IRVING, TX - DECEMBER 14: Fullback Deon Anderson #34 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates his touchdown against the New York Giants in the fourth quarter at Texas Stadium on December 14, 2008 in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Wade Phillips confirmed in his press conference yesterday that fullback Deon Anderson is one of seven Cowboys who will not participate in Thursday night's preseason opener in Oakland.
The third-year fullback has been back in Dallas now for a few days, after, according to the DMN Cowboys Blog, having his knee drained on Saturday morning and participating in practice that afternoon.
"Deon Anderson won't play," Phillips said yesterday. "He's been in Dallas for a few days, his knee's being evaluated so we're waiting to hear on that."
This is the same knee for which Anderson underwent arthroscopic surgery last season, causing him to miss two games.
In his absence, Julius Crosslin and Asaph Schwapp will see greater time on Thursday. “Asaph and Crosslin will get a lot of work,” Phillips continued. “We’ll see how they do and see if they can compete.”
If injured significantly, Dallas would certainly miss Anderson in the lineup, both on offense, and on special teams, where he has shown to be a key contributor; however, the presumable proliferation of the two-tight end set will decrease the role of the fullback position further.
Anderson will not travel with the team to Oakland.
Phillips named Terence Newman
, Mike Jenkins, Steve Octavien, Stephen Hodge, Michael Hawkins and Alonzo Coleman as the other players out for the Thursday night exhibition, though he said of Jenkins and Newman, "both are real close."
Phillips added that rookie OLB Brandon Williams, who has been nursing a sore shoulder, will play if the shoulder is "not sore or less sore."