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DeCamillis happy to be back with Cowboys after medical scare

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis was happy to be back at work Wednesday following emergency surgery to remove his appendix -- and the discovery that he needed a hernia repair, too.

"It was actually 2-for-1 is what the (doctor) called it," DeCamillis said. "I don't seem to do anything easy lately that's for sure."

DeCamillis broke his neck when the team's indoor training facility collapsed in May, soon after he was hired. A little more than two weeks after undergoing surgery to fuse vertebrae in his neck, DeCamillis was on the field for the start of summer workouts, wearing a neck brace and using a bullhorn to conduct drills. He's still not fully healed, although he hasn't let that injury slow him.

"I think my family is really going to be glad when 2010 gets here, that's for sure," DeCamillis said. "But you never know. You never know what that brings too. Hopefully it'll be a little bit easier as far as the health issues."

DeCamillis said his stomach started hurting Sunday morning at the team hotel, hours before the Cowboys faced the Washington Redskins.

"I kept thinking it was going to get better, and it never got better," DeCamillis said. "That's when we went to the hospital. ... It was a feeling of, 'Oh, no, I can't believe this.' I don't think that was exactly the words I used, but that was definitely the feeling I used."

The toughest part might have been watching the Cowboys' 17-0 victory over the Redskins on television.

"I'm sure when (hospital workers) heard some of the words that were coming out of my mouth in that room, they were probably a little bit concerned," DeCamillis said. "But it worked out OK."

DeCamillis wasn't about to take any extra time off to recover, not with the Cowboys entering this Sunday's regular-season finale needing a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles to clinch the NFC East title.

"I'm feeling OK, a little bit rough around the edges," DeCamillis said. "This is what I do. We've got a chance to win a division championship this week, so I guess selfishly I don't want to miss it. We've got to win this game somehow. I knew that if I felt like I could do it, I could do it and I feel like I can do it."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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