QB Tony Romo is coming out of retirement as the Cowboys' holder on field goals and extra points. He will replace punter Mat McBriar in an effort to get kicker Nick Folk out of his season-long funk.
"We just feel like we need to do something," coach Wade Phillips said.
This will be the first time that Romo has held since the 2006 season, which ended with his infamous bobble in the wildcard playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
* LT Flozell Adams was fined $50,000 by the NFL but avoided a suspension following a personal four penalty against the Giants. Adams has now been fined $75,000 this season for five unnecessary roughness infractions. He has been warned by the league that another penalty could lead to a bigger fine and/or suspension.
"Future infractions of the types you have committed may lead to increased disciplinary action up to and including suspension," NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson wrote in a letter to Adams.
* TE Martellus Bennett was held out of practice with concussion-like symptoms. The Cowboys think he will practice on Thursday and be ready to play on Sunday. However they are being cautious, per the new NFL rules on concussions.
* LB DeMarcus Ware has three consecutive seasons (2006-08) with 10 or more sacks. With nine sacks, he is one away from making it four straight and tying George Andrie (1964-67) for the team record. Two other Cowboys have streaks of three seasons: Jetrho Pugh (1968-1971) and Randy White (1983-1985).
SUNDAY'S GAME PLAN: The Cowboys need to find a way defensively to contain the Chargers' passing game and not give up the big play. Chargers tight end Antonio Gates and running back Darren Sproles will be mismatches for the Cowboys defense. Offensively, the Cowboys need to run the ball against a Chargers defense that gives up 117 yards per game on the ground and then take shots downfield to big-play receiver Miles Austin.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Chargers QB Philip Rivers vs. Cowboys QB Tony Romo. This will be a high scoring arena football game led by the two hot-shot quarterbacks. Rivers is the key to San Diego's offense, which is a pass happy attack and is no longer led by running back LaDainian Tomlinson. The Chargers have the sixth best pass offense in the league. Romo and the Cowboys are seventh. Even though Romo is coming off a brilliant game against the Giants when he passed for 392 yards and completed 75 percent of his passes, his history of poor Decembers is alarming. Romo has a 76.3 passer rating in 14 December games. Rivers has a 97.5 rating in 16 December games.
Chargers LB Shaun Phillips vs. Cowboys OT Doug Free. Free is starting in place of the injured Marc Colombo and will be tested every week because of his inexperience. He has held his own so far, but the Cowboys can't afford any breakdowns. Shawne Merriman gets all the headlines but Phillips has been the team's best playmaker this season with seven sacks and seven forced fumbles.
INJURY IMPACT: CB Terence Newman underwent an MRI for an undisclosed knee injury he sustained in the 31-24 loss to the Giants. The test came back negative as no structural damage was found. Newman practiced Wednesday and should be ready to play on Sunday against the Chargers.
* FS Ken Hamlin did not practice on Wednesday and is now probably going to miss his fourth straight game with a high ankle sprain. The Cowboys will continue to evaluate him. But if he doesn't get on the practice field Thursday, it's unlikely he will play against the Chargers.
Hamlin has not played since suffering the injury against the Packers on Nov. 15. Alan Ball will continue to start in his place.
* OT Marc Colombo is out at least another three games with a high ankle sprain and fractured fibula. Doug Free will continue to start in his place.