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Terrell Owens misses Dallas Cowboys' practice on Sunday with tight back

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -Terrell Owens missed the Dallas Cowboys' practice Sunday because of tightness in his lower back.

Owner Jerry Jones said Owens was getting treatment instead of standing around on the field during the two-hour workout. Jones said he wasn't worried about the receiver's absence, and that the team didn't consider the muscle stiffness to be serious.

"It's nothing structural. He just has a tight back," said Jones, who had just returned from presenting Michael Irvin for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "It's nothing that I deem to be serious at all, or we deem to be serious. ... It's not something that we should be concerned about."

Before missing Sunday, Owens had taken part in four straight workouts, including two Saturday, since being given time off by coach Wade Phillips so the receiver could rest his sore legs and hamstrings. Owens went through drills full speed without any apparent problems during workouts Thursday through Saturday.

Phillips said the trainers wouldn't let Owens practice.

"They didn't let him come out. They put him in the whirlpool and did some bike work," Phillips said. "Normally, I have my players stand out there and listen if they're not practicing, but they didn't want him standing out there with back spasms."

It wasn't clear if the 33-year-old Owens would return to practice Monday, when the Cowboys have two workouts scheduled. Owens' availability for the preseason opener Thursday night against Indianapolis also became uncertain.

"He's day to day. We'll see," Phillips said. "Like I said, he's not injured."

Owens missed about half of his first training camp with the Cowboys last year, including the first three preseason games, because of a hamstring problem.

Owens' coach-ordered hiatus last week included sitting out both workouts Wednesday. That was a day after he came on the field in uniform, minus shoulder pads or a helmet, after being told by Phillips to take it easy.

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