Willing and Able … He Thinks

Julius Jones should be forgiven if he sounds like he's chomping at the bit a little. <BR>

After all, he's been sitting and watching (and going through rigorous rehabilitation) since breaking his shoulder early this season. The rookie RB from Notre Dame was cleared to return to practice this week, and he's anxious to get back on the playing field … in a game.

"That's not up to me, that's up to Coach (Bill Parcells)," Jones said. "I'm glad to be back at practice."

Parcells said this week that he doesn't know when Jones will return to the field, adding that no decision will be made until Jones can be observed in practice. Jones is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game at Baltimore.

"I've got to see him in practice first," Parcells said, "see what he can do."

Jones said his shoulder didn't bother him when he returned to the practice field this week, and that he has no anxiety about contact.

"It feels alright," he said. "But we're not really hitting much, so I don't know. But no, I'm not nervous (about getting hit). We didn't run (Friday) in shoulder pads, so I've got to just take that first hit and see how it goes."

Jones said the biggest adjustment between the rehab work with the trainers and returning to practice is his need to regain his legs.

"That's the biggest thing -- conditioning, getting my wind back," Jones said. "They really tested me the first day back (Tuesday). But I got past it."

Parcells understandably is hesitant to rush his top draft pick back to the field this week against Baltimore, which boasts a fearsome defense led by MLB Ray Lewis. He did not, however, rule out the chance of Jones returning Thanksgiving day when the Cowboys welcome the Chicago Bears to Texas Stadium.

Jones would love to make his return against Chicago, where his brother, Thomas, is a Bears RB.

"As soon as I can get ready to get on the field, I'm going to be ready," Jones said. "Hopefully, that will be Thursday so I can be there to play against him."

CowboysHQ Top Stories