Romo back at practice, feels like 'hundred dollars'
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo returned to work yesterday, going through practice a day after being sent home with flulike symptoms. Asked whether he felt better, Romo said, "Oh, yeah. I feel like a hundred dollars." The Cowboys (9-6) will close the regular season Sunday in Philadelphia. Dallas would get a wild card with a win and would miss the playoffs with a loss. "We'll make him practice double today," coach Wade Phillips said, smiling. "We'll make him practice extra so he can catch up for people who worried about him missing practice yesterday." Tight end Jason Witten (sprained left ankle) also returned to practice after missing Wednesday. Running back Marion Barber (dislocated right pinkie toe) and safety Ken Hamlin (foot) participated, too. ... In other news, the Cowboys gave right tackle Marc Colombo a four-year contract extension, guaranteeing that four of Romo's blockers will be together through 2012. Colombo's deal is worth $22 million, with $11.5 million guaranteed.
Bills: : Running back Marshawn Lynch (sore shoulder) and linebacker Kawika Mitchell (knee injury) returned to practice as Buffalo prepared to host the Patriots this weekend. Both missed Wednesday's practice.
Buccaneers: : Secondary coach Raheem Morris will take over as defensive coordinator in 2009, ensuring continuity next season with Monte Kiffin leaving the NFL to join his son, Lane, at the University of Tennessee.
The Memphis Grizzlies' Rudy Gay (Archbishop Spalding) was announced as one of four contestants in the Slam Dunk championship at the NBA All-Star weekend in Phoenix in February. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard will try to defend his title. Last season, Howard edged defending champion Gerald Green in one of the most creative competitions in recent history. Howard scored perfect 50s on both of his first-round dunks - one of which included his donning a cape for a "Superman" dunk. This year's third contestant is 2006 winner Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks. A fan vote will pick the fourth competitor among the Milwaukee Bucks' Joe Alexander, Portland Trail Blazers' Rudy Fernandez and Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook.
Au revoir? Mary Pierce not ruling out a comeback
Two-time Grand Slam champion Mary Pierce isn't ready to hang up her tennis racket just yet. Despite being sidelined by a knee injury since 2006, the Frenchwoman told sports daily L'Equipe that she would like to play again at the French Open. "I care about Roland Garros. If I could stand in center court for one match, that would already be a big victory," she said. Pierce, 33, won the French Open in 2000 and the Australian Open in 1995. She ruptured a ligament in her left knee in October 2006 and hasn't competed professionally since.
College football: : Jimmy Clausen set a Notre Dame bowl record with 406 passing yards and five touchdowns to help the Fighting Irish win a postseason game for the first time in 15 years, 49-21, over Hawaii (7-7) in the Hawaii Bowl on Wednesday night. Golden Tate had six catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns, also Notre Dame bowl records, including a 69-yarder that sparked a 28-point outburst for the Irish (7-6), who ended their NCAA-record nine-game bowl losing streak convincingly. ... Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops stands to receive a $250,000 bonus if the second-ranked Sooners beat Florida in the Bowl Championship Series title game. Stoops' contract calls for him to get $150,000 for leading the Sooners to the BCS title game, and an additional $100,000 for a win. Oklahoma (12-1) will face top-ranked Florida (12-1) on Jan. 8 in Miami. ... Miami punt snapper Chris Ivory will not play in tomorrow's Emerald Bowl because he violated a team rule.
Baseball: : The Minnesota Twins agreed to a contract with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and will give him a chance to make the staff as middle reliever and spot starter. Dickey, 34, was 5-8 with a 5.21 ERA in 32 games, including 14 starts, for the Seattle Mariners last season.
Soccer: : American-born defender Neven Subotic has chosen to play for Serbia instead of the United States. Subotic, who was born in Bosnia and holds an American passport, has played for the U.S. under-17 and under-20 teams. He plays for Borussia Dortmund in the German league.