NFL notes: Cowboys release FB Vickers as focus shifts to TE
The Dallas Cowboys have released fullback Lawrence Vickers, not a surprising move considering their recent emphasis on an offense with two tight ends.
The move announced Friday came after Vickers had back surgery following the season and worked only on the side during offseason practices.
Dallas is unlikely to carry a fullback on the roster after loading up on tight ends behind Jason Witten. The Cowboys drafted Gavin Escobar in the second round and signed veteran Dante Rosario. Second-year player James Hanna is also in the mix.
The 30-year-old Vickers played in all 16 games in his only season in Dallas, finishing with three carries for 11 yards and 13 catches for 104 yards. He had two tackles on special teams.
He also played for Cleveland and Houston.
'Muslim extremist' claim angers Jet
New York Jets rookie offensive lineman Oday Aboushi, one of the few Palestinian-Americans to play in the NFL, defended himself Friday against a website's article that called him a "Muslim extremist."
Aboushi was angered by the story, published Tuesday by FrontPage Magazine, as well other comments in response to the piece.
"It is upsetting to see people try and tarnish my reputation without even knowing me," he said in a statement issued by the team. "But I appreciate all the support I have been getting from people of all backgrounds across the city and country."
The Brooklyn-born Aboushi, who now lives in Staten Island, was drafted in the fifth round by the Jets out of Virginia. He is one of just a small handful of Palestinian-American players to enter the NFL, including former linebacker Tarek Saleh, former quarterback Gibran Hamdan, and former defensive lineman Nader Abdallah.
Aboushi told The Associated Press in an interview in May that being a Palestinian-American in the NFL was " an honor" and added that for being able to "kind of break that mold and sort of open the door for other people and show them that it is possible, it's a great feeling."
The story by FrontPage Magazine said Aboushi's "latest infraction" came last month when he was in Virginia and "gave a speech at a radical Muslim conference sponsored by a group denying Israel's right to exist and associated with blatantly anti-Semitic and terrorist propaganda."
The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement in Aboushi's defense, saying "there's a lot of exaggeration and hyperbole in all the talk about" the player.
"Absolutely nothing in the public record suggests Aboushi is anything other than a young American athlete who takes pride in his Palestinian heritage," ADL director Abraham H. Foxman said.
Jaguars' owner buys English soccer team
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan bought the English soccer club Fulham on Friday, becoming the sixth American owner among the 20 teams currently in the Premier League. The deal between previous owner Mohamed Al Fayed and Khan for the sale of the London club was completed and approved by the Premier League. Financial details were not disclosed.