on the right side. Fabini did not play against Seattle last Saturday.
  • Parcells labeled seventh-round pick Pat McQuistan a "pleasant surprise" in camp. The rookie out of Weber State has been working behind Flozell Adams at left tackle.
  • Parcells said veteran safety Marcus Coleman will play more against the Saints. Coleman has been working behind the first team at cornerback and safety while Parcells tries to learn more about young players like Watkins and Abram Elam.

You Should've Seen:
Recently-signed wide receiver LaShaun Ward's catch in the corner of the end zone, basically a one-handed, over-the-shoulder grab that certainly caught the eye of Parcells. After the catch, Parcells turned to receivers coach Todd Haley in Tuesday's second practice to say, "We might have something there. Can we get him some touches?" The Cowboys basically had signed Ward as a camp body, but who knows.

Who's Hot:
The Cowboys decided they wanted to see a little of Matt Baker, the rookie free-agent quarterback they signed after the first week of camp. So he got all the third quarterback snaps in Tuesday's two practices, and actually performed well. Baker, a one-year starter at North Carolina, is very accurate with his throws, which you could tell during those after-practice sessions with Terrell Owens.

Who's Not:
Well, if Baker was getting the third-quarterback snaps, then that must mean Drew Henson got none. And that's exactly what happened on Tuesday. Henson was relegated to watching in both practices. Now this might be more about the Cowboys wanting to find out about Baker, but still, no one likes to stand around and watch. Parcells said Tuesday he has spoken to Henson about learning to relax.

Injury Update:
S Justin Beriault, knee, expected to retire (8/14)
WR Patrick Crayton, sprained ankle (8/14)
WR Terry Glenn, foot (8/14)
LB Bobby Carpenter, bruised foot (8/14)
WR Terrell Owens, sore hamstring (8/3)

Missed Practice:
WR Patrick Crayton (ankle)
WR Terrell Owens (hamstring)
WR Terry Glenn (foot)
LB Bobby Carpenter (foot)

Returned to Practice:
LB Ryan Fowler (groin)

S Justin Beriault, to be designated (8/14)
DE Jason Davis, released (8/14)
TE Erik Jensen, signed (8/9)
WR LaShaun Ward, 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:
"He's a little hard to figure out right now. I asked him if he was Scotch or Irish yesterday and he didn't know." - Parcells on rookie offensive tackle Pat McQuistan.

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