Coach can't listen to Marc Colombo

IRVING, Texas – Wade Phillips will consider input from the player when making a decision about whether that guy is healthy enough to play.

In right tackle Marc Colombo’s case, that input should be taken with a rock of salt.

Colombo, who battled back from a career-threatening knee injury to become a Cowboys starter, isn’t exactly forthcoming about injuries. Center Andre Gurode had to tell offensive line coach Hudson Houck that Colombo’s knee was locking up during training camp, an issue caused by five loose fragments that were removed in an Aug. 16 operation.

It’d be stunning if Colombo, who hasn’t practiced since undergoing surgery, actually volunteered that his knee didn’t feel well enough to play in Sunday night’s season opener.

“You have to gauge those things,” Phillips said. “You go more with the medical people, because they’ve worked him out. They run him, change direction. [Associate athletic trainer] Britt Brown does a great job of that. He can tell me a lot.”

The coaching staff also needs to consider whether Colombo can perform at a high level, even if he’s not at risk of re-injuring his knee. Phillips has acknowledged that Colombo wasn’t ready to play during last season’s playoffs, when he struggled mightily in the loss to Minnesota after rushing back from a broken fibula and ankle surgery.