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NFL Notebook

Associated Press
The NFL roundup …
IRVING, Texas ó Those wayward snaps from Phil Costa to Tony Romo have become a political football.
The Cowboys have accused the Redskins of causing Costa’s itchy trigger finger by mimicking Romo’s cadence, essentially tricking the new center into thinking the quarterback was calling for the ball before he actually was. The culprit was thought to be Washington defensive end Stephen Bowen, who spent the last five seasons in Dallas.
“I think certainly the NFL understands what was going on and they’re trying to address it and handle it the right way,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday.
League spokesman Greg Aiello said via email, “Our communication on that will be with the team.”
The Redskins, meanwhile, accuse the Cowboys of making up the whole thing. Washington coach Mike Shanahan says there’s proof.
“The center is miked, and when the center is miked, you go back in audio and you’ll find out if one of our players did say a snap count,” Shanahan said. “And they did not.”
Bowen was especially peeved about being dragged into this.
“You ask the guys in Dallas. They know my character,” he said. “I’ve never been that type of guy. I just line up and play ball.”
Bowen said he knew during the game that the Cowboys were making the allegations because, “the ref came to us and said, ‘Are (you) giving fake snap counts?'”
“I looked at (nose tackle) Barry (Cofield), like: ‘Did you make a noise?'” Bowen said. “He was like, ‘I didn’t make a noise. I didn’t even hear anything.'”
Bowen suggested that Costa is “trying to make excuses for him messing up.”
“I lost a lot of respect for Costa,” Bowen said. “Just be a man and tell the truth. If that was the case, if we were making snap counts, how come no other offensive linemen jumped offsides? It makes no sense because he’s lying. He just needs to be a man and stand by his word. Everybody respects a man who could tell the truth.”
VICK UPDATE
PHILADELPHIA ó A badly bruised hand isn’t going to keep Michael Vick off the field.
Vick practiced Wednesday and said there’s a “100 percent” chance he starts when the Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) host San Francisco (2-1) on Sunday.
The star quarterback was initially diagnosed with a broken, non-throwing hand after getting hurt in a 29-16 loss to the New York Giants three days ago. But tests on Monday revealed he had a contusion on his right hand.
“Even if it was broke, I think I would have probably padded it up and went back out there,” Vick said after a morning walkthrough. “You got to take precaution, but this is what I love to do.”
SWEETNESS BOOK
LAKE FOREST, Ill. ó According to a new book, Chicago Bears star Walter Payton abused painkillers in retirement and became suicidal.
In “Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton,” author Jeff Pearlman says the Hall of Fame running back used a cocktail of Tylenol and Vicodin in retirement, kept tanks of nitrous oxide in his garage and even obtained Ritalin from a friend whose son was prescribed pills. Pearlman writes that Payton drew the suspicion of pharmacists and a warning from the police after visiting several drugstores to have a dentist’s prescription for morphine filled.
Payton’s longtime agent Bud Holmes is quoted as saying “Walter was pounding his body with medication.”
The book goes on sale Oct. 4. An excerpt appears in this week’s Sports Illustrated.
HALL CANDIDATES
CANTON, Ohio ó Retired coaches Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells and Marty Schottenheimer are among the modern-era candidates for the 2012 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Cowher is eligible for the first time, as are players Keyshawn Johnson, Tiki Barber, Drew Bledsoe, Stephen Davis, Rod Smith, Will Shields, Troy Vincent and Mike Vanderjagt.

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