Carter Still Facing Uphill Battle

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells believes Quincy Carter is a good quarterback. He believes he will lead the Cowboys into the playoffs with a victory against the Giants Sunday. However, Parcells will not be satisfied with that.

For him to be the Cowboys' long-term answer at the position, Carter needs to play sound and disciplined football all the time.

Until then he will get a lot of what he got in Sunday's victory against a Redskins, a chewing out by Parcells.

"You can't do that, " Parcells screamed repeatedly after a red-zone fumble that cost the Cowboys points.

"I understand," Carter said.

"No," Parcells screamed, "you don't understand."

A couple of seconds later, when a teammate tried to encourage Carter with "It's all right Q," Parcells became enraged again. "No," he screamed, "it's not all right."

Nothing seemed to soothe Parcells, not the victory, not the fact the Cowboys guaranteed their first winning season since 1998, not the reality they are one victory away from making the playoffs.

Parcells' dreams are bigger than nine wins or just getting into the tournament. Always have been. And he realizes to accomplish what he wants this Cowboys team to accomplish, Carter can't do that.

"I'm not mad at Quincy Carter. I'm mad at what Quincy Carter is doing," Parcells explained. "He's my quarterback. I'm supporting him but we got to get some of these things under control and I mean that. He is cognizant of it. He knows what it is.

"I'm not having to explain that to him but it's just ... It's like taking the biggest step that he has to take as a quarterback. It's the biggest step he has left to take, to reduce the impulse down to nothing. If he'll do that, he'll be a good NFL quarterback. And if he won't do that, then he won't."

"These things," to which Parcells refers, are Carter's impulsive decisions. He also called them "critical errors" and "game-affecting things" and "season-affecting things."

Whatever they are called, Carter had four of them in the red zone Sunday against the Redskins.

He called a wrong motion on Dallas' opening drive, which led to a busted play. He lost a fumble, which led to Parcells' sideline tirade. He had an exchange problem with center Matt Lehr, which cost them a down. And later, with Dallas driving to another touchdown, Carter executed an amazing play fake only to drop the ball.

"It's what he does after that that I didn't like. He picks it up and sees Jamar Martin and he slings it into that mud pile," Parcells said. "That's the play right there. When you win, you can hammer him with those things. When you lose and the sensitivity level is a little higher, I would probably not do it."

If Parcells isn't doing it, Carter is.

The reason Carter says he can stand there and take an earful of whatever Parcells is dishing out is because it isn't worse than anything Carter is saying to himself. He is mentally beating himself up the second he does something he knows he shouldn't have.

"I like the way he disciplines me but, at the same time, I'm so ... [mad] at myself he can't even imagine how upset I am about what mistakes I've just made," Carter said. "It's just something I'm going to have to get out of my game. Brett Favre had some problems with it early in his career. And that's something I've got to get in my mind, I can't make the Superman play every time."

Parcells just wants him to stop doing that period.

"I just reiterated to him, 'You absolutely have to stop this. This has to end. There has to be some kind of red light, red flag, something that goes on in your head that allows you to manage the game better than what you are doing here,'" Parcells said. "That's, overall, the thing that I have been probably most adamant about with him, his game management. You just can't throw indiscriminately under the idea of 'Well, I was just trying to make a play.'

"You can't do things that way because that is not the way a good quarterback is going to function very much."

Said Carter: "It's almost like a father-son relationship. You never want to disappoint your father, and I can feel [Parcells'] pain when I make mistakes because he coaches me well and tells me about impulse decisions and it's just something I've got to work on."

SERIES HISTORY: 83rd meeting. Dallas leads the series 49-31-2. The Giants have won six of the last eight meetings. But the Cowboys won the first meeting in 2003, 35-32 in OT on Sept. 15, 2003.

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