The Dallas Cowboys' team physician, Pat Evans, said yesterday a decision on whether running back Tony Dorsett can play against the Redskins Sunday probably would not be made until Friday.
Dorsett, who hurt his right shoulder against the Eagles Saturday, and other injured Cowboys were examined yesterday by another club physician, Dr Marvin Knight. A spokesman said of the former Heisman trophy winner, "His injury is not nearly as bad as was thought. It is now believed to be a sprained shoulder.
"It is a question of how long it takes to get the soreness out of the shoulder. He may participate in non contact drills on Wednesday. He remains 'questionable,'" the spokesman reported.
Even if Dorsett is a quick healer, he hardly would be in condition to block with authority or dip his shoulder intentionally into a tackler to achieve thrust.
Dorsett said on Saturday that he was persuaded to accept an injection to kill pain at halftime, emphasizing that he is "afraid of needles."
Coach Tom Landry was asked on the telephone yesterday, at his Dallas home, "Can the doctors win the game for the Cowboys on Sunday?"
He played it straight, saying, "I don't know." He did say of several other injuries on Saturday, "They were the most we had in any game this year."
Landry spared words when asked about the status of wide receiver Drew Pearson, who reportedly incurred displeasure when he missed Saturday's game because of a sprained knee. He suffered the injury throwing the football into the stands after scoring a touchdown a week ago in a victory over the New York Giants.
The Cowboys listed Pearson as questionable and said strong safety Randy Hughes is definitely out of Saturday's game with a dislocated shoulder and is questionable for the playoffs.
Offensive tackle Rayfield Wright (bruised knee) is questionable for Sunday; fullback Robert Newhouse (bruised calf) and reserve cornerback Aaron Mitchell (twisted ankle) probably will play.
Landry said he watched on television the fourth quarter of the Redskin victory over Cincinnati. "They're playing well," he said of the Redskins, "the same as they did against us in Washington -- offensively and defensively. "
He said rookie Ron Springs of Ohio State, who ran for 62 yards in 12 carries after replacing Dorsett on Saturday, will start on Sunday if Dorsett is unavailable. Though the Eagles had been the No. 2 rushing team in the NFC, the Cowboys outran them, 185 yards to 80, 41 plays to 28.