Minus Owens, Cowboys ready to welcome Glenn back to fold

Updated: December 27, 2007, 11:03 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Barring a setback at practice in the next two days, wide receiver Terry Glenn will see his first playing time of the season on Sunday when his Dallas Cowboys visit the Washington Redskins.

Terry Glenn

Glenn

Glenn, a 12-year veteran who has been sidelined since September when he underwent a second arthroscopic procedure on his right knee, has been able to practice this week at full speed and has worked with the first-unit offense. Coach Wade Phillips said it will be Glenn's decision whether he starts.

Dallas will play the season finale without wide receiver Terrell Owens, who suffered a high left ankle sprain early in Saturday's victory at Carolina. The Redskins can claim the final NFC wild-card spot with a victory against archrival Dallas.

Glenn has spent more than three months rehabilitating from two surgeries to his knee, but the Cowboys, who held out hope he would be able to return at some point late in the season, did not place him on injured reserve. It appears now that Dallas (13-2) will win its gamble; Glenn is set to use Sunday's game as a tune-up for the playoffs.

Big D's Duds

The outcome of its final regular-season game is meaningless for Dallas -- unless you consider the franchise ending its string of finale failure important. You want important? The Redskins need to win the game to make the playoffs.

Dallas' Finales, Last 8 Seasons
  Opponent Result
2007 Redskins ???
*2006 Lions L, 39-31
2005 Rams L, 20-10
2004 Giants L, 28-24
2003 Saints L, 13-7
2002 Redskins L, 20-14
2001 Lions L, 15-10
2000 Titans L, 31-0
*Went on to lose wild-card game

The 8-7 Redskins, meanwhile, are fighting for their playoff lives -- a win puts them in as the NFC's sixth and final postseason qualifier and third qualifier from the NFC East.

Phillips and owner Jerry Jones had suggested for several weeks that Glenn could return in December, but stressed that they would not rush him. Getting the veteran wide receiver back on the field could be a huge boost for the postseason. The Cowboys' passing game has enjoyed a standout season, with Owens and tight end Jason Witten the major targets for quarterback Tony Romo, and wideout Patrick Crayton, the fill-in for Glenn, providing the team solid play as well.

But the speedy Glenn, still one of the NFL's fastest players even at age 33, could give Dallas another dimension for an already diverse offense.

In stints with New England (1996-2001), Green Bay (2002) and the Cowboys (since '03), Glenn has 593 catches for 8,823 yards and 44 touchdowns. The former Ohio State receiver, a first-round choice by the Patriots in 1996, had 70 receptions for 1,047 yards and six touchdowns in 2006. For his career, Glenn has appeared in 136 games, has four seasons of at least 1,000 yards, and has played in one Pro Bowl game.

Glenn underwent surgery Aug. 1 to remove a cyst from the back of his knee. When pain and discomfort persisted, he had a second arthroscopic procedure on Sept. 13.

Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.

ALSO SEE