Marc Colombo will get his starting job back when he returns from leg and ankle injuries that have kept him out the past six games. But Doug Free has made the decision much harder than anticipated. Free has allowed only one sack, according to STATS, Inc., and been penalized for holding twice in his six starts.
"We were [giving him practice repetitions] earlier to give him some playing time, because we thought he was good enough to play," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "So it came a little quicker than we thought playing all the time."
Colombo has been working on the side with trainers at practice, but Phillips said Colombo might not be ready until at least the divisional round of the playoffs in two weeks.
-- Charean Williams