FWST: RICK HERRIN: Vick's bad choice is lesson, players say

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  1. Cbz40

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    Vick's bad choice is lesson, players say

    Star-Telegram Staff Writer

    IRVING -- Cowboys coach Wade Phillips spent two seasons with Michael Vick and realizes you never know what players are doing on their own time.

    His former quarterback is likely headed to prison after he enters a guilty plea Monday in a federal dogfighting case. Phillips was the [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Atlanta [/FONT][/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Falcons[/FONT][/FONT]' defensive coordinator and interim head coach for the final three games of the 2003 season. Vick began his career with the Falcons in 2001.

    "He made an awful, awful mistake, and, obviously, he's going to pay for it," Phillips said. "But I don't think Mike Vick is a bad person. He made a bad life choice, certainly."

    Phillips added: "I'm against dogfighting. I think it's atrocious."

    Cowboys safety Ken Hamlin said Vick's situation could help raise consciousness about avoiding trouble off the field, especially given commissioner Roger Goodell's commitment to punish bad behavior.

    "It's definitely an eye-opener," Hamlin said. "You don't want anyone to go down the road that he is going down. Hopefully, some guys can learn from it."

    Cowboys linebacker Bradie James, who owns a 3-year-old boxer, said Vick's case could be a wakeup call.

    "A lot of players have heard about dogfighting," James said. "But we didn't even know it was a felony. You don't think about all of that. But, now, whoever was in it and you had a pit bull, you need to let the pit bulls go. It's not even worth it."

    Back to practice
    Cowboys defensive end Jason Hatcher and cornerback Quincy Butler returned to practice after missing considerable time because of hamstring injuries.

    Both players expect to play in their first preseason game Saturday at Houston.

    Linebacker Greg Ellis, tackle Doug Free and receivers Terry Glenn and Jamaica Rector missed practice. Ellis said he remains day-to-day and unsure when he will be able to practice.

    Tight end Anthony Fasano practiced Tuesday despite re-injuring his right shoulder Saturday against Denver.

    Cornerback Terence Newman (heel) and fullback Oliver Hoyte (stinger) practiced after being held out of the [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Broncos[/FONT][/FONT] game.

    Carpenter moves outside
    Because of Greg Ellis' uncertain status, linebacker Bobby Carpenter shifted from inside to outside linebacker Tuesday and will play there Saturday, Wade Phillips said.

    Carpenter was a first-round pick last year and played both positions.
    Rookie Anthony Spencer is starting in place of Ellis.

    Cowboys impress Kubiak
    [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Houston [/FONT][/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Texans[/FONT][/FONT] coach Gary Kubiak, whose team is 1-1, sees playing the Cowboys as a huge test.
    The Texans are coming off a 33-20 victory against the [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Arizona [/FONT][/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Cardinals[/FONT][/FONT].

    "The Cowboys are playing as well as any team I've seen in preseason," he said. "They've been exceptional."

    Rick Herrin, 817-685-3864

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