The Cowboys made official on Thursday what Bill Parcells announced Wednesday: that Drew Henson was no longer with the team. The club waived the third-year quarterback after it found no takers for a possible trade.
Because Parcells revealed that Henson would not be with the team in 2006, the Cowboys did not have leverage for a trade. The remaining six years of Henson's contract are guaranteed, which also made trading him difficult.
If a team claims Henson on waivers, it would have to pick up the contract. The Cowboys are on the hook for at least $2.6 million if Henson chooses to take his pay in a lump sum. He could earn more if he chooses to be paid yearly by the club through 2011 based on minimum base salary increases.
If a team traded for Henson, they would have to assume the contract of Henson. No one was going to do that. He will be signed once he clears waivers, but at a much more reasonable deal…
Think the Parcells’ Boys can’t draft? Rafeal Vela looks harder …
It we take the first four rounds into account, the rounds where contenders are built, Dallas has hit on an impressive 14 out of 18 selections in the Parcells/Lacewell/Ireland Era. By hits, I mean players that are starting or making contributions to the team. Let’s take Dallas’ selections round-by-round:
1st round — Terence Newman, Demarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Bobby Carpenter.
Four for four. The first three are starters. Carpenter won’t start against Jacksonville, but he’ll be getting significant reps sooner rather than later.
2nd round — Al Johnson, Julius Jones, Jacob Rogers, Kevin Burnett, Anthony Fasano
Four for five with this group. Jones and Fasano start. Johnson has started and could get a lot more starts this year, with Dallas playing sixteen games against 4-3s. Burnett missed much of last year with injury problems but will get on the field in situational packages. He has speed to burn and was part of Dallas’ 3rd down group last week.
3rd round — Jason Witten, Stephen Peterman, Drew Henson, Jason Hatcher
Two for four. Hatcher should get an incomplete, since he’s an unproven rookie. He will make the team and could get some third down reps at DE.
4th round — Bradie James, Bruce Thornton, Marion Barber, Chris Canty, Skyler Green
Four of five. Green, like Hatcher, should also get an I. He’s not the sure bet Hatcher is to make the team. Nevertheless, I’d be surprised if he didn’t make the final roster and contribute on special teams. Canty and James are mainstays of the defense. Barber’s role in the offense continues to grow.
If Dallas’ misses were not at the critical offensive line spots, these drafts would be getting more positive attention. They may in time, if the Cowboys have a successful season. As for the O-line, maybe somebody can send Bill to the buffet line when the Cowboys picks come up next April.
Meanwhile, we are upon pre-season game #3 tomorrow night. Here is the plan from San Francisco …
Like all NFL teams, the 49ers consider the third exhibition to be the most significant: It's when starters play the longest. Seeing the team play well is so important to Coach Mike Nolan that he is treating the schedule as if it were the regular season. That includes the practice and meeting times, as well as piping in simulated crowd noise through speakers placed along the sideline.
``The more we face those conditions and get used to them the better we will be,'' Nolan said.
Against the Cowboys, most of the starters, including quarterback Alex Smith, will play into the third quarter.
Smith said he would treat this game more like the real thing and would be less willing to experiment with risky throws. ``In practice, you try to push yourself. There are times you don't know what throws you can and can't make, so you might try to force something just to see,'' Smith said. ``But I've seen the tape where I throw the ball 20 yards downfield when I could have just checked down to the running back in the flat and picked up the same yardage.''
Former 49er Kevan Barlow calls Nolan “Hitler” …
Former 49ers running back Kevan Barlow lashed out at coach Mike Nolan and the direction of the franchise in a series of phone calls to the Times on Tuesday, two days after being dealt to the New York Jets for a 2007 fourth-round draft pick.
"Nolan just doesn't know what he's doing. He's a first-time head coach with too much
power," Barlow said via cell phone from New York. "He has too much power as a first-time head coach. He walks around with a chip on his shoulder, like he's a dictator, like he's Hitler. People are scared of him. If it ain't Nolan's way, it's the highway."
Two phone calls later, Barlow softened his stance and blamed some of his statements on the emotional whirlwind he endured the previous 48 hours.
"I was kind of harsh on him, saying he's a dictator. That's bad. Saddam Hussein is a dictator," Barlow said some three hours after his initial call. "I was speaking on emotion. ... My world's been (upended) in the past (48) hours."
RANGERS WIN! RANGERS WIN! RANGERS WIN! …
It's safe to assume Oakland wasn't awed by the Rangers' most recent series.
But there is a silver lining as the A's arrive to begin a three-game series tonight (7:35, KDFI/Ch. 27) in Arlington.
The Rangers avoided a sweep by Tampa Bay, winning 4-3 Thursday. And they did it in a rare way, with pitching.
A larger surprise was the pitcher responsible: Robinson Tejeda, who was acquired for David Dellucci in a trade that had seemed like a bust.
But Tejeda followed a masterful performance in Detroit with an effective outing Thursday, pitching a career-high 7 2/3 innings, giving up two runs.
Tejeda won two games on the road trip and had a 1.88 ERA. That from a pitcher who began the trip with a 9.78 ERA.
Meanwhile, in England, all of the chatter in the football world is about Ben Thatcher’s cheapshot that reminds those of us over here of Todd Bertuzzi’s big moment.
Mendes and his broken Jaw …
After spending a night recovering in a Manchester hospital, Pedro Mendes today described the forearm smash from Ben Thatcher that knocked him unconscious as "the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my career".
Pundits and fans have lined up to condemn Thatcher, who has written to the Portsmouth midfielder apologising for Wednesday's incident, but until now there had been no comment from Mendes, who was taken straight to the Manchester Royal Infirmary. He was released yesterday but will have to undergo further neurological supervision before he can play football again.
See the Video …
The Nextel Cup boys reach a critical moment …
Three races remain to determine the drivers who make the Chase for the Nextel Cup. The top 10 in the standings make it in the 10-race playoff. The contenders entering the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway:
1. Jimmie Johnson: But could fall to No. 2
2. Matt Kenseth: Clinched with his win at Michigan
3. Kevin Harvick: Runner-up at Bristol in March
NOT SAFE YET
4. Mark Martin: Three top-fives in the last five races
5. Tony Stewart: He was 11th four races ago
6. Jeff Gordon: Up six spots in six races
7. Kyle Busch: Worst finish of the year at Michigan
8. Denny Hamlin: Five top-10s in a row
9. Jeff Burton: Dropped five spots at Michigan
ON THE BUBBLE
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Needs Kahne in his rear-view mirror
STILL IN THE HUNT
A driver can make up a maximum of 156 points on another driver in one race. Only one driver is within that number of reaching 10th place:
11. Kasey Kahne: (-49): Has to beat guys in the not-safe-yet zone.
Good Napoleon Fellas