Hutchinson Guaranteed Nothing

Chad Hutchinson is not guaranteed to be the Cowboys backup quarterback. While coach Bill Parcells admitted that undrafted, rookie free agent Tony Romo probably does not have the experience to be the primary backup for quarterback Quincy Carter, Parcells was not ready to concede the job to Hutchinson.

"I don't know whether there will [be a primary backup] or not," Parcells said Tuesday. "When I dress them for Sunday, you'll know who it is."

Hutchinson and Romo are the same, in Parcells' mind, despite Hutchinson starting the final nine games for the Cowboys last season. They are both backups. If anything, Romo has a slight edge because in recent seasons he has played more football than Hutchinson, who took a four-year hiatus while playing baseball.

"Hutchinson is needing to practice and play and get in those practice situations and try to improve as he goes. That is the only thing he can do," Parcells said. "Both of them have the same job: Try to improve, get better, take a long-range picture, look down the road."

* Considering losing cornerback Derek Ross for the season had been a possibility, the Cowboys were pleased to learn on August 26 that he is expected to miss four weeks.

Ross elected to have surgery to remove the damaged cartilage in his left knee.

Surgery is scheduled for August 28. If Ross had chosen to have the cartilage repaired, he likely would have missed the entire season.

"Unless there are complications, he should be back in four weeks," Bill Parcells said. "He should be back for the third game."

* The Jaguars are shopping veteran quarterback Mark Brunell, but the Cowboys don't sound super interested in adding him.

"I think there has been some talk in the organization that Brunell might be available, but I haven't been involved in it and I haven't spoken to Jerry about it," Bill Parcells said. "And, quite frankly, right now, I don't think that would be part of it."

* The hard line on left guard Larry Allen appears to be softening.

While Bill Parcells had said Allen would not start until he demonstrated the ability to go the distance, Parcells said Tuesday that they would start Allen and play him as long as he could go.

How long that is is debatable. Parcells said Allen's conditioning is much improved and that he hasn't missed a rep or a sprint in the last week of practice, but Allen did not look great in Thursday's exhibition loss to the Steelers.

"I want to get him back in there. There isn't any doubt about it," Parcells said. "I want to get him back in there as a starter because I think he can do it. But he needs to start showing me he can."

Allen and the rest of the starters are expected to play well into the third quarter in Thursday's preseason finale against the Raiders.

* The Cowboys placed center Al Johnson on injured reserve and reached an injury settlement with running back Rashard Lee.

CowboysHQ Top Stories