Changes Will be Made

Coach Bill Parcells walked into Dallas' somber post-game locker room following the 29-10 wildcard loss to the Panthers and told the Cowboys he had bigger dreams for 2004. "You can't settle for this," Parcells said.

He followed his proclamation with a promise.

"I promised them that I wouldn't rest and that I would be tireless in the pursuit of [becoming a better team] and that, when we got back, we'll respond better," Parcells said. "We'll improve the team by every vehicle at our disposal."

Areas Parcells will likely address were on display in the loss to Carolina:

* Running game. Running back Troy Hambrick gained only 29 yards Saturday. If the Cowboys hope to go further next season, a dynamic runner is needed. The Cowboys will shop in the draft and or free agency. Among veteran prospects are Corey Dillon, Garrison Hearst and possibly Curtis Martin.

* Quarterback. Quincy Carter probably presents Parcells' biggest offseason quandary. Does he stick with the quarterback who won him 10 games and got him to the playoffs? Or does he decide the 17-touchdown, 21-interception Carter has hit his ceiling? Carter probably has earned the right to stick around, but Parcells will almost certainly bring in a veteran backup. Mark Brunell and Vinny Testaverde are the best bets.

* Offensive line. While line coach George Warhop worked miracles with this group, problems persist and need to be addressed. Whether left guard Larry Allen, and his gigantic contract, is one such hole presents another hard decision for Parcells. The Cowboys certainly need upgrades at right tackle and right guard, where Ryan Young and Andre Gurode were huge disappointments.

* Pass rush. The Cowboys don't have a catalyst pass rusher on the defensive line. They need that to create more turnovers and interceptions. This is one huge area of need in the draft. Safety Darren Woodson said he is confident about next year because of what Parcells did this year, without his guys. He expects wholesale changes this offseason.

"I'm sure there is going to be a huge turnaround on this team as far as players and coaches are concerned," Woodson said. "He knows what to do to win games. He just doesn't have his guys just yet. In due time, it is going to happen. I just want to be around when it does."

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