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 Big Blow for Dallas (Marcus Spears goes down) 
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Post Big Blow for Dallas (Marcus Spears goes down)
What's The Scoop:
The Cowboys might have lost first-round pick Marcus Spears for a significant period of time.
The rookie defensive end was carted off the field during Friday morning's practice after suffering knee, ankle and groin injuries while trying to make a tackle during team drills.
"We'll MRI and X-ray it," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, "but it wasn't good."
Spears, who signed a five-year, $9.35 million deal with $6.7 million guaranteed last Saturday, got tangled up in a pile during a run by Anthony Thomas in team drills. He tried to get up on his own but couldn't put any weight on his right leg, and two teammates eventually helped him to the sideline.
After trying to walk off the injury, Spears limped across the field to the training table and got his leg examined by team trainers. He then was carted back to the club's locker room, clutching his leg with a mixture of pain and disappointment on his face.
Parcells had little information on Spears' injury during his daily news conference.
"I don't know," Parcells said. "We'll know here in a little while. I don't want to speculate because I don't know myself."
Spears had been working at second-team left end behind Kenyon Coleman throughout camp, though Parcells said he purposely has not played all his potential starters together until after the second preseason game. Spears practiced with the first team during the May mini-camp.
I think he's got good potential," Parcells said. "But he needs a lot of work."
Seventh-round pick Jay Ratliff will likely slide into Spears' spot with the second team.

Quick Shots:

He hasn't finalized the plans yet, but Parcells said there will be morning walkthrough Saturday morning followed by an afternoon team scrimmage. The club likely will scrimmage eight or nine series with 10 plays each. Parcells said he didn't think tackling would be involved.
Defensive end Chris Canty participated as down tackle during the two-minute drill, which is the most work he's had since returning to limited practice on Tuesday. He also worked as an end in the three-man front. Canty was cleared for full contact work starting Aug. 8 after traveling to North Carolina for a final examination of his left eye, which suffered a detached retina earlier this year.
Parcells ordered the entire team to run to the far fence and back after quarterback Drew Bledsoe fumbled a snap during team drills. The head coach told the players, "Wake up!" before sending them on their way.
Billy Cundiff got the better of Brett Visintainer yet again during field goal drills, this time from 38, 43 and 48 yards. Cundiff went 4-for-5, narrowly missing a 43-yarder from the left hash mark. Visintainer went 2-for-4, missing one each from 38 and 43 yards. He didn't attempt a 48-yarder.
Tight end Dan Campbell (appendectomy) looked crisp while performing resistance work during Friday morning's practice. He even engaged punter Clinton Greathouse in a blocking drill on the sideline. Campbell has asked to play in Saturday's scrimmage, but he said he doesn't expect to participate while he still recovers from last Thursday's emergency appendectomy.
Fullback Darian Barnes, who suffered an apparent ankle injury Wednesday, was noticeably limping again during Friday's practice. Barnes went half-speed during individual drills and had trouble running all morning.
You Should've Seen:
Wide receiver Quincy Morgan's spectacular catch during team drills. Morgan has made several nice catches this week, and this was no exception. He glided over cornerback Anthony Henry to snag a low play-action pass near the sideline.

Who's Hot:
Cornerback Lance Frazier has looked sharp since returning from a high ankle sprain that kept him sidelined for three days. The second-year corner delivered a big hit during team drills Thursday and leaped for a dazzling interception Friday morning. Frazier went stride for stride with wide receiver Tom Crowder, one of the fastest players on the team, and snatched the ball away from Crowder in mid-air.

Who's Not:
Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells and owner Jerry Jones just lost one of their first-round draft choices for the season after signing him to a five-year, $9.35-million deal with $6.7 million in guarantees just six days ago. That's a huge loss for a team trying to switch to a 3-4 defense because Spears had the versatility to play defensive end or slide over to the nose. He was expected to win the starting job at left end.

Injury Update:
FB Darian Barnes, sprained ankle (8/3), limited practice.
S Lynn Scott, sprained ankle (8/4), limited practice.
Missed Practice:
LT Rob Petitti, ankle contusion (8/2) - day-to-day.
TE Sean Ryan, fractured fifth metatarsal in left foot; underwent successful surgery in Dallas (7/31) - out four-to-five weeks.
TE Dan Campbell, appendectomy (7/28) - out at least one week.
Returned to Practice:
CB Lance Frazier, ankle. Missed three days with a high ankle sprain.

Transactions:
G Larry Allen, moved back to Active roster (8/1)
TE Mike Gomez, signed (7/31)
DE Demarcus Ware, signed (7/30)
DE Marcus Spears, signed (7/30)
LB Kevin Burnett, signed (7/30)
G Larry Allen, placed on Active/non-football injury list (7/30)
TE Dan Campbell, placed on Active/non-football illness (7/30)

Top BILL-ing:
"I'm gonna give you a name then. Probably Brian Dennehy. I don't know what we're talking about here." - Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells, when asked which actor could best portray him in a feature film.

Hi Mom!!!
We've been hosting our own little Texas Hold 'Em poker tournament in Room 323 here at the Residence Inn. Nick, Jeff Vick and Josh Moore from the television department have been hassling me to play for months - probably so they could take easy money from a beginner - but I've been holding my own. Sure, they've got to shuffle and remind me of the blinds, but once the cards come out I'm like a young Johnny Chan.


August 8th, 2005, 12:48 pm
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