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Monday, September 18, 2006
Updated: September 20, 2:10 AM ET
Owens has surgery, plate screwed into broken finger

Associated Press

IRVING, Texas -- Terrell Owens played in a Super Bowl for Philadelphia seven weeks after getting a plate and several screws put in his ankle. Now he's hoping another plate and three more screws in his right hand will enable him to play against the Eagles on Oct. 8.

Parcells really was ill
Bill Parcells
Coach Bill Parcells wasn't merely queasy because of his team's mistakes Sunday night. He really was ill.

Parcells said Monday he was "stressed out and dehydrated" by the end of Dallas' 27-10 victory over Washington, not merely sickened by the penalties and dropped balls that kept the game close until midway through the fourth quarter.

The 65-year-old Parcells also said he only had himself to blame for an electrolyte imbalance. Why? Because he wore a lined rain suit on a humid night, insisting on keeping it on "because we were winning."

"That shows you just how warped I am," he said.

Parcells said the weather and his superstition "wasn't a good set of circumstances for me."

"I made a mistake that I know better than to do," Parcells said. "I'm not talking about coaching. I'm talking my own well being. I did something wrong and I wound up paying for it a little bit."

Parcells said defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer had a similar problem, but they're over it now.

"I don't need to see a doctor. I know what the deal is," he said. "I've been though this before a couple of times before. As I said, I made a mistake."

-- The Associated Press

Owens had a plate screwed into the bone attached to his right ring finger during an operation Monday evening. His recovery time is estimated at two to four weeks, but he's likely to do all he can to rejoin the Dallas Cowboys in 20 days for his much-anticipated return to Philadelphia.

"Most of those injuries, when they put a plate in there, which I think they might do, that pretty much fixes it," Parcells said Monday. "Once they put that in there, it's not going anywhere, you're not going to displace it again. It's a matter of if you can get it functional."

The Cowboys are off this Sunday, then play at Tennessee before the game against the Eagles.

If things go well, perhaps Owens plays against the Titans. If there are any setbacks, it's possible he doesn't return until the game after Philadelphia, Oct. 15 at home against Houston.

"I feel like I'm a quick healer," Owens said Sunday night. "I'm going to try to get back as fast as I can."

You have to figure Owens will do all he can to try getting revenge on the Eagles, the team that banished him midway through last season only months after helping them reach the Super Bowl.

And he does have a history of overcoming injuries faster than doctors expected, especially when motivated by a comeback game -- as evidenced by that Super Bowl against the New England Patriots. Owens caught nine passes for 122 yards in a loss.

"I'll bounce back," said Owens, adding he'll use his healing-inducing oxygen chamber to speed his recovery. "I'll pretty much be in there throughout the clock."

Owens was slow to heal from a preseason hamstring injury, but the stakes were certainly different. As it turns out, his long layoff benefits the Cowboys because raw backups Jamaica Rector and Sam Hurd got extra work that could now pay off.

Parcells said that because of the bye he wouldn't decide who takes Owens' place, if needed, until next week. He added that he's not interested in signing a veteran fill-in, opting to go with his youngsters.

Dan Patrick Show:
Michael Irvin
ESPN football analyst Michael Irvin spoke with pal and Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens about his finger injury and tells Dan Patrick he thinks T.O. will be back to face the Eagles on Oct. 8.

But that's not all Irvin had to say. The former Cowboys and Hurricanes receiver believes Oakland is the worst 0-2 team in the NFL and it might be time for Miami to make a change with head coach Larry Coker.

To listen to all of Irvin's comments, click here. Insider

"I'll be more hopeful that these guys come along," Parcells said. "We put them on the team for a reason and, here you go, it's your opportunity."

Another side effect of the injury is another interruption in the budding relationship between Owens and quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Parcells said Owens "still has a little work to do" to fully grasp the offense.

"But this is not an injury that's going to prohibit him from running and doing a lot of things that could really set him back conditioning-wise," Parcells said. "So I think once he gets this thing in, he'll be pretty good to go physically, other than maybe the utilization of the hand for a while."

Owens said the injury was a "fluke thing" that happened while blocking during one of the first few plays of Dallas' 27-10 victory over Washington on Sunday night. He caught three passes for 19 yards, all in the first quarter, but also had several drops, including one in the end zone, and two penalties.

Parcells said he doesn't believe Owens' drops can be pinned on the injury, although he knows from experience how uncomfortable the receiver felt -- and perhaps why he didn't ask to have it examined until midway through the fourth quarter.

"I've had six bones broke in my own hand at one time, so I kind of have an idea what it is," Parcells said. "You don't really know, first of all, that something is broken. You just know it's something hurting. You think maybe it's something else. You just go."