Owens has surgery, plate screwed into broken finger

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.

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

"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

"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