Wednesday News & Notes

A year ago, the Cowboys had 13 Pro Bowlers. This year they have five.

Clearly, having fewer Pro Bowlers was a disappointment, and it signals the type of season the Cowboys are having now compared to last year.

But it was not all bad news Tuesday.

Joining repeat the Pro Bowl honorees -- tight end Jason Witten, linebacker DeMarcus Ware, center Andre Gurode and guard Leonard Davis -- was a first-timer, nose tackle Jay Ratliff.

It's truly a rags-to-riches story for Ratliff, who was a seventh-round pick in 2005. He has bounced around between end and tackle. But he is considered one of the team's hardest workers and is having a year to remember with seven sacks.

Ratliff was fishing when caught the news. He had just reeled in a 50-pounder, but his load got heavier when he found about the trip to Hawaii.

"I was screaming and my brother was jumping all over the place, all over the boat," Ratliff said. "Then I got a text message and I didn't believe it. I had some friends who played a joke on me during the draft that said, 'Are you ready to be a Falcon?' on the first day of the draft. Of course, it was a joke. But I called the number and it was official. It was for real."

The 2007 Pro Bowlers who didn't get a return trip were defensive end Greg Ellis, tackle Flozell Adams, quarterback Tony Romo, running back Marion Barber, receiver Terrell Owens, cornerback Terence Newman, safety Ken Hamlin and safety Roy Williams.

The biggest snub, however, was linebacker Bradie James, who is having a career year with 99 tackles and six sacks.

TUESDAY LEFTOVERS: CB Vickiel Vaughn was released from the practice squad.

--RB Marcus Thomas was signed to the practice squad. Thomas spent time with Detroit this season and was a fifth-round pick by San Diego last April after gaining 2,615 yards in four years at UTEP. He was the Miners' leading rusher for three straight seasons, finishing with 1,166 yards as a senior, when he had four consecutive 100-yard games.

--QB Tony Romo suffered a sore back against the Giants, but he is not expected to miss any practice time leading up to Saturday's game against the Ravens.

--CB Anthony Henry needs six tackles to reach 500 for his career.

--WR Terrell Owens needs one catch to break a tie with Art Monk (940) for seventh all-time. He needs 44 yards to become the sixth player in league history with 14,000 career receiving yards. He needs 49 yards to pass James Lofton (14,004) for fifth all-time. He needs 12 yards to pass Tony Dorsett (3,432) for 11th in team history. He needs 114 yards to reach 1,000 for the ninth time in his career -- third straight.

--QB Tony Romo needs 162 passing yards to pass Craig Morton (10,288) for fifth in team history. He needs two touchdown passes to pass Morton (80) for fifth in club history.

--TE Jason Witten needs six catches to pass Brent Jones (417), Charley Young (418), Jerry Smith (421) and Bob Tucker and Jay Novacek (422 each) for 14th all-time among tight ends. He needs 20 yards to pass Charlie Sanders for 26th all-time among tight ends.

--LB DeMarcus Ware needs 3.5 sacks to tie Michael Strahan's single-season league sack record -- 22.5 in 2001. He needs four sacks to tie Harvey Martin's unofficial team record of 23, which was set before sacks became an official league stat in 1982.

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