Source: T.O., Witten had to be separated

Updated: December 14, 2008, 11:54 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

While the Dallas Cowboys were trying to downplay a possible rift between Terrell Owens and Jason Witten, the two nearly came to blows on Friday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram first reported Saturday.

Team sources confirmed to ESPN's Chris Mortensen that an incident occurred at the Cowboys' training facility when Witten tried to engage Owens in a conversation about a pass route. Owens told Witten to stay away from him and called him a name. The two exchanged words before being separated.

Both players acted as if everything was fine when the media was allowed in the locker room, according to the Star-Telegram. But Owens was still upset.

The confrontation came a day after a source told ESPN that Owens believes quarterback Tony Romo and Witten -- close friends and road roommates -- hold private meetings and create plays without including Owens.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips held a team meeting on Friday to clear the air about the report. Afterward, he said any personality conflicts had been resolved.

"Everything is set straight as far as I'm concerned," he told The Associated Press. "I think the players, too. We'll see."

The Cowboys host the NFC East-leading New York Giants on Sunday night.

Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN.

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