How Much Power Does Parcells Have?

Several news and notes for Monday, July 19th before things get heated up for training camp next week.

* Consider that defensive tackle Leo Carson, who was sentenced 30 days in an Alabama jail last month after pleading guilty to trespassing and unlawful imprisonment, is back working out at the Cowboys' Valley Ranch headquarters after spending just eight days behind bars.

In acting on a request from Parcells, Carson's agent Johnny Brutkiewicz lobbied the Circuit Judge Joseph Johnston of Mobile, Ala., to allow his client to return to Dallas so he could continue rehabbing from offseason knee surgery in preparation for the start of training camp, set for July 31 in Oxnard, Calif.

"Coach Parcells wrote me a letter saying he needed to be rehabbing his knee," Brutkiewicz said. "I made the request and the district attorney was not opposed to it."

Brutkiewicz said the judge never stipulated that Carson do all of his time at one time and suggested that he could possibly finish his jail stint following the season.

Brutkiewicz, however, said if Carson stayed out of trouble there was a chance he might not have to go back to jail at all.

Carson, 27, who is expected to compete for a starting role opposite LaRoi Glover in 2004, still could face more discipline from the NFL. His case falls under the league's personal conduct policy, and Carson could be subject to a four-game suspension by the league.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora said the case is still under review. Carson had faced charges of kidnapping and burglary involving a break-in at the home of his ex-girlfriend's sister before pleading guilty to the lesser charges.

* Bill Parcells, who had two former players serving as fellowship coaches in training camp last year, will do the same in 2004. Former Patriots All-Pro tight end Ben Coates and former cornerback Maurice Hurst will serve as part-time assistant coaches. Steven Smith, line coach for the AFL's Detroit Fury, will also serve as a minority fellowship coach in training camp. Last year, former Giants and Patriots running back Dave Meggett helping out on punt returns. Former Giants and Patriots defensive back Adrian Wilson also helped out last year.

* The NFL has moved the kickoff time for the Nov. 25 Thanksgiving Day Game against the Chicago Bears to 3:30 p.m. (CDT) at Texas Stadium. The game originally was set for 3:15 p.m.

* Quote to Note: "You can call it whatever you want. I am sure you will. I call it the same thing I always call it. I told you at the end the year what I try to do: try to improve the team at every position. I don't know what opportunities are going to come along. So when they come along and its advantageous to exercise some of those options you do it in hopes of improving your team. I try to do that at every position. People can make it what they want to make it. I try to put good players on my team and see if we can improve it." -- Cowboys coach Bill Parcells on whether the presence of Vinny Testaverde means the Cowboys have a quarterback controversy.

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