Updated: May 12, 2007, 5:18 PM ET
Owens joins minicamp practice sooner than expectedESPN.com news services
While the Cowboys expected Terrell Owens to recover from offseason finger surgery in time for training camp in July, they didn't plan on having him catching balls in May.
So much for timetables.
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
Rec Yds TD Avg Long YAC
85 1180 13 13.9 56 400
Owens caught passes in both 7-on-7 and team drills at the Cowboys' minicamp Saturday, including a deep ball for a touchdown against cornerback Terence Newman.
Owens did not speak with reporters after the practice, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he was not expecting his prized receiver to be on the field.
"It does surprise me that he would come out and catch balls against the defense," Jones said.
Jones went on to say that Owens "proved that he's willing to compete with something that's been compromised before."
"I think it was really important to Terrell," Jones added. "He could have sat out and we would have understood."
An hour after the Cowobys had completed their first minicamp practice, Dallas head coach Wade Phillips opened his news conference by deadpanning, "Terrell is going to practice and catch some balls -- and catch the ball very well, in fact."
Owens had surgery right after the season to repair a torn tendon in his right ring finger, an injury he sustained late in the season. Earlier in the season, he had a plate screwed into the same finger after breaking it while blocking in a game in September.
Owens is due a $3 million roster bonus in June and a $5 million salary this season.
Despite the injured finger, Owens caught 85 passes for 1,180 yards and an NFL-high 13 touchdowns.
Call em as I see em!