From what we've been told, the only areas of the team that Bill Parcells feels good about heading into offseason are: the secondary, the wide receivers, and several other "role players" on defense.
In other words, as the Dallas Cowboys prepare free agency and the NFL Draft, hardly a soul on the team is safe.
And it all starts at quarterback.
2003 was somewhat of a breakout year for Quincy Carter. The former Georgia star completed 292-of-505 passes (57%) for 3302 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions. For the most part, Carter did all that was asked of him in leading the Cowboys back to the playoffs for the first time in nearly 5 seasons.
But now comes the difficult part for Jerry Jones and the rest of the Dallas Cowboys' organization.
You see, Carter is best viewed as a "game manager." He's not a guy that electries you, or inspires you with his god given talent.
And therein lies the problem.
There is a growing feeling in Valley Ranch that Quincy Carter may not be the starting quarterback in 2004. There are lingering concerns about his accuracy and also about his decision-making under pressure.
Of course, that really shouldn't be that big of a surprise as most of those concerns have been well publicized by the media throughout the course of Quincy's career.
Here comes the surprise.
|Miami DT Vince Wilfork has a world of potential in the eyes of Bill Parcells. (AP)|
In fact, some of the early suggestions that the Cowboys will look to the draft to solve their quarterback problems are grossly inaccurate. The fact is, as of right now, the Cowboys aren't interested at all in bringing in a young gun via the draft.
"Parcells has no intentions of bringing in a young quarterback and having to develop him over the course of several years," a source told SilverStarDigest late Wednesday evening.
Carter appears to be locked and loaded to retain the starting position in 2004. The only way that could change would be for another team to offer up a veteran quarterback for nearly nothing, and we don't anticipate that to occur at the present time.
Quincy appears to be safe for the time being, but a big part of the "keep Quincy Carter the starter scenario" relies on the fact that the Cowboys will be able to acquire a big time running back via free agency or the NFL Draft.
"The running game is a priority for this team," added the source. "And that's what's being looked at the hardest right now. Parcells has to find a running back with breakaway speed, and then he's got to add one or two guys up front to block for him."
As first reported by SilverStarDigest late last fall, San Francisco's Kevan Barlow and Cincinnati's Rudi Johnson were two backs that were highly thought of by Bill Parcells towards the end of training camp last season.
However, with the late season emergence of Johnson, he may no longer be in the picture. Corey Dillon, who was replaced by Johnson in Cincy, is in the picture and will be given consideration by the Cowboys in the very near future.
While we've been told the Cowboys will also scour the college ranks to find a potential replacement for Troy Hambrick, we have not yet received reliable information on which players are coveted the most by the organization.
We have been told of some other early names that have intrigued Parcells. Some of those names being tossed around in Valley Ranch are Miami defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, and Georgia Tech offensive tackle Nat Dorsey.
We have several stories that we are currently working on regarding the Cowboys and free agency, and the Cowboys and the 2004 draft. Several of those stories revolve around the postseason collegiate all-star games. In fact, make sure you check back with us in the coming days for extensive coverage of the Senior Bowl, as our writers will be in attendance, speaking with representatives from around the NFL, including the Dallas Cowboys!