Welcome to Mick's Mail, where at least once a week DallasCowboys.com Columnist Mickey Spagnola will answer some of the very best questions submitted via e-mail on DallasCowboys.com. If you would like to submit a question, click here. And then don't forget to check-in to see if your question is answered online. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ed Meaux, Richmond, Va.: I'm sure you've been bombarded, but here's a quickie. How about trading Eddie George to Miami? Is it possible? Is there a deadline that prohibits it or his contract? What would they give for Eddie? Wouldn't we do the deal, for say a second or a third, or is that stretching it? Mickey: Funny you asked that since I thought of that very same thing driving into work today. Not sure what Miami would think he's worth, but I can tell you Jerry Jones is thanking his lucky stars he did not wait until Monday to sign George. And there was a chance he could have waited since George's agent, Lamont Smith, was having problems getting into Dallas on Friday. Not sure what the price would be to compensate for giving a guy $1.5 million up front, but it's sort of like everything else that you don't want to sell: Make me an offer I can't refuse. I'd say that would be a second since George probably is worth a third at this point, although I'm betting Miami is hoping Ricky Williams reconsiders when he returns to the States. Also, if you were Tennessee, would you not be just kicking yourself for not having waited until the last possible moment to release George. Jeremy Drew, Winston, N.C.: I've heard several people talk about a rumor they've heard, and I thought that maybe you could clear it up. The rumor is Bill Parcells didn't want to sign Eddie George but was talked into it by Jerry. Any truth to that? Mickey: Well, I guess only Parcells can clear that up. So tune in at noon 2 p.m. (CDT) Friday for the head coach's training camp-opening press conference on dallascowboys.com. That will be the first opportunity to ask Parcells about George. But, George's agent Lamont Smith said Parcells put in two phone calls to George after he was released. If that's true, why would the head coach do that if he really didn't want the guy? (P.S. By the way, Bill is back at work. Saw him today at The Ranch.) Jorge Lastra, Irving, Texas: Knowing the Cowboys had plenty of salary cap space this year, signing Eddie George for one year is not a bad decision at all, unless you feel it backpedals the learning of Julius Jones. My question is more on the incentives and how do they work in the salary cap environment. Let's just make up that the Cowboys had $2 million left on salary cap and they have signed George for $2 million plus incentives. If he triggers all incentives because he played very well, the Cowboys will have to pay him more than what the salary cap permits. How does this work? If they go over the limit would they get fined or would the league take salary cap from the following year? Mickey: Very good cap question. There are two types of incentives - likely-to-be-earned and unlikely-to-be-earned. The LTBE's are incentives that do not exceed production from the previous season, and the payouts would be immediately charged to the 2004 salary cap when the contract is signed. The UTBE's are incentives beyond the previous year's production, and if earned, the payoff would be charged to the 2005 cap. For simplification, let's take touchdowns. George scored five rushing touchdown last year. The Cowboys could write in an incentive for six or more touchdowns, and if he did score six touchdowns then the payoff would go against next year's cap. If the incentive was five, then they would be charged for it this year, right along with his signing bonus and base salary. Mike Murrell, Rogers, Ark.: I know it's not in you to say I told ya so, but I'll do it for you. I seem to remember in early June you were flooded with emails wanting the Cowboys to overspend on questionable corners or old, past-their-prime running backs. All of these would have required multi-year commitments and guaranteed money. Jones and Parcells held the extra money under the cap, and we now have an insurance policy in case Julius Jones does not prove to be the back Parcells thinks he can be. As you tried to say many times, just because you have the money in June does not mean you have to spend the money in June. Now how do you see Parcells using the two backs? Jones a first- and second-down back and George a short-distance and goal-line back? Mickey: Naw, not me. I wouldn't do that. As for how Parcells will use the backs, I truly think that will depend on how George and Jones perform in training camp. If Jones is all that, then George is a complementary back, used much the way you have suggested and insurance against injury. If Jones struggles, the two might split carries, which would take just enough load off Jones so he also could return kickoffs. But having George on the goal line would seem to be a bonus. Mark Schneider, Dallas: I am ecstatic with the acquisition of Eddie George! Maybe not landing a big-contract corner paid off after all. It is the offense that needs the most work, and Big Bill is putting together quite a squad. Do you think Eddie is the final piece of the puzzle? Mickey: Goodness gracious, no. Who is playing right tackle, center, cornerback, returning kicks? Do the Cowboys have the parts to pressure quarterbacks? And who is running the ball? George, again, is a nice complementary piece, but I don't think you want to put all the carries in his basket. And can Quincy Carter become the real deal? There still are many pieces to fit together. Kevin Donnan, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: When Corey Dillon was available, I remember you dissing the idea because of Dillon's age and attitude and the fact that the Cowboys didn't need to spend the money on a back with not a great deal of tread left on the tires. While George has an incredible work ethic, is a leader on and off the field and is a workhorse, how much of a difference is there between him and Corey Dillon from a playing perspective? George has been banged up and his average-yards-per-carry has dropped every year since 2000. He brings a tremendous upside in terms of leadership and will certainly help school Julius Jones, but in terms of production, I'm not convinced that Dillon wasn't the better choice in this case. Mickey: The difference is the Cowboys did not pay George like a starter, and Dillon wanted starter's money with signing bonus and a multi-year deal. The Cowboys are renting George for one year. You would have had to buy Dillon. Plus, George hasn't been a pain in the backside as Dillon has the majority of his career. That's all. Terry Moten, San Antonio: Chad Hutchison seems to think that the Cowboys dealt him a bad hand, and no doubt given your unwavering support of Chad and glowing columns of his "big time arm" and "pin point" accuracy, ability to "make all the throws" (that Quincy cannot) the decision to release him and not Quincy Carter must have you baffled - as you have repeatedly reminded us about his abilities and upside being greater than Quincy's. Chad has reportedly stated that the proper way to handle his situation would have been to let him go prior to sending him to Europe. That seems to suggest that he is either unable or unwilling to believe that the Cowboys' decision to let him go had anything to do with how he performed in NFLE. Unfortunately for Chad, the Cowboys organization and many if not most of us fans just were not able to see in Hutchinson what you see. So how fast do you see Hutchison being signed by another team and starting in the NFL? Mickey: Real cute. Hey, it's not over until it's not over. Wonder if there were a bunch of I-told-you-so's around New Orleans when Jake Delhomme didn't even play his first year in NFLE? How will we ever know if Hutchinson might have done the same thing Carter did last year given the chance? Remember, Hutchinson never got a chance, getting almost no time with the first-team offense in preseason games. And I'll go to my grave believing Parcells thought he would have a better chance to win with Carter last year because he didn't think the offensive line would be very good, and that he would not has much change with a pocket passer such as Hutchinson. So let's not get too huffy over this thing, because if the Cowboys were convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt Carter is the answer at quarterback, what in the world are they wasting money on Drew Henson for and bringing in Vinny Testaverde? Yes, I do believe another team will sign Hutchinson . . . possibly even the Bears, where Wade Wilson is the quarterback coach. Steve O'Connor, Babylon, N.Y.: This question is something I've always wondered. If the Cowboys felt that surgery was a possibility for Darren Woodson, why did they wait until the end of July? He has had back problems for months now, and I'm sure he has been evaluated a number of times. Wouldn't it have been wiser to make this decision last month if it looked like a surgery was even a possibility so that Woody could be ready for the end of training camp? Mickey: Easy to be so mater-of-fact about cutting into someone's else's back. Hey, this ain't knee surgery. We're talking slicing into someone's back. You had better be sure, and the general course in these matters is to treat the back, rehab and issue injections to reduce the swelling in the problematic disk. Surgery is a last resort, and the medical team pushed this to the limit once they discovered the problem during the early summer. Plus, one of the last things you want to do is start operating on a 35-year-old back if you don't have to, you know. Brian Mandeville, Ch Ch, Barbados: If Roy Williams slides over to the strong side to replace Woodson and Keith Davis or Tony Dixon don't show much in training camp/preseason, Jason Sehorn is sitting there in free agency unwanted. If he is healthy again and at the right price, do you think he would be a good signing for depth at the free safety position? Mickey: There is a big if there: IF healthy. Sehorn's experienced health problems the past couple of years, and he's really lost whatever speed he once had. There might be younger and better choices come available throughout the summer. Joe Stables, East Windsor, N.J.: Please comment on the fact that Roy Williams seemed to be much more effective at strong safety. It is his natural spot, and I don't understand why he isn't moved there on a permanent basis. I know Woodson has lost a step and might not be as good in coverage, but it seems we caused more turnovers with Roy playing near the line at strong safety. With Darren Woodson's injury, shouldn't we begin to plan for the future with Roy at his natural position and trying to find another safety whose strength is coverage next to him? Mickey: The Cowboys have generally treated the safety positions as interchangeable, and with Woodson now out for at least eight weeks, chances are Williams will play the position the Cowboys can't fill. Meaning, if Tony Dixon can handle the strong safety position, then Williams plays free. If Dixon is better at free or Keith Davis is a better free safety than Dixon is a strong, then Williams can move to strong. They will have a lot of flexibility here. The last resort will be to bring in a veteran, and owner Jerry Jones says they club is not actively looking for a veteran free-agent safety at this point. But who knows what opportunities lie ahead. Neal Iyer, Rockville, Md.: Why not cut Tony Romo, an unproven Division 1-AA college player, instead of Chad Hutchinson? At least Hutchinson has some experience, and you never know what he'll become down the road. I just hope he doesn't become another Jimmy Smith or a Brad Johnson or a Kurt Warner. Mickey: So do the Cowboys. The Cowboys have obviously decided their quarterback to groom is Drew Henson, and that there is no sense having two guys (Henson and Hutchinson) who are basically in the same boat. Romo will be a serviceable camp guy who still is eligible to be stashed on the practice squad. It wouldn't be fair to Hutchinson to bring to camp, knowing he probably has no chance of still being here in the fall, either on the 53-man roster or the practice squad. Mike Morlan, Paso Robles, Calif.: OK, I am excited about the team this year. I plan on going to training camp since it's just an hour and a half away from me here in California. Here is the deal: I am worried about some holes the Cowboys still have. We got some good running backs finally and added Marcellus Wiley and Keyshawn Johnson, however, now with the injury to Woodson and only one real talent at corner with Newman, and the need to protect the quarterback, the Cowboys still need help in the offensive line and at cornerback. You think the Cowboys will sign a corner or have the ability to protect the quarterback this year? It is my opinion that Quincy can succeed and mature only if he has a healthy and good line up front. Mickey: That sure would help the maturation process. As for the offensive line, I don't know to tell you the truth. They begin training camp with a question mark at all four spots right of Flozell Adams. We'll see. As for cornerback, Pete Hunter and Jemeel Powell have the most realistic chance of winning the job. If not, then only then will the Cowboys shop for a veteran corner - or if an advantageous opportunity lands in their lap. (See Eddie George.) Rob Hall, Laurel, Md.: I hear all the talks about right tackle this, and right tackle that, and how we basically need help on the right side. My question is what ever happened to Torrin Tucker? He was said to be a Parcells' kind of offensive lineman, and he did a great job against Julius Peppers when Kurt Vollers had got hurt in the first Cowboys vs. Panthers game. I just want to know what about Tucker? Mickey: If strapped to a lie detector, the Cowboys would tell you they are hoping Tucker at least initially wins the starting right tackle job. They still think this kid has something, and he will certainly get the chance to prove himself in training camp. So we'll soon find out what's going to happen with Tucker, and if he is a player. But based on just one or two games from last year, you can't be sure. Especially since he played guard in college, and was an undrafted free agent. Kyle Wright, College Station, Texas: You've been out with the cheerleaders, you've been to the Rockies and now where have you been? No articles this week? Surely you have not run out of things to say! Mickey: You are right about that. Not me. OK, summer is over. I'm yours until Feb. 6. No more breaks. And hey, hey, I worked on that trip with Cheerleaders.