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News: SPAGS: Cowboys Like Mikey.....

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by Ken, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

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    Cowboys Like Mikey

    By MICKEY SPAGNOLA
    DallasCowboys.com Columnist
    April 29, 2004, 5:25 p.m. (CDT)

    IRVING, Texas - I swear, the Dallas Cowboys have turned into the "Mikey" of that long-ago Life cereal TV commercial when the skeptical kids slide the dish toward the infamous "Mikey," insisting he would like it.

    Same with the Cowboys and free agents. Let a guy come free or about to come free, and the Cowboys are always linked to "liking" the player.

    Name the guy. Kurt Warner. Duce Staley. Ty Law. Mike McKenzie. Tim Couch. Brian Griese. Corey Dillon. Somehow he gets linked to the Cowboys.

    The latest now is quarterback Kerry Collins, released by the New York Giants. He's been a starter for Carolina, New Orleans and the Giants. He's 31. And he enjoyed his best season working with Cowboys assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach Sean Payton while both were with the Giants in 2000, the year the Giants advanced all the way to the Super Bowl.

    A natural fit, right?

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, thought to be in the market for a veteran backup, didn't deflect any such talk, either, telling the New York Times, "I think, sure, you have to give that a look, because we have a lot of respect for him. He's beaten us more than we've beaten him, first when he was with Carolina, then with New Orleans and also with the Giants. No organization would have more respect for him than us.

    "We will keep our options open as all of the veteran quarterbacks become available with the idea that Quincy Carter is our starter, that Drew Henson needs time to adjust and we need a veteran in the mix there. And that's not to say Chad Hutchinson won't get his shot."

    But understand, what the Cowboys are looking for is a veteran backup, not a guy who still thinks he's capable of starting in the NFL. Vinny Testaverde would fit into that category. Not sure Collins or Warner do. They both think they are starting material, and while those jobs are drying up quickly around the league, would unlikely settle for a backup job for backup pay with the Cowboys before exhausting all possibilities.

    Listen to Collins. Does this sound like a man willing to back up Carter?

    "It may be hard for me to find a job as a starter now, but I believe I'm a starter," he told the New York Daily News after the Giants sent their 4½-year starter packing. "I believe I've got a lot of good years left."

    Sure the Cowboys should investigate this, but it would seem doubtful they would be willing to pay Collins the type of money to prick his interest knowing they intend to start Cater this year and have Drew Henson, and possibly Hutchinson, waiting in the wings.

    Oakland would seem to be a much better fit, since the Raiders are sitting there with an aging Rich Gannon, little-used Marques Tuiasosopo and Tee Martin. And maybe even Green Bay and Chicago, who might get into a bidding war for Couch. But hey, you never know what happens if a guy is sitting there without a job the first week in June.

    Not Over Until It's Over

    While the Cowboys continue to say eight-time Pro Bowl guard Larry Allen most likely will spend the season in Dallas this year, they continue to try to trade him. Now the one certainty seems he will not just be released.

    But trading him is another story. The Cowboys were in trade talks with Detroit for Allen during the draft, but evidently, Allen put a kibosh to the entire thing by not agreeing to a restructured contract with the Lions. His base this year is $3.5 million and escalates to $4.5 million next year. Can't imagine that rejection went over big with the head coaching guy.

    Now, because of cap ramifications, if the Cowboys are going to still trade Allen, there is no sense doing so until after June 1 since the draft choice can't be used until next year anyway. If the Cowboys would do that, then Allen would count $2 million against the cap this year and $6.2 million next year. If they decided to take the entire hit this year ($8.2 million) that would only be $2.7 million more than his current $5.5 million cap charge.

    Jones doesn't just want to give away Allen. But you get the sense from the Cowboys' draft, having selected guard Stephen Peterman in the third round, and Allen still being banned from these "voluntary" Ranch workouts, that Bill Parcells would just as soon hand him to The Salvation Army.

    The New Pool

    Without having to pay a first-round draft choice, the Dallas Cowboys rookie pool will be $2.895 million, ranking 26th among the 32 NFL teams. This rookie salary cap is the amount of money allowed for the total first-year salary cap charges of its rookie players.

    The Cowboys' biggest expenditure will be for second-round picks Julius Jones (43) and Jacob Rogers (52). Signing bonuses for second-round picks are not nearly as high as first-round picks. Cowboys 2003 second-round pick Al Johnson was paid a $1.82 million signing bonus as the 38th pick last year. Andre Gurode, the previous year, received a $1.749 million signing bonus as the 37th player taken in the draft. And Quincy Carter, as the 53rd pick, received a $1.55 million signing bonus.

    San Diego's rookie pool of $6.024 million will be tops in the league.

    The rookie pool is determined by the number of draft choices a team has and the positioning of those picks.

    What If?

    That was the game the Cowboys must have played in their scouting department the week leading up into the draft. What if? As in, what if someone wants our first-round pick? What if someone wants us to trade down about four spots? What if we get a deal for Larry Allen? What if both Kevin Jones and Steven Jackson are on the board? What if offensive tackle Shawn Andrews is on the board? What if none of those three players are on the board?

    That is part of the preparation, and one long-time participant in the NFL draft sent the Cowboys kudos for being prepared to make a very logical decision when the Bills came calling with next year's first-round pick for the right to grab the Cowboys' 22nd pick on Saturday.

    "You do that so you can get a consensus in your room," this NFL source said.

    Evidently the Cowboys did. From the sound of things, there was not a dissenting voice in the room when the Bills offered that first-round pick, giving the Cowboys two in the first round for 2005. "Now they can control the draft," the source said.

    Looking back over the years, here is an interesting one. In 1999 the Atlanta Falcons gave Baltimore their 2000 first-round pick for the Ravens' second-round pick. Now are you sitting? The Falcons used the pick to draft tight end Reggie Kelly.

    The Ravens used the Atlanta pick, which just happened to be the fifth pick in the 2000 draft, to select . . . .

    Jamal Lewis.

    The Cowboys should be so lucky.

    Revisionist History

    That Parcells found running back Curtis Martin in the third round of the 1995 draft has been pointed out repeatedly. In fact, after Saturday's draft, Parcells himself said, "The best running back I ever coached was a player we got in the third round."

    His reference is to Curtis Martin when he was in New England. And give Parcells credit. Here is the list of running backs who went off the board before the Patriots took Martin: Ki-Jana Carter, Tyrone Wheatley, Napoleon Kaufman, Rashaan Salaam, Ray Zellars, Sherman Williams (ouch), Terrell Fletcher and William Henderson.

    But Parcells was taking a bit of a chance. Martin played but one full game for Pittsburgh his senior year, suffering a badly sprained ankle in Game 2 that sidelined him the rest of the season. Martin had received an injury red-shirt to play a fifth season, but decided at the last moment to declare for the draft.

    While Martin rushed for 1,075 yards his junior year, all teams had to go on was the 251-yard performance against Texas in the 1994 season opener.

    Said one personnel director, "He would have been a first-round pick had he not gotten hurt." Martin was that good. Parcells was that gutsy. So it's not as if Martin was this diamond plucked out of the, uh, trash.

    Little Bit Of This And That

    Well, if the Cowboys want to give former punter Filip Filipovic another chance, he's available. The former Cowboys punter who first lost out to Micah Knorr and then was signed to finish out the 2002 season only to have the Cowboys sign veteran Toby Gowin in the off-season, was released this week by San Francisco . . . . Things are growing crowded at fullback. For starters, there is Richie Anderson, who could, though, get some snaps at tailback. Then there is Jamar Martin, a solid blocker, but rather limited on special teams. The Cowboys used a seventh-round draft choice to trade for Tampa Bay's third-year veteran fullback Darian Barnes, a crackerjack special teams player. And among the rookie free agents signed is Pittsburgh fullback Lousaka Polite, a four-year starter at Pittsburgh whose strong combine workout had some projecting him to be a mid- to late-round pick . . . . The word "soft" keeps coming up around Cowboys' second-round draft choice Jacob Rogers, yet in the same sentence it's pointed out how this guy played through injuries his final two years at USC. How soft can the guy be? . . . Finally, what is this country coming to? A student columnist at the University of Massachusetts wrote an unflattering piece about former NFL safety Pat Tillman, killed fighting in Afghanistan last week. Likened Tillman to a real-life "Rambo," writing, "It wasn't like he was defending the East Coast from an invasion of a foreign power." The University president struck back, calling the piece, "disgusting, arrogant and intellectually immature." Maybe so. But, hey, that's his opinion, and one of the things we fight for is to defend our free speech. There is no addendum saying free speech is cool as long as everyone agrees or it's not ignorant . . . . And to finish on an upbeat note, the NFL listed 10 recently-drafted players who have either graduated or will graduate this spring. Standing out is Ohio State quarterback Craig Krenzel, on his way to Chicago with a 3.6 GPA in molecular genetics. Salute!

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  2. JBRockBottom31

    JBRockBottom31 Member

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    NEw Orleans? Why don't I remember Collins in New Orleans?
  3. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

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    It was a short stay.

    He "whined" and complained and played like poop until they traded him.


    On a side note, notice that the Cowboys will probably not get Collins. Also notice that if they did, he would be a backup. Sounds like something we talked about in another thread. ......


    In addition, notice the Darrian Barnes comment about special teams and Jamar Martin. Who was it that broke that last saturday again?
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Happy Holidays Staff Member

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    That is an assumption I would not make one way or the other..
  5. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

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    Probably not. But just at least give me that it is going to be a job that is not given to Collins. That is all I wanted in the other thread. I am for bringing him in to compete, but to completely dismiss and diss Carter is insane.
  6. Sarge

    Sarge Happy Holidays Staff Member

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    I totally agree that the best man should get the nod.

    My point in the other thread was that I thought the best man was KC.

    Were KC to be a Cowboy - I would certainly want the best man to get the job, whoever that would be.

    I just personally think it would be KC.

    I agree with you actually, no starting job should be handed to ANYONE for any position.
  7. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

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    OK, as long as were on the same page.... :)

    I know there were others who were in the "dissing" category.
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Happy Holidays Staff Member

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    We're simply not on the same page with respect to who we think is better out of the two.

    Nothing wrong with that.

    Makes for good discussion.

    ;)
  9. guag

    guag Right Kind of Guy

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    The only reason I remember is because I think Collins actually played against us while he was with New Orleans, and I think I recall the announcers for that game referring to Collins as somewhat of a Cowboy-killer or something. Then again I could be wrong... maybe they said that during a Cowboys-Giants game.
  10. Double Trouble

    Double Trouble Well-Known Member

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    There's a difference in the KC story though. Jones said Dallas was interested; they instantly dismissed all the other guys mentioned. In the end, I figure Collins will be too expensive.
  11. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Salary Cap Analyst

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    Looks like Mickey still hasn't gotten the word that when a player is traded, everything accelerates into the current season, even if it occurs after June 1.

    Dale, a little help please?
  12. Little Jr

    Little Jr Well-Known Member

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    If Collins came to Dallas it would be a open competition and Collins would win hands down.
  13. wileedog

    wileedog Well-Known Member

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    While I think a lot of people think Collins will win the job, I don't think anyone is advocating just handing the job to Kerry over Carter.

    Heck, nothing would make me happier if we brought in Collins and Carter showed real improvement in camp and clearly outplayed him. It would be great for Carter, whose gone through so much crap, and most of all good for the Cowboys, who will have a better starter and if nothing else a competent, experienced QB on the bench one way or the other.

    But just as Collins shouldn't get the starting job here without competition, neither should it be defaulted to Carter. He's the incumbent, for sure, but if someone like Collins comes in and outplays him then excuse time is over.

    I'm no Carter fan, but competition makes everyone better. If Carter can improve where he needs to, there certainly *are* good things he brings to the table. But he has to earn his spot on the field just like everybody else.
  14. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Salary Cap Analyst

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    The exact figure is $2,895,414. That means signing all of our draft choices and UDFAs will cost us no more than $755,414 of cap room.

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