Josh Adams: Why did Jerry Jones trade away his first-round pick to get another second-round pick and a first-round pick next year? I mean, the top running backs in the draft were still on the board. And did Bill Parcells know about the trade? Because I am sure he was excited about getting one of the top running backs in the draft. Mickey:Are you "sure" Parcells thought there was that much difference between Kevin Jones or Steven Jackson and Julius Jones? From what I know, Parcells thought all along the Cowboys would end up with Julius Jones. Right or wrong, you guys weren't listening to me. I warned you the priority was NOT to take a running back in the first round at all costs, but to take the best player. Well, as it turns out, a first round pick next year just might have been the "best player" at that point, especially when you can pair that pick with another first-round pick. As for Parcells input, my understanding is there was not a dissenting voice in the room once Buffalo offered the No. 1 in 2005. Michael Rice, Huntington, Ind.: John Clayton, from ESPN, listed the Cowboys as a draft day loser. He wrote that Joe Gibbs is working on a two-year plan in Washington and this is Parcells' second year, so Julius Jones had better be as good as Parcells thinks he is or else there might not be a year three for Parcells. Is Clayton on crack? Who cares what the SPendskins are doing? I would give the 'Boys an incomplete on this draft. I think it all hinges on how they use their two first-rounders they have next year. Clayton greatly minimized how important that second first-rounder could be. Mickey:Ah, a very discerning eye toward the draft. Incomplete would be the grade since we won't know the true meaning of this draft until next year. And I don't think Parcells will be booted out of The Ranch if the Cowboys don't have a season better than 10-6 this year just because he wanted Julius Jones. You kidding me? You know, you should never believe everything you read . . . unless it's here, of course. Chad LeMaire, Panama City Fla.: What are the Cowboys thinking, we need help this year not next year or the year after that. Why give away one of the best picks in the draft? The Cowboys had two of the best backs right there in Kevin Jones and Steven Jackson. Every Cowboy fan across America was drooling, and now we are stuck with a crap of a backfield! Great, now Troy will be in the backfield. Mickey:I'd rather doubt that. Two best backs in the draft? That might be right, but how good are they? As I've written, if they were soooo good, why did both backs fall to the Cowboys at 22, and why, if Detroit had not traded back into the first round, would Kevin Jones have fallen into the second round? Everyone in the NFL just a bunch of big dummies? To me, if a back is considered great, he goes in the top 10. Example: Detroit needed a running back. But the Lions took a "great" receiver first, right? And did they have that great a need for another receiver after drafting Charles Rogers last year? Denver needed a back, but took a linebacker and waited until the second round to address its running backs need. Why'd that happen? Greg Gherardini Jr., Wichita, Kan.: I too was one of the many that screamed and cursed the Cowboys when they didn't pick up Steven Jackson. I'm sure you did, too. But after thinking about it all, it doesn't seem that bad. Just in 2002, a certain William Green and T.J. Duckett were the "can't miss" first-rounders, and everyone thought you could build a franchise around them. Look at them now. You won't know about Jackson probably forever since he won't be the feature back for another year or two at the least, but Julius Jones doesn't look like a bum. Picking up next year's first is a great move, though many analysts will STRONGLY disagree and are mocking Dallas for not doing the "right" thing. Buffalo plays in a very tough division and with its O-line problems (still) I see them finishing between 6-10 and 8-8. That projects to be anywhere from 6th-18th or so. Not bad. I have to believe Dallas sees a Hall of Famer next year, along with Bill coaching longer than the four years to make this move. I was furious, too, but even if it doesn't work, there is Cadillac Williams and Cedric Benson at the least for next year. Mickey:And you know what? If Julius Jones is disappointing, with two first-round picks, the Cowboys can about go get whatever they want next year, including those two guys since the signing bonus Julius Jones receives will not mandate him having to play. Vincent, Hartford, Conn.: Why are so many people hating on the Cowboys' pick of Juluis Jones in the second round? If Steven Jackson was rated so high by other teams, then why did he fall as far as 24 to the Rams with other teams in the need of a running back? I personally think the Boys did a good job of getting a back that can come in and contribute right away. Plus a first round pick for next year. Mickey:See, this is really not that hard to understand. Shane Walters, Las Vegas, Nev.: So many people are saying the draft-day move was foolish. That they thought Dallas was trying to win now. What they don't realize is that Steven Jackson or even Kevin Jones were not the last piece to the puzzle. Maybe if they were, then it would be a foolish move to trade down. But I see it more as a rebuilding stage still. Yeah, the Cowboys went 10-6 last year, but they still have a lot of holes to fill. I think with the addition of an extra first next year, that will help greatly in getting the Cowboys back to a dynasty once again. Mickey:Now here is a man looking at this honestly, without his heart on his sleeve. Deep down, the Cowboys agree with you. They are not one player away from winning a Super Bowl or having put this organization on sound footing. They need more. Lots more. And the best way to do that is to load up with first-round picks. Go back and see what Parcells did with the Jets. There is no harm in looking at the Cowboys' situation realistically. John Smith, Navarre, Fla.: I really liked what the Cowboys did early, but I'm bothered by the trade of the second fifth and winding up with three sevenths. Historically, how many seventh-rounders make any meaningful contribution? Mickey:You are on to something. Not a heckuva lot. And I'm with you on that one. But here was the thinking: The more solutions you throw at a problem, the better chance of solving it. You know, strength in numbers. So now it comes down to your philosophy, and percentages. You want to throw one big dart at the center or three smaller ones? Dale Sykora, Smithland Iowa: I heard Andy Reid of the Eagles say they may play Shawn Andrews at guard. I didn't think the Eagles were looking at an offensive lineman? It seems they took the guy because they didn't want Dallas to have him and have to face him twice a year. Do you agree? What have you heard? Mickey:No, teams rarely draft out of fear or envy. The Eagles decided to trade starting guard John Welborn for a fifth-round pick to Kansas City the second day of the draft, and they anticipated doing so. So while Andrews eventually will become a tackle, and why he would have been taken so high, for the time being he is a guard. Sort of what the Cowboys did, if you remember, with Flozell Adams and Solomon Page. Initially. Scott Marx, Portland, Oregon: Please, for the love of God don't tell me Quincy Carter is going to be the starter. He's a nice enough guy who tries hard, but it's not enough. Didn't we use him last year because of his mobility. It seems to me he usually fell down or made a bad decision rather than take off for 20 yards. Heck, Chad Hutchinson could've done that. He might have even hit a receiver with the throw. I just think with a quarterback like Kerry Collins, Vinny Testaverde or even Kurt Warner we would've won at least a game in the playoffs. Quincy got us out of a couple tight games, but they were tight because of him. Yeah, our running game was atrocious, but that might have had a little to do with not respecting his accuracy. I'm done ranting. Mickey:Not a bad rant as rants go. But I hate to tell you, the Cowboys are planning to head into training camp with Quincy Carter as the starting quarterback. In fact, the plan is for him to start the season. After that, Carter will once again determine how long he plays. The Cowboys' apparent idea is to bring in a veteran for backup purposes, initially, which limits the field since they likely will offer that quarterback only backup money. Sort of like looking for the next Wade Wilson. Someone content to be the backup, but capable of a bail out if necessary. Jake Shepherd, Springfield, Ore.: Quincy Carter or Kerry Collins, which one would you like as your starter? Sounds like a no-brainer to me. What has Carter done to deserve a starting job? The only wins he has are against bad teams. He chokes in big games. They will not let him throw the ball down field because they are afraid he will get picked off. If Dallas doesn't replace Carter with Collins, then they are losers and deserve to finish last. Mickey:Now you know me. I'll be the first to point out Carter's deficiencies. But if Collins is all that, then why the heck did the Giants give up the entire house to trade for Eli Manning and then simply hand the kid the job? Yep, I think Collins is a nice quarterback, but I'm not going to outbid another team for his services. And my feeling is Collins still wants to be a starter, and some team is going to pay him as such. Jones will be hesitant to do that, especially with Drew Henson sitting in the wings. You can't keep buying the flavor of the week. At some point, you have to execute your plan, and I think the plan for this year is to see - once and for all - if Carter can do this or not. Trey Corry, Dallas: It seems the Cowboys keep gearing up for not this season, but the season after with Drew Henson at the helm hopefully. This especially seems true due to the way they drafted and the conservative off-season signing of free agents. Is it wise to not fire all our guns this season when you really don't know what you have with Henson? Mickey:Not sure Henson is the reason for this conservative approach. From free agency standpoint, other than not addressing the cornerback position, there really was no sense overpaying for other positions, and cornerback included to some extent. The plan heading into the draft was not to trade the pick, but once presented with the alternative, as I've said, it was one of those deals too good to pass. And remember, when you spend money on free agents this year, you are spending money for next year and the year after that. It's not a one-year deal. Clay Stewart, Arlington, Texas: What are the ramifications on the cap if the Cowboys cut Chad Hutchinson? At this point, my guess is they will keep Carter, Henson, Tony Romo and will have a veteran in camp. What can they do with him? Mickeyrobably not much if that's the route they go. Don't think Hutchinson has done enough to establish any trade value. If the Cowboys simply release Hutchinson, and they could very well take five quarterbacks to camp, he would count $2.09 million before June 1 or $504,714 this year and $1.585 nextyear if released after June 1. Senovio Rodriguez, Irving, Texas: Will Coach Parcells stick with Hambrick? Assume the worst, and the second guy has to step up. Would the team and the fans really just go in the "crapper" knowing that "hey, T-Ham takes over"? Again, my gut says get some guys that "we" don't know about rather than just "staying" with T-Ham. Mickey:According to Troy Hambrick's agent, Jordan Woy, the Cowboys have entertained trade talks with at least three teams for Hambrick. So that would be an indication the Cowboys don't have great plans for the restricted free agent, who by the way has yet to sign his one-year minimum tender of $628,000, but is participating in the team's off-season workout program. I'm starting to get the feeling Richie Anderson will be the tailback if Julius Jones is not ready to step in from the outset. Pedro Solis, Managua, Nicaragua: Tell me if I'm wrong, but I thought that The Tuna and "Coach Jones" were thinking of Julius Jones as a potential franchise back when they drafted him. But then I hear that Richie Anderson could play tailback for the Cowboys this season. So, this brings me to my question: Isn't it better for Julius Jones to start at halfback and have Richie Anderson keep going at it at fullback (where he has done such a great job)? Mickey:In a perfect world, yes. But the Cowboys are looking at contingencies, just in case. Like, what if Julius Jones is not ready to be a three-down back? What if they missed on him? You better have a Plan B, and at this point, that seems to be Anderson, a sort of jack of all trades. Remember, Anderson was pretty effective as a third-down back, and Parcells might not want to give up on that just yet. Jesus DeAnda, Austin Texas: Several times after Julius Jones was picked I heard several commentators, including Michael Irvin, repeatedly say Julius had Emmitt-like qualities. What exactly does that mean, and in what ways does he have Emmitt-like qualities, if any? Mickey:Well, I'm assuming they meant running style. From what I've seen, Julius Jones has a low center of gravity, much like Emmitt, is about the same size and appears to have the ability to make a guy miss in the hole. In other words, he hits the hole hard, and then makes a move to miss the next guy. And he does have some cut-back ability. Jeff DeForest, Solvang Calif.: Aveion Cason was said to never be more than a third-down back because he was too small. Parcells questioned his ability to take hits due to his size. Cason is listed at 5-10, 204 pounds. Jones is listed at 5-9, 217. Can you tell me the difference? I am 5-9, 215, and the only difference between me weighing in at 204 is quickness (or the lack of). Can you make me understand? Mickey:I'll try. First of all, Julius Jones is listed at 510, 217. And while Cason is listed at 5-10, 204, the 5-10 sure seems to be a stretch when standing next to a short guy like me. Also, more than anything, it's how the weight is distributed. Cason does not seem to have powerful-looking thighs, certainly not like Emmitt, and remember, early in Emmitt's career he was listed at 5-9, 209 (1994). It has more to do with how you're built, not just the dimensions. Rich Smith, Carrollton, Texas: What has been done to rehab Larry Allen's ankle? I saw him at a little league game on Friday, and that ankle ain't right. He is definitely favoring it. Mickey:From Allen's point of view, he'd agree with you. But the ankle is rehabbed. He passed his exit physical last year and evidently the ankle must have passed mustard with Detroit if the Lions were on the verge of trading for him. Allen always kind of walked funny, as if dragging one leg, and that was before he had the ankle surgery. -Maybe he has one leg shorter than the other- Robert Buford, Theodore, Ala.: If and when LA gets traded, do you think it will likely go for draft pick next year or a player this year? And if he doesn't get traded, how much playing time will he get? Mickey:If Allen is traded, I'm almost certain it will be for a 2005 draft choice at this point. Team's rarely find equitable players to make a trade this time of year. And if he remains with the team, I'd think they view him as a starter until he proves otherwise. The Cowboys still have a significant investment in him. Chris Lee, Petal, Miss.: It is that (University of Massachusetts) kid's right to have an opinion and voice it, you are correct. I would like to reserve the right to kick that kid's ($%^) for saying such disparaging remarks about Pat Tillman as well, if you don't mind. Tillman was a TRUE AMERICAN in every sense. That kid is stupid beyond belief for his comments, and you defending him is ridiculous. Mickey:I did not defend him. I defended our right to free speech. It's everyone's right to say stupid things. I was just saying the university should not come down on him for being wrong. If it is going to sponsor a university paper and allow columnist a point of view, then live with the consequences.