Amobi Okoye closer to comeback
08/14/2014 8:43 PM
08/14/2014 8:44 PM
Help appears to be on the way for the Cowboys ailing defensive line in the form of former first-round pick Amobi Okoye, who has been on the non-football injury list since the start of training camp.
Owner Jerry Jones said Okoye has been cleared to practice after missing all of the offseason with an undisclosed illness. The defensive tackle, picked 10th overall by the Houston Texans in 2007, has not played football since 2012 when he was with the Bears.
“Okoye has been cleared,” Jones said Thursday. “He’ll be meeting us in Dallas. He’s been in Boston and got cleared on his illness and can have contact. He’s been working to get in shape. We were hoping the timing would fit to give us some reps in there.”
Okoye still must pass a physical with the Cowboys before he is allowed to practice, so his return is not imminent. But he has cleared the first big hurdle toward getting back on the field for first time in almost two years.
“I don’t anticipate (Okoye practicing Monday), but I know we have a three-stage conditioning (process),” Jones said. “He has been in the second stage and working toward the third stage. I don’t think he’s reached the third, but he’ll be in there real close.”
It is what the Cowboys were hoping for when they took a chance on signing Okoye, 27, to a two-year deal in May.
Okoye was a disappointment in Houston, but his history with the Bears and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is what intrigues the Cowboys.
Okoye had 36 total tackles and five sacks in 25 games in two years under Marinelli in Chicago.
His 16 career sacks in 87 games since 2007 is more than any lineman on the Cowboys’ roster aside from defensive ends Anthony Spencer and Jeremy Mincey and defensive tackle Henry Melton.
Charean Williams has covered the NFL for 21 seasons. She's a Hall of Fame voter, a past president of the Pro Football Writers of America and a proud Aggie. Follow her on Twitter at @NFLChareanE-mail: email@example.com
Clarence E. Hill Jr. has been the Dallas Cowboys beat writer since 1997. He's battle tested with one playoff win, six coaches, countless scandals, controversies and unfullfilled expectations. Follow him on Twitter at @clarencehilljrE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Davison joined the Star-Telegram as a correspondent in 2007, primarily covering high schools along with helping out with Rangers, Cowboys and colleges coverage. He became one of the Rangers beat writers in July 2011, and also assists with coverage of Texas Motor Speedway and the Cowboys during the offseason. Davison graduated from the University of Kansas and had internships at The Kansas City Star and MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @drewdavisonE-mail: email@example.com
Jimmy Burch is the college sports and golf writer/columnist for the Star-Telegram. He also covers the Dallas Cowboys and other Dallas-Fort Worth pro sports. Follow him on Twitter at @Jimmy_BurchE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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