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Archive for Friday, December 26, 2008

Romo back at practice

December 26, 2008

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— Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo returned to work Thursday, going through practice a day after being sent home with flu-like symptoms.

Romo shuffled through the hallway on his way to a quarterbacks meeting before the workout. Asked if he felt better, Romo said, “Oh, yeah. I feel like a hundred dollars.”

The Cowboys (9-6) close the regular season Sunday in Philadelphia. Dallas gets a wild card with a win, misses the playoffs with a loss.

“We’ll make him practice double today,” Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said, smiling. “We’ll make him practice extra so he can catch up for people who worried about him missing practice yesterday.”

Tight end Jason Witten (sprained left ankle) also returned to practice after missing Wednesday. Running back Marion Barber (dislocated right pinkie toe) and safety Ken Hamlin (foot) were out there, too.

Witten and Hamlin are expected to play against the Eagles. Barber is likely to be a game-time decision.

NFL

Cowboys re-sign lineman

Irving, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have given right tackle Marc Colombo a four-year contract extension, guaranteeing that nearly all of Tony Romo’s blockers will be together through 2012.

Colombo’s deal was agreed to weeks ago, but wasn’t finalized until Wednesday because of some technicalities. It’s worth $22 million, with $11.5 million guaranteed.

“We had a couple of road bumps with some of the new rules,” Colombo said Thursday. “We worked through it. It is a relief to have this finished. Now I can focus completely on football.”

Colombo was a first-round pick by Chicago in 2002, but hurt his knee and never lived up to expectations. He was cut in 2005, then signed by Dallas. Bill Parcells gave him the rest of the season off to rehabilitate the knee so he could come back strong in ’06. He made the starting lineup and hasn’t come out since.

Left guard Kyle Kosier is signed through 2010, but everyone else on the line is signed for several more years. Colombo and center Andre Gurode are locked up until 2012, while Flozell Adams and Leonard Davis are through ’13.

Coach Wade Phillips praised Colombo for consistently grading out near the top of the line.

Two Bills back at practice

Orchard Park, N.Y. — Running back Marshawn Lynch and linebacker Kawika Mitchell returned to practice Thursday as the Bills prepared to close their season playing host to New England this weekend.

Both missed Wednesday’s practice — Lynch because of a sore shoulder that kept him out of most of the second half of Buffalo’s win at Denver last Sunday, and Mitchell because of a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters (knee) and No. 3 receiver Roscoe Parrish (knee) missed practice for a second straight day.

SOCCER

Defender to play for Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia — Defender Neven Subotic has chosen to play soccer for Serbia instead of the United States.

Subotic, who was born in Bosnia and holds an American passport, has played for the U.S. under-17 and under-20s teams. He now plays for Borussia Dortmund in the German league.

Subotic wrote to U.S. soccer officials, informing them of his decision to play for Serbia.

Subotic had until next Dec. 10, his 21st birthday, to chose his senior national team under rules by soccer’s governing body.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Miami snapper suspended

Coral Gables, Fla. — Miami punt snapper Chris Ivory will not play in Saturday’s Emerald Bowl because he violated an unspecified team rule. He is the fifth Hurricane suspended for the final game of the season.

Ivory did not accompany the Hurricanes to San Francisco, where Miami (7-5) will face California (8-4) on Saturday.

He also was suspended for the season-opener against Charleston Southern for another rules violation, but won Miami’s Albert Bentley Award as the team’s most valuable walk-on player.

Jake Byrne, who handles snaps on field goals, will take over Ivory’s punt-team duties. Byrne will also be the backup quarterback behind Jacory Harris, who will start after Robert Marve was suspended for missing classes.

Tight ends Richard Gordon and Tervaris Johnson, along with linebacker Jordan Futch, were also suspended last week for the bowl game because of team rule violations.

NBA

Howard to defend title

New York — Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard will try to defend his Slam Dunk championship at the NBA All-Star weekend in Phoenix in February.

In New Orleans last season, Howard edged defending champion Gerald Green for the title in one of the most creative competitions in recent history. Howard scored perfect 50s on both of his first-round dunks — one of which included his donning a cape for a “Superman” dunk.

Howard will face off against Memphis’ Rudy Gay and 2006 winner Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks. A fan vote will pick the fourth competitor between Milwaukee’s Joe Alexander, Portland’s Rudy Fernandez and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.

TENNIS

Pierce to keep playing

Paris — Two-time Grand Slam champion Mary Pierce isn’t ready to hang up her racket just yet.

Despite being sidelined by a knee injury since 2006, the Frenchwoman told sports daily L’Equipe that she’d like to play again at the French Open. Pierce, who turns 34 next month, won the French Open in 2000 and the Australian Open in 1995.

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