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PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : NFC PLAYOFFS : Cowboys May Be Able to Use Haley

Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys may have defensive end Charles Haley for Sunday’s NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers to put some heat on Brett Favre.

Haley, who had back surgery five weeks ago, flew to Los Angeles on Monday and received an excellent medical report.

Dallas trainer Kevin O’Neill said Haley had a “50-50 chance” of playing against the Packers.

“The report was very encouraging,” O’Neill said. “We could see him this weekend. “

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Haley’s disc surgery was similar to the operations performed on Joe Montana and Troy Aikman. However, it’s tougher for a defensive lineman to return because of the physical contact.

“Charles will begin workout drills later in the week but may not take part in practice,” O’Neill said. “Of course, he could play without practicing. He did that in about four or game games this year because he has had discomfort throughout the season.”

Haley had 10 1/2 sacks and 33 pressures on the quarterback despite nursing back problems all season.

“There’s no question Charles would really help us,” said Dallas Coach Barry Switzer. “We could put him in on third down in the nickel package and it would produce a big boost for our pass rush.”

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Haley’s replacement, Shante Carver, had no sacks against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Cowboys’ 30-11 victory on Sunday that put Dallas in the NFL’s final four for the fourth consecutive season.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to see Charles out there on Sunday,” said Aikman. “I asked him about it on Sunday and he said he was going to give it a shot. I know he really wants to play.”


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