Must to the relief of Cowboys fans, starting right tackle Marc Colombo is expected to return to practice this week, according to coach Wade Phillips. (Colombo, by the way, has four career holding penalties. Alex Barron had three against the Redskins.) But will Colombo be the same tough, physical dominating player again?
Colombo's knees have taken a beating.
After the Bears made him a first-round draft pick in 2002, Colombo dislocated his left patella and suffered femoral nerve damage. He missed the final five games of 2002, all of 2003 and the first half of the 2004 season. Last season, it wasn't his knees that kept him out for nine games, but a broken left fibula and high ankle sprain after he got rolled in Green Bay. He struggled upon his return.
On Aug. 16, Colombo had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to remove five loose particles.
Colombo will turn 32 next month. He's not getting any younger and neither are his knees. There has to be some concern about his long-term health.
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips was asked Monday if he had any concerns about Colombo's ability to come back and be as good as he was in 2008.
"You just have to see what happens," Phillips said. "If he comes back the way he was, he'll be fine. He was practicing fine [in training camp] until he got hurt."
-- Charean Williams