Sources tell RanchReport.com that a potential trade that would send Darren Howard from the New Orleans Saints to the Dallas Cowboys is far from being dead in the water.
Here's what we know of this potential trade, as of Friday:
* The hold up in a potential trade continues to rest with what the New Orleans Saints would accept in return for Howard. The Cowboys and Howard are in the same ballpark in what it would take to sign him and restructure his contract to a long-term deal.
* The Saints want a first round pick in return, but the Cowboys don't want to part ways with either of their first round picks in this year's draft. As of Friday, the Cowboys are unwilling to part ways with their No. 20 overall selection.
* The Cowboys are willing to part ways with a second round pick in this year's draft, and possibly a defensive player, or future pick to get this deal done. The Saints wanted Dat Nguyen, but the Cowboys continue to insist that Nguyen is not on the table.
* Initial reports suggest that the Cowboys do not want to part ways with next year's first round pick as part of a potential trade. Owner Jerry Jones simply does not want to give up the Cowboys only first round pick in 2006.
* The key here now rests with the Cowboys and Vice president Stephen Jones, who has been in charge of negotiating with Howard's agent, Gary Wichard. The Saints want to get rid of Howard and his $7.8 million hit against the cap. Jones must now find a way to entice the Saints to doing just that.
* Sources say the Cowboys have not been in any hurry to get this deal done. Why? Maybe Jones hopes the Saints will lower their expectations of what to expect in return for a trade as each day goes by. Or maybe the organization has been busy dealing with stadium issues, and also the resigning of Emmitt Smith. Making the Saints wait on this deal may not be a bad idea.
* The Cowboys still appear to be the frontrunner to land Howard. The Seattle Seahawks, once believed to be a major challenger, just signed a defensive end earlier this week when former Rams lineman Bryce Fisher inked a deal.
* The timeframe for this deal remains unclear, but sources maintain that the deal is far from dead, and could go down at anytime under the right circumstances.
Stay tuned to RanchReport.com this weekend, as we receive more information, we'll post it here!
Howard Deal Not Dead
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