Young QB a Must

The Cowboys must go in a different direction next season at quarterback. <BR>

The Cowboys are 5-8 and in the playoff race only mathematically. Still, Bill Parcells insists on starting 41-year-old Vinny Testaverde at quarterback in lieu of getting Drew Henson some experience.

Testaverde is 4-8 this season and has thrown 17 interceptions and 14 touchdowns.

"Right now, it would not be a good experience for a young quarterback," Parcells said of Sunday's opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles. "I don't want to argue the point, because that's my opinion."

Henson, who spent the previous three seasons in the New York Yankees organization after starting one season at the University of Michigan, is 10-for-18 for 78 yards with one touchdown and one interception this season. He subbed for Testaverde after Testaverde injured his shoulder against Baltimore on Nov. 21. Henson started four days later, against the Bears on Thanksgiving Day, before being replaced by Testaverde in the second half.

"He just hasn't had enough looks, really," Parcells said of Henson. "That's all. He hasn't played much here or before. How can I think he's ready to play? I'm not saying I wouldn't put him in a game. I think he's as ready as he could be under the circumstances."

Parcells said he has not decided who will be the No. 2 quarterback this week. It could be Tony Romo.

Testaverde is 41. Henson and Romo have exactly one start and 18 regular-season pass attempts between them.

"I have a lot of consternation," Parcells said of his quarterback position.

The Cowboys have been on this search since Troy Aikman was knocked out of the 2000 season by LaVar Arrington and retired following that season. Since the start of the 2000 season, they have started the second-most quarterbacks (nine) in the league, trailing only the Bears. (That's not counting Tony Banks, who began training camp in 2001 as the team's starter before being released in favor of Quincy Carter.)

Ryan Leaf, Chad Hutchinson, Randall Cunningham, Anthony Wright and Quincy Carter all started at least one game for the Cowboys in the last four seasons.

And the Cowboys may be starting over after this season.

"I certainly know that we're going to need a young quarterback here," Parcells said. "There's no doubt in my mind."

The Cowboys have two first-round picks in 2005 -- their own and that of the Buffalo Bills.

SERIES HISTORY: 91st meeting. The Cowboys lead the series 51-39, but Philadelphia has won eight of the last nine meetings.

CowboysHQ Top Stories