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News: Cowlishaw: Teams need hire authority

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by LaTunaNostra, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Tim Cowlishaw: Teams need hire authority

    Cowboys should hold ultimate say on any player's employment


    09:23 PM CDT on Saturday, August 7, 2004

    OXNARD, Calif. – Quincy Carter began the week a starting NFL quarterback. He ended it as a pariah. The question is whether this is more the Cowboys' fault or his.

    When Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells announced Carter's stunning release Wednesday morning, they were purposely vague as to the reasons that led to the decision. Vague to protect Quincy?

    Not so much as vague to protect themselves.

    Now the Cowboys may have to deal with a grievance filed by the NFL Players Association. You can't cut a player for failing a drug test, the NFLPA contends. It's in the collective bargaining agreement.

    Jones and Parcells, of course, did not say Carter was cut for a failed test. They're smarter than that. But their answers suggested that this was a drug-related failure on Carter's part, even before sources confirmed it.

    As Jones said, "You've got to respect an individual's rights to have some things not made public if there's no need to be."

    Now what other issues beyond drugs do you generally hear that about?

    Then there was Parcells' answer to the question of whether Carter might ever play for the Cowboys again.

    "There could be things done that could make us consider something way down the road," he said.

    Does that sound like Carter getting clean or Carter working on his deep throws?

    The vagueness of their answers protects the Cowboys, and frankly, despite what the NFLPA will argue, teams should be able to release players for whatever reasons they choose.

    Parcells' job is to identify the 53 players that give the Cowboys the best chance to get to a Super Bowl. If he believes having a starting quarterback who isn't significantly better than his backup and who is one failed test away from a four-game suspension, then he has to have the right to release that player.

    The absence of guaranteed contracts is one of the great things about the NFL, not one of the evil things. Players know the deal when they sign on. They get the opportunity to make millions if they succeed, but those millions, except in rare cases, are not assured.

    However, it's hard to find anyone connected with the team who believes that Carter has any sort of serious drug problem. And there's certainly a difference between testing positive for marijuana than there is for cocaine, initially reported by FOXSports.com and then retracted.

    That's another story. Can you really just take a mulligan on something like that, pulling a damaging statement off your Web site and still consider yourself a credible source for anything?

    When did they go from "Fair and Balanced" to "Changing on the Fly"?

    So damage to Carter has been done, probably beyond anything he deserves. You don't go from starting for a playoff team to being unwanted even as a backup by 31 other clubs without your reputation having taken some serious hits.

    I suspect that when more details emerge and teams recognize Carter is less a risk than he may have initially appeared this week (the possibility of a future four-game suspension aside), he will get a second chance.

    He deserves as much.

    I suspect, too, that this grievance won't amount to much, either, unless it's determined that the Cowboys are conducting their own drug tests outside of league policy. That wouldn't be good.

    Parcells, again talking slightly around the subject as he is prone to do, makes it clear he is trying to clean up the Cowboys' locker room.

    "I'm committed to going forward with certain parameters," Parcells said. "Jerry knows what he was getting when he got someone like me. We're a long way down the road here toward doing this. It should be obvious to all of you what we are attempting to do here.

    "If it isn't, you must be stuck in a closet somewhere."

    Parcells is unapologetic in his approach. When he said he was saddened, he quickly made it clear exactly whom he was saddened for by following that statement, saying, "I've got 18 months invested here."

    If Parcells doesn't have the right to build a team around players who aren't one misstep away from being suspended for a quarter of a season, then I think it's someone at the league office that has a drug problem.

    E-mail tcowlishaw@dallasnews.com
  2. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Evening B. :)


    No matter how lousy the Yanks pitching appears the Sox just can't make up ground.
  3. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Good evening, Mikey.

    Yeah. I just hear the name "Manny" and shut down.

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