The Circus is Back

It's Philly week in Dallas, so the circus is coming back to town. Media will descend on the team's Valley Ranch training complex once more to cover receiver Terrell Owens' much anticipated return to Philadelphia.

Owens has been pointing to this game since signing with the Cowboys last March.

He wants vindication for being made the scapegoat of last season's turmoil in Philadelphia, when he got into it with management and quarterback Donovan McNabb and was suspended for the final nine games of the season.

The Eagles and their fans have been waiting as well. So an already hostile environment will be even more intense on Sunday.

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells believes his team will be ready. He said they handled the distractions of last week -- namely Owens accidentally overdosing on pain killers.

They will be focused again this week.

They want to help Owens win, but mostly they want to win because it's a game with division title ramifications.

The Eagles (3-1) lead the NFC East. The Cowboys (2-1) are right behind.

"Hopefully, we can give T.O. something to be proud of. I know he's going to go out there and do his deal," cornerback Aaron Glenn said.

"It's big for him going back," tight end Jason Witten said.

"It's such a big game for us anyway because it's a division game and there's always a little extra enthusiasm out there when you're playing Philadelphia."

Linebacker Greg Ellis said the players also understand when they come to Dallas they will deal with something extra because of the stature of the franchise.

"Several people have asked me that question and my thing is when I came here the media market was huge with Troy (Aikman) and all those guys here and it still is bug but for me it's part of being a part of the Dallas Cowboys," Ellis said. "When you come here the media market is big and anything that goes on is just going to be magnified that much more. Like Jerry says people turn on the TV to watch football game when Dallas plays and more people watch to see how Dallas is going to do."

Updated Notes:
* P Mat McBriar is currently ranked first in the NFL in gross punting with an average of 49.9. In net punting, McBriar is ranked fifth in the NFL (third in the NFC) with a 40.9 net average. Eight of McBriar's 13 punts this year have covered at least 50 yards, and three of those have been 60-yards-or-better.

* WR Terry Glenn: After leading the NFC in yards-per-reception in 2005 with an 18.3-yard average, Glenn has picked up where he left off by averaging 15.3 yards on 15 receptions -- with three touchdown receptions -- in three games this year.

* Rookie FS Pat Watkins is currently tied for the team lead with 20 tackles. He tied for the team lead with seven tackles while adding two pass breakups and recovering his first career fumble -- one he returned 53 yards to setup a touchdown -- at Tennessee.

* QB Drew Bledsoe currently ranks seventh on the NFL's all-time passing yardage chart with 44,109 yards. He is fifth all-time in both attempts (6,639) and completions (3,797).

Bledsoe has thrown at least one touchdown pass in his last nine games -- the longest current streak in the league. He has now thrown a touchdown pass in 18 of his 19 games as the Dallas starter. He currently has a record of 11-8 as the Dallas starter.

* RB Julius Jones rushed for 122 yards against the Titans. It was his fifth career 100-yard game. In 21 career starts, he has rushed for at least 70 yards 17 times.

* RB Tyson Thompson recorded his first career touchdown against the Titans.

* TE Jason Witten has had a slow start to the season, catching nine passes for 97 yards. But Witten has no problems with the Cowboys offense. He knows things will open up with opponents' game plans to take away Terry Glenn as well as Terrell Owens.

* NG Jason Ferguson had a little extra motivation for the Titans game as he faced center Kevin Mawae. The two were former teammates with the Jets where they had legendary battles in practice. Mawae got the best of Ferguson early but Ferguson won the battle in the end, as well as the game. * LB Akin Ayodele is tied for the team lead with 20 tackles as he is having no trouble playing inside linebacker in the 3-4 after playing outside linebacker the first four years of his career in Jacksonville.

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