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Familiar faces return on Sunday

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Is this a football game coming up or a reunion? Every time I read an article about the Saints this week, I discover more personnel who used to work in Big D, who are now working in the Big Easy. Besides Head Coach Sean Payton and Defensive Coordianator Gary Gibbs, there's the Great Scott's - Shanle and Fujita. But wait, if you order now there's more.

The other former Cowboys on the Saints' roster are receiver Terrance Copper, offensive tackle Rob Petitti and kicker Billy Cundiff. And defensive assistant Adam Zimmer is the son of Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

What? Even Zimmer's son works for New Orleans? Nutty.

Scott Shanle is ready to show his old team something, although he has no ill will towards the Cowboys for trading him.

"Anytime you go against your former team, you want to put it out there a little bit that you shouldn't have gotten rid of me," said Shanle, one of five former Cowboys on the Saints' roster. "But I think the most important thing is that both teams are 8-4. You don't need any more than that to get up for this game."

Shanle didn't leave on bad terms by any means. In fact, Dallas Coach Bill Parcells called him personally to inform him of the trade and told him he wanted to find the best possible situation for him.

"I think a lot of him," Parcells said this week.


Scott Fujita feels right at home in New Orleans.
"I'm in a good situation, and I'm comfortable where I'm at," said Fujita, who began his career with Kansas City before being traded to Dallas the summer of 2005. "I was trying to find the right fit more than anything else. That's one thing my wife and I both talked about, just finding the right fit. And from day one when we got here, we felt like it was the right place, like we belonged here."

I guess it should be expected, Payton is going to go after players he knows well, and the Cowboys are a team he knows well.

Not much change in the status of the Saints injury report. Joe Horn isn't going to play - at least that's what's being said - and Marques Colston and Will Smith are questionable.

There were no changes to the team's injury list Friday, although defensive tackle Rodney Leisle, who's expected to start in place of the suspended Hollis Thomas, was excused because of a death in his family.

Defensive end Will Smith (knee) and wide receiver Marques Colston (ankle) are expected to be game-time decisions Sunday night.


Colston might not play, but the skinny is that Allen will return to the lineup. We'll see on Sunday night.

One guy who won't be playing is new Cowboys' safety Tony Parrish. There was a lot of discussion about where Dallas would line him up when he does play, and it looks like the obvious choice is the right choice.

Newly-acquired safety Tony Parrish doesn't consider himself a strong safety. He doesn't call himself a free safety, either.

"I can play both," said Parrish, a nine-year veteran who was claimed off waivers Thursday after being cut by the 49ers earlier this week. "I was drafted as a free safety - that's where I played in college. After my rookie year, I was moved to strong."

Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells didn't talk for long Friday morning at Valley Ranch, but did say he plans on trying Parrish at free safety.


Next week should be an interesting one for Keith Davis and Pat Watkins.