In the Cheap Seats
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Nov. 16, 2004 - After Monday night's embarrassment, Cowboys coach Dave Campo sure has a lot of work to do.

What's that? Are you sure Campo's not the coach around here any more? in the last month, the Cowboys have certainly looked like a Campo-coached team.

All right, given Bill Parcells' track record, it's unfair to lump him together with Campo. But, don't be mistaken - this is Parcells' mess.

Obviously, the Tuna doesn't play, but this unwieldy lump of personnel who wear stars on their helmets is his baby. Those are the players he wanted, and those are the players he's living with - and dying with.

Parcells has had two off-seasons and two drafts to bulk up this roster, but it's poorer this year than last. Under his leadership, the Cowboys have gotten older, slower and worse.

Let's look at some of the personnel moves:

In desperate need of a running back and with the top runner in the drafter, Stephen Jackson, available, the Cowboys trade down and take Julius Jones. Jackson has been very productive for the Rams, while Jones got in Parcells' doghouse early in training camp, was inactive, then got hurt.

Instead of Stephen Jackson we have Eddie George. Bad trade-off.

At cornerback, rather than resign Mario Edwards or sign free agents Bobby Taylor or Antoine Winfield, Parcells figures the team can get by with Pete Hunter, cast-off veterans and rookies. Bad assumption.

At defensive end, Jevon Kearse is available, but instead the Cowboys picked up Marcellus Wiley, whose name gets called only when commentators mention how few times his name gets called. Bad pick-up.

At wide receiver, Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson are both Parcells' players. They are both productive, but Glenn has a history of injury, and he's hurt again. To replace him, the Cowboys have ... somebody who wears a jersey. Bad back-ups.

Then, we come to quarterback. With more question marks at quarterback than any other position, the Cowboys didn't draft Byron Leftwich, who was available. Instead they signed Vinny Testaverde, who has lost more games than any QB in NFL history. Testaverde may not be the biggest problem, but he certainly isn't the answer to this team's needs.

Drew Henson may not be the answer, either, but until he gets an extended shot to play, no one will know. The Cowboys have been in three blowouts this year, and Henson should have seen action in all three.

What's it going to hurt? The Cowboys might lose? They lose with Testaverde. Henson might throw interceptions? Testaverde has 10. Henson might fumble? Remember the Pittsburgh game.

Sitting Henson on the bench is a bigger mistake than playing him. The Cowboys will have two high draft picks next year, and not knowing whether they should use one on a quarterback could be a huge blunder.

But, Parcells continues to stick with "his" players, even when they can't do the job.

Campo did the same thing.

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