T.O. says he'll likely miss preseason opener

OXNARD, Calif. -- Terrell Owens said Monday his nagging
hamstring injury likely will keep him out of the Dallas Cowboys'
preseason opener Saturday night in Seattle.

"I would say so," he said. "I'm not 100 percent, so I really
wouldn't risk it. That's just not being smart."

Owens sat out his fifth and sixth practices Monday morning
because of soreness that set in Wednesday. He said he can't give a
timetable for when he expects to return, but noted that "September
is when I'm needed."

An MRI taken Saturday showed no damage, but Owens isn't taking
any chances.

He's having his healing-inducing hyperbaric oxygen chamber
shipped from Dallas to his training camp hotel room. He's also
going beyond the team's training and medical staff, flying in folks
from Atlanta. One of his doctors examined him last week and several
more of his team of specialists are on their way.

"I just got to go with the people I'm comfortable with," said
Owens, who has never before had a hamstring injury. "Not to
discredit the training staff here, but I know my body and how it
responds to the treatment that they give me and what's best for

Owens said many of the people he's turning to are the same ones
who helped him recover from a severe leg and ankle injury far
sooner than anyone expected, enabling him to play for the
Philadelphia Eagles in the February 2005 Super Bowl.

"So I feel very confident that I'll be ready for the season,"
Owens said. "I want to be on the field. Right now, I can't push
it. I'm not going to push it. I'm going to be smart about it. Just
talking to some of my friends, their trainers said take your time
because this can become a nagging injury."

Team vice president Stephen Jones said the organization is OK
with Owens bringing in his own medical staff.

"We've had that going on for 15 years, where guys have certain
guys that they like to have work on them," Jones said. "That's
certainly nothing new for us. It's all part of the business."

Owens said the Cowboys knew he brought in someone else last
week, but he didn't know if they knew about the next wave of

"I have to do what's best for me regardless of what anybody
thinks," Owens said. "These are the guys I'm very comfortable
with. I'm very confident in the things that they bring to the table
and their knowledge of my body because they've been with me for
awhile. My health is the most important thing, despite what anybody
else thinks."

Jones said he's not questioning Owens' aches despite a negative

"You've got to trust a veteran player to know his body and to
know what he needs to do to prepare himself," Jones said. "You
certainly have to respect something like that from a guy who has
been as successful as he has."

T.O.'s status report may have come as news to coach Bill
Parcells, who said "I don't know" in response to most questions
about Owens' health during his daily news briefing.

"I know everything I need to know," he said. "Well, there's
nothing more to know. Maybe not knowing exactly is all I'm capable
of knowing at this point."

Parcells said all his information about his new star receiver's
health has come through the trainer.

"I haven't spoken with Terrell about it," Parcells said. "At
some point, I will if I have to."

Parcells said that's how he always deals with injuries, even
with players he's known for a long time.

During both practices Monday, Owens rode a stationary bicycle --
along with fellow starting receiver Terry Glenn, who missed
Monday's practices with blisters on his feet -- and did some
exercises with team strength and conditioning staffers.

"Riding this bike every day I feel like Lance Armstrong or
Floyd Landis," Owens said. The reference to the disgraced Landis
drew some laughs, even from Owens, prompting him to add:
"Everything's legal."

After team workouts, Owens went to catch balls shot from a
machine. Following the morning session, he started far away from
the machine and took a step closer after every ball. He did the
same drill on his knees, too.

The Cowboys already were concerned about their depth at
receiver, with question marks after third-stringer Patrick Crayton.
On Sunday, they worked out Freddie Mitchell, Owens' friend and a
former Philadelphia teammate.

Dallas also made a roster move Monday, dropping fourth-string
quarterback Jeff Mroz and replacing him with Matt Baker, a rookie
from North Carolina who was released last week by Houston.
Undrafted rookie linebacker Kai Parham also was released.

Also Monday, linebacker Rocky Boiman fractured his right thumb
during the afternoon workout.