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Cowboys need QB they can rely on

By Randy Galloway

Star-Telegram Staff Writer


Hello. It's one week into the Cowboys' off-season. And a mere 33 weeks until the 2004 opener.


Let's not waste time. There's much work to do. The questions, particularly offensively, are many.


Where to start?


Oh, why not, say ... quarterback?


OK, you're not surprised.


Actually, offensive line might be the highest off-season priority, although that area has been pretty much overlooked as fans and media rush to judgment on running back and quarterback. Within the Valley Ranch bunker, however, that's not the case. Offensive line is the legitimate worry it should be.


But back to quarterback.


Based on personal e-mail, pro and con, there seems to be an opinion that this is the headquarters of the Q's-Gotta-Go movement.


Not true.


This is the headquarters of the More-Is-Needed-Than-That movement.


But where does the "More" come from?


Can Quincy himself provide it if he's given more help? Won't this be the toughest call Bill Parcells has to make in the off-season?


Then again, what exactly are the alternatives in seeking options beyond Quincy?


The three most prominent veteran quarterbacking names who can or might be available all have holes in their r?sum?s.


Mark Brunell will be leaving Jacksonville, but reportedly he's the No. 1 candidate on Miami's list. If true, it would drive up the price. The higher the price, the less interested the Cowboys would be.


Drew Bledsoe will not be leaving Buffalo, at least according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.


And Kurt Warner? Damaged physical goods, they say.


Parcells, in last week's going-into-hibernation-for-a-while speech to the media, mentioned the obvious.


He is looking for off-season upgrades most everywhere, including quarterback. If "Dan Fouts" comes along, Parcells jokingly told us, then he wants Dan Fouts. OK, I understand.


Except why did Parcells also give this generic opinion on the position:


"... the more you can be less reliant on your quarterback, the better team you can have."


If Dan Fouts does suddenly surface at Valley Ranch, would Bill still be telling us he would be "less reliant" on his quarterback?


I sense a contradiction.


Parcells was defining Quincy, not a proven NFL quarterback.


Where is Troy Aikman when you really need him?


And I don't mean in Philadelphia today, calling the Eagles-Packers game for Fox.


"Here's the way I look at quarterback," Aikman said Friday. "You had better have one who can make big plays and not make many mistakes. I am certainly not a believer, like some coaches today, that you win consistently, and win in the playoffs, by playing defense and running the ball. To me, you have to throw the ball to build a lead, and then run the ball to keep the lead."


Aikman, however, understands the offensive philosophy Parcells used most of this season.


"Bill was learning about Quincy as he went along," he said. "I can't argue with that. For this season, he felt there were limitations. But, if the overall philosophy is to run it and play good defense while minimizing the exposure of the quarterback, then I don't think a team has much chance of getting better.


"People like to bring up Trent Dilfer when the Ravens won the Super Bowl. That is one situation. But look at it overall. And look at the quarterbacks on the eight teams for this weekend. Seven of them have an offense built around the play of the quarterback, and with the other, Jake Delhomme, Carolina is not hesitant to turn him loose, as the Cowboys discovered."


And as the Rams certainly learned in Saturday's shocking upset.


Aikman hears talk about today's NFL teams, with the league watered down, being less reliant on the quarterback, and he does what you'd expect him to do -- he balks.


"Every forum I have, I use it to disagree strongly with that," he said. "The objective is still the same as when I played: score points. And when the Cowboys, for instance, were scoring points in the first half of the season, they did it with big plays in the passing game.


"Once people shut that down, then you are dependent on a running game, and also on your quarterback to make plays in other ways. That didn't happen. As Bill is now saying, he has to figure out how his offense can make more plays next season. To me, that starts with quarterback."


Which brings us back to the "more" factor. More is needed at quarterback, running back, receiver, and certainly offensive line.


Thirty-three weeks to go, and counting.



on the Boys side i find it odd that everyone bails on Q even though he led this team to the playoffs with a horrible running game and a rotating right side of the O line.


on the Miami side its kindof strange for them to keep going after old QBs that nobody else wants...

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one name i have heard that could be brought in is billy volek.



sorta in the same mold as jake.



this team has many needs, the right side of the line, a real running back, maybe a possession reciever, a pass rusher and perhaps a corner.


i think a running back and shoring up the line are priorities 1 and 1a. a pass rusher being 2.





ps Quincy was a 2nd round choice.

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as a die hard phinz fan......


going after Mark wouldnt be such a bad idea if we were living back in 1998???


but this is 2004..... and he is aboutn 34-35 years old...... im not sayin he aint got gas in the tank.....


i mean look at Rich Gannon.....


?... not so bad having an old QB i say we use Mark or Kurt for 2-3 years and groom Philip Rivers or the kid from Tulane and we are set for the future!!!!!


im readdy BABBBBBBBY!!!!!!!


this off season we need to spend $$$$$$ on a O line... even if that means cuting one of our High Priced Defense playaz.......


i could just see it now......


Mark Burnell Passing Hail Mary's to Chambers and Keyshawn.......


Ricky running behind Orlando Pace, a Healthy Mark Dixon and a stronger Wade Smith.......


can you SUPERBOWL?


as 4 Billy whateva..... da back up to McNair not a bad idea

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