Dantzler Needs Another Switch

As Woodrow Dantzler danced his way down the sidelines on a kickoff return during Wednesday morning's practice session in San Antonio, you just got the feeling that he deserves one more chance at a more natural position. Coach, are you listening?

For obvious reasons, former Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler has quickly become a fan favorite. Not only was he told coming out of college that he'd never make in the NFL, he has also gone through multiple position changes during his first two seasons in the league.

Quarterback, running back, kick returner, and now safety- you name it, and Woody has most likely tinkered with the idea of playing it.

Nothing has come easy for Dantzler during his NFL career, but he's already made significant headway with the new coaching staff in a number of ways.

For starters, he's made a mark on head coach Bill Parcells.

The old coach has publicly praised the former quarterback's work ethic on multiple occasions this offseason and during training camp. And don't forget, he's also showcased his talents in the national spotlight by scoring on one of the most electrifying plays of the 2002 season in an 84-yard kickoff return.

Nonetheless, now comes the tough part.

After dashing in front of a Quincy Carter pass last week for his first career interception, little has been said of Dantzler's ability in the defensive backfield throughout the rest of training camp.

After all, Dantzler hasn't even sniffed the defensive side of the ball since his days at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School in rural South Carolina.

So why have the Cowboys decided to give him a shot on defense? Most people will simply tell you that will give Dantzler the best shot at making the team in 2003.

It's too bad that most people are dead wrong. That fact is that Bill Parcells made a bad decision in moving Dantzler to defense.

Sure, I trust the old coach's decision making more than my own, but in this case, I have to respectfully disagree. Dantzler, who always personifies the role as a "team player," will do whatever it takes to make this team.

"I'm here to help the team," Woody said in a recent interview. "If that means I'm returning kicks and playing defense, then I'm fine with that. I'll do whatever I have to do to help the Dallas Cowboys win football games."

The thing is, you don't have to be an NFL expert to know that this kid is a born playmaker. He may not be blessed with Deion Sanders speed, or Barry Sanders moves, but whatever he has works.

Call it elusiveness, call it natural instincts, call it whatever you want. The fact is the kid can play, even at 5-11, 200 pounds. There just has to be role for Woodrow Dantzler on offense.

We all know he can get the job done on special teams, but now it's time unleash one of the most underrated players on the team with the ball in his hands.

There's no doubt in my mind that he could become some sort of weapon as a scat-back. If anything, use him as a decoy and make the defense worry about him every time he steps onto the field.

Why not? He's got the bulk to handle some pounding and he's got the offensive skills to become a productive player in the National Football League.

Unfortunately, the Cowboys are still giving him a look on defense, and that looks like it will be the case for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps that fits into a long term plan of developing Woody Dantzler into gunner on the punt team or a utility special teams player like Brian Mitchell.

Whatever the case may be, the Cowboys will never realize the full potential of this athlete until he gets back into the game on offense. Coach Parcells, are you out there?

Roll the dice, give him one more chance, and lets see what happens. He deserves it.

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