News: USA Today Team Report

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by junk, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. junk

    junk I've got moxie

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    The NFL has awarded the Cowboys six roster exemptions for sending four players to NFL Europe this spring.
    Four Cowboys — quarterback Chad Hutchinson, guard Dave Volk, safety Keith Davis and kicker Jonathan Ruffin — played in the spring league.

    The team received one exemption for each player, plus bonus exemptions for Hutchinson and Volk because they play premium positions.

    The Cowboys have 89 players, and because of the exemptions, have to make only three cuts before training camp starts July 30 in Oxnard, Calif. The NFL roster limit for training camp is 80.

    The bonus exemptions have to be placed on players with no more than a year's experience, and Dallas chose cornerback Terence Newman and tight end Jason Witten. Since those two are unlikely to be released, the club can make roster moves with any player, including the NFL Europe players, without losing the extra roster spots.

    If the Cowboys cut any of the four players from NFL Europe, they will lose that roster exemption.

    Being virtually assured of the bonus exemptions paves the way for the Cowboys to make a final decision on Hutchinson, who seems to be the odd man out at a stacked quarterback position that also includes Quincy Carter, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Henson and Tony Romo. Coach Bill Parcells said he doesn't plan to take five quarterbacks to training camp.

    If the Cowboys trade Hutchinson, he will count $2.4 million against the 2004 salary cap. If they release him, he will count $900,000 in 2004 and $1.5 million in 2005.

    Hutchinson struggled in NFL Europe, throwing five touchdowns and four interceptions. He was sacked 25 times and fumbled in seven of eight games.


    —Veteran Dedric Ward, signed just two weeks ago to a one-year contract to provide some veteran depth at receiver in light of the Antonio Bryant controversy, broke his foot in practice and will be four to six weeks.

    Ward underwent surgery Friday to repair the broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot. Team physician Dr. Dan Cooper will perform the operation.

    —With Troy Hambrick gone and Erik Bickerstaff injured, the running back position is in a state of flux. Rookie top pick Julius Jones will be the starter. But his backup remains a question, which is important considering the Cowboys still plan to use a running back by committee approach. Bickerstaff was supposed to be the big back to counter the elusive Jones. But now that role might fall to first year player Reshard Lee, who showed glimpses in training camp last year before suffering a season ending knee injury. Lee is a solid 230 pounds. Aveion Cason, who was considered too little last year to be an every down back, has added muscle to his frame, bulking up to 215 pounds and hopes to be part of the mix. And then there is former fullback Richie Anderson, who served in a quasi-running back-fullback role this year. The Cowboys, however, plan to be cautious with Anderson, choosing to use him mainly as the third down back to preserve his aging body and in hopes of getting maximum production.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't think you can get wrapped up in peripheral issues. I really don't. This is a performance game and if you don't perform then I think you can lose your job because someone else is performing better. I don't buy that injury stuff. If someone is doing better than you were doing then why can't you lose your job to injury. Why can't you? That doesn't make sense to me." — Cowboys coach Bill Parcells.
  2. underdark

    underdark Member

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    IF Ju. Jones does have exceptional talent at RB, he is primed to have a tremendous career. He is getting a chance to be an outright starter as a rookie - FROM GAME ONE!. He has a so so QB as the starter now, and a run first vet QB behind him. We have a young line with great potential and a H. Coach who is very good with linemen. He also has a H. Coach who believes in running the football.

    b/c RB's have such short careers, this set up gives Ju. Jones the potential to have a truly memorable one compared to his peers. I know..he could also be cut by next t. camp, but a fan has to dream.....
  3. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    I'm banking that he has at least a decent career. 5,000-7,000 yards.
  4. Redball Express

    Redball Express All Aboard!!!

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    hey..a couple of things jump out at me about this article. The first is that the QB position, as far as the backups are concerned once you get past Vinnie T. is still wide open. While Parcells says he won't take 5 QB's toi camp under a normal situation..these roster exemptions allow a bunch of wiggle room for us at the position.

    I realize that The threesome of Q, Vinny and Henson seems set as our 1-2-3 injury in camp to any of them really shakes up the team. Having Romo and Hutch around seems like good insurance to easing the load. Parcells knows what Vinnie can do, so don't expect to see him much until the next to last or last pre-season game.

    And while I think it's the sexy thing to think that Henson is a lock as the #3 QB, I'm not so sure. It's been very quiet on him and his development out at the Ranch. If anything doesn't pan out..I could easily see Hutch, if he's healthy, step in as the #3 QB..despite some uncomfortableness many would have with that.

    If he can get healthy, Hutch could make this team through injury to another guy or just because he knows the system..even at #3 or 4 QB. I think that as much as we all want to see Henson be our next Marque QB, I see the experiences of Hutch trying to come back as very similar to what we can expect from Henson over the next year or two.

    So I'd have to say that the Coiwboys have used the system well here with the roster exemptions and possibly have a couple or three guys, Davis, Volk and Hutch coming back with better understanding of what is needed.

    The other thing about this article which jumped out at me and is something we all know about is the RB situation. I'm like the rest of you in hoping JJones is our answer..but if he gets dinged..we are right back to where we were this last year with not having anybody who can get it done on the ground. For all the confidence coming out of Parcells and crew about getting it done by committee, I suspect that Dallas will be looking to get somebody in the cutdowns this summer to backup JJones. Maybe even a trade of some type.

    While I see all this backup going on with the QB situation with 5 QB's, we are painfully short on runners. Something is not right here. Like they have done with bringing in Vinny to be a clear #2 guy, they have to bring in a #2 guy at RB with experience to stablize the running game.

    So well see..but I think this article sort of points out some inconsistancies with what is going on with the team at two important positions that were major problems down the stretch for us last year and how it changes for the better by the first game of the season will fortell our season.

  5. TheSkaven

    TheSkaven Last Man Standing Zone Supporter

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    This is often the case. The running back position is such that players can emerge straight from college and perform from day one. It's not like quarterback or wide receiver where the learning curves are steep.

    Some recent examples: Edgerrin James, LaDainian Tomlinson, Ricky Williams, Marshall Faulk, and Eddie George.

    Kevin Jones will start in Detroit from day one as well.
  6. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    Welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy it here. Please check your private messages.

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