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Monday, December 28, 2009
DeCamillis heads home after surgery

By Tim MacMahon
ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis hopes to return to work Tuesday, one day after being released from a Virginia hospital following an emergency appendectomy.

"He says he's going to be in tomorrow," coach Wade Phillips said during his Monday news conference. "It wouldn't surprise me."

Phillips said DeCamillis, who was rushed to the hospital Sunday afternoon and missed the Cowboys' win over the Washington Redskins, was sore but feeling fine. DeCamillis and his wife, Dana, flew home on owner/general manager Jerry Jones' private jet.

Offensive quality control coach Wes Phillips, Wade's son, took over most of DeCamillis' duties during Sunday night's win. Other assistant coaches, including strength and conditioning coach Joe Juraszek, also helped with special teams, which played a key role in the Cowboys dominating field position throughout the game.

"Joe had them prepared," Wade Phillips said. "In fact, he did all the way up through the meeting Sunday morning, the he came down with that about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. But he had them prepared. I thought the guys really banded together."

DeCamillis didn't let a much more severe health issue keep him off the practice field this offseason. He had to undergo surgery after suffering a broken neck in the May 2 collapse of the team's indoor practice facility, but he was back for organized team activities 15 days later, wearing a bulky neck brace and using Tom Landry's old bullhorn to make his voice heard.

DeCamillis ditched the brace and bullhorn during training camp, but he continues to battle severe pain on a daily basis. The no-nonsense coach, known for his intensity, has been a source of inspiration to the Cowboys throughout the season.

Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.