Tuesday Notes & Quotes

Cornerback Lance Frazier made two big plays and let one get away in a 31-21 win over Detroit on Sunday.

He was one of several young, little-known Cowboys players who made huge contributions in the game, including receivers Terence Copper and Patrick Crayton, cornerback Nate Jones and receiver Randal Williams.

Copper and Crayton weren't activated until Saturday and weren't even listed in the game program.

Frazier, a rookie free agent from West Virginia, had a 55-yard punt return in the second quarter, one interception in the fourth quarter, one tackle and one pass defensed. He was also beat on a 50-yard touchdown by David Kircus in the fourth quarter. Frazier's interception was the first for the Cowboys since the Cleveland game Sept. 19.

"It was huge for me to take advantage of the moment and help a good ballclub that's kind of down right now win," said Frazier, who was signed off Baltimore's practice squad Oct. 12. "I had to seize the moment and make something happen."

Crayton and Copper made their first appearances of the season after injuries bumped them up off the practice squad. It was especially rewarding for Crayton, a DeSoto High graduate who was drafted in the seventh round. Crayton made his first NFL catch in the fourth quarter. His 30-yard reception on a third-and-eight play set up Vinny Testaverde's 38-yard touchdown pass to Keyshawn Johnson and a 31-21 lead with 1:54 left.

"I've been waiting for this all year," Crayton said. "They activated me because they had confidence in me and I had confidence in myself. You have to live up to what they expect you to do."

Copper had one special-teams tackle but no receptions. Randal Williams, making his first start, also didn't catch a pass but had a 13-yard reverse run in the second quarter.

Williams, a four-year veteran, was forced into a starting role after Terry Glenn was placed on injured reserve and Quincy Morgan was inactive with a hamstring injury.

Jones had an up-and-down day replacing injured starter Tyrone Williams on Detroit's first series. Jones finished with five tackles and had a key fourth-down sack with 11:44 left in the game and the Cowboys clinging to a 21-14 lead.

Notes & Quotes
--S Darren Woodson's status is still in doubt. Woodson has been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of the season with a back injury. Parcells said he will not return to practice this week. The Cowboys have to make decision by next Tuesday to start practicing him or put him on PUP for the rest of the season.

Making the decision to practice him will give them another three weeks to determine if he's healthy enough to play this season. They will then either put him on the active roster or put him back on PUP. The thought process is the same for guard Gennaro Dinapoli, who is also on PUP with a foot fracture.

On Monday, Woodson, 35, said he was cautiously optimistic that he will get on the field in 2004. If he doesn't, the 12-year veteran might never play again.

Woodson has salary-cap figures of $4.3 million and $6.8 million in 2005 and 2006, including base salaries of $3.5 million and $4 million, respectively. If he is cut or retires before June 1, he could save the Cowboys roughly $2.7 million on next year's cap. If it happens after June 1, the savings is $3.5 million in 2005 with his salary counting just $800,000 against the cap in 2006.

--Coach Bill Parcells said he limited substitutions up front and played his starters longer against the Lions because he wanted to cut down on mental mistakes. The biggest beneficiary was Dexter Coakley, who had been splitting time with Bradie James at linebacker. The three-time Pro Bowler went most of the way against the Lions. His five stops tied cornerback Nate Jones as the team's second leading tackler behind Roy Williams' eight.

--Parcells also said he promoted Drew Henson to the No. 2 quarterback spot over Tony Romo because he has been improving in practice and had improved as a holder.

One of the jobs of the backup quarterback is to serve as the holder for kicker Billy Cundiff. Romo took over for punter Mat McBriar following the season opener.

But it was also about Henson continuing to improve as a quarterback. He spent the last three years playing baseball in the New York Yankees organization and has not played football since his sophomore season at Michigan in 2000.

"He seemed to be executing a little bit better," Parcells said. "Now, they don't have many chances there in practice. But I try to watch those guys very closely in individual drills, try to watch how they're throwing the ball, what their mechanics look like. I may look at one of those guys five, six, seven minutes straight, never take my eyes off of them. Just kinda in between throws, glance around, see what's going on."

--WR Terry Glenn (midfoot) was placed on the injured reserve list because doctors said he would likely be sidelined for six weeks and would not be 100 percent when he returned.

--WR Quincy Morgan and SS Tony Dixon, who missed the Lions game with hamstring pulls, should be ready to return to action against the Bengals this Sunday.

--CB Tyrone Williams, who suffered a strained hamstring against the Lions, might not return Sunday, according to coach Bill Parcells. Williams said it's a day-to-day thing. But the Cowboys won't know for sure until they practice on Wednesday. If he can't go, Nate Jones will likely start at right corner with Lance Frazier filling in on the nickel. With a 55-yard punt return Sunday, Frazier will also serve as the team's primary punt returner.

--DT Chad Eaton was waived on Saturday, but the Cowboys hope to sign him back to the roster if he passes through waivers. Because he is a vested veteran, the Cowboys are obligated to pay his salary for the entire season. They would like to get their money's worth. Parcells said he was cut because of numbers, not because of anything negative.

--WR Terence Copper and Patrick Crayton were signed off the practice squad for Sunday's game against the Lions partly because of injuries and partly because the Cowboys wanted a spark. Veteran Dedric Ward was healthy but was made inactive for the game.

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