Owens returns to field for Cowboys' practice

8/4/2008 - NFL Terrell Owens Dallas Cowboys + more

OXNARD, Calif. -- A refreshed Terrell Owens was back in pads and catching passes from Tony Romo when the Dallas Cowboys held their second practice Monday.

Owens got a break the previous two sessions, when he was on the field but didn't actively participate Monday morning or in the only workout Sunday.

"He's a little, not sore, just precautionary," coach Wade Phillips said Monday in his daily briefing between practices.

T.O. came out from the morning practice in white shorts and a long-sleeve shirt, as he had Sunday. Owens stood behind the offense during some drills after going to the edge of the huddle to listen to the plays being called by Romo.

During that workout, which Phillips described as "teaching session," the team wasn't in pads and Romo made only light throws.

"We're trying to rest his arm a little bit," Phillips said.

Phillips is starting to give some veterans a break from practice. The Cowboys have been on the field 11 straight days since opening camp and don't have a day off scheduled until Sunday, the day after their preseason opener.

"It wasn't like I was looking for a day off. ... I'm just doing what the coaches are telling me to do," Owens said after the morning session. "If I was hurt, I'd be in the training room somewhere, or be out working with the trainers. But I feel fine, I feel good."

Flozell Adams, the four-time Pro Bowl left tackle going into his 11th season, also didn't participate in team and position drills Monday morning, but like Owens was back in the afternoon. Adams also got a break from the first of two practices Saturday.

Tight end Jason Witten and linebacker Zach Thomas also got a breather from practice Sunday with Owens. Both were back on the field for both sessions Monday.

The plan for T.O. had initially been to let him take off one of the practices Saturday, but he had already warmed up and was ready to go on the field before coaches told him. He got Sunday off instead.

"I could have gone these days had they not given me a day off. I would have been out there like everybody else," Owens said. "Wade has done this over the years. ... I think it really has shown, not just on the practice field, but even on game day, that everybody's a little bit livelier."

The 34-year-old Owens is going into his 13th NFL season.

When the Cowboys were last in California for camp two years ago under Bill Parcells, Owens was nursing a sore hamstring and spent most of his time on the sideline pedaling a stationary bicycle.

Phillips gave Owens a few days off last year in training camp to rest sore legs. T.O. then had one of the best seasons in his career, with 81 catches for 1,355 yards and a team-record 15 touchdowns.

"It's just like racing horses, you can't run them every day and expect them go out there on race day and perform at their best," Owens said. "The same with cars, you run them to a certain point, then you put them in the shop and go through the diagnostics. That's what I'm going through right now."


After 11 straight days hitting each other, the tempers are starting to flare a bit. TE Jason Witten was irate after he felt he had been held multiple times by LB Bobby Carpenter. At the end of one play, Witten shouted at defensive coordinator Brian Stewart about Carpenter. ... RT Marc Colombo and LB Tearrius George got in a scuffle during another drill. ... For the third consecutive, the afternoon practice went at least 15 minutes longer than scheduled. And two of those were second practices in a day.