Cowboys assistant back at work after medical scare

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,


“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 has not let that injury slow


“I think my family is really going to be glad when 2010 gets

here, that’s for sure,” he 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


“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’ve been watching Dallas’ 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,” he said. “But it worked out OK.”

DeCamillis wasn’t about to take any extra time off to recover,

not with Dallas going into the season finale needing a win over

Philadelphia on Sunday to clinch the NFC East.

“I’m feeling OK, a little bit rough around the edges,” he

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.”

Coach Wade Phillips said it wasn’t easy during practice


“He’s hurting today,” Phillips said. “I worried about him

that way. We got him off the field as soon as we could. He’s pretty