Howard Trade Update; New Team Contacted

An extensive update on the Darren Howard trade. Are the Cowboys still in contention? What other team will Dallas have to contend with to get a deal done? Read on to find out!<BR>

According to several sources, a trade for New Orleans Saints defensive end Darren Howard is still possible, but momentum for a potential deal appears to be grinding to a halt.

The Cowboys continue to be interested, but the organization is unwilling to give up much more than a second round pick in this year's draft to get the deal done.

Sources say the Cowboys interest is "passive," but still alive.

New Orleans wants either a first round pick, either this year or next, or a second round pick, and some combination of additional picks or a defensive starter.

Interestingly enough, the Saints still appear to be content on moving the defensive end, as a new team could be in the mix to land the five-year veteran.

Sources tell that the Minnesota Vikings have also been contacted by the Saints about a potential deal for Howard.

Howard recently signed the qualifying tender offer that guarantees him a base salary of $7.8 million this year. But the Saints, who are already more than $5 million under the cap, want to clear additional room under the cap by unloading Howard's salary.

Calls to Howard's agent, Gary Wichard, were not immediately returned.

The Cowboys continue to be the favorite of a short list of teams that have the ammunition to get the deal done.

In addition, Howard also desires a new long-term contract with his new team, and Dallas is reportedly "very familiar" with what it would take to sign the defensive end to such a deal.

The Saints have publicly stated that they are willing to move Howard in a trade, however their expectations in such a deal have yet to be met.

Saints head coach Jim Haslett told the Associated Press on Friday, "Darren is a heck of a football player, and we would love to keep him on our team. But if we could get equal value for him or if there is somebody out there that we feel would give us equal value, then we will always look to make our team better."

Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones said earleir this week that Dallas remains interested in a potential deal, even if his actions indicate otherwise. "We remain interested. We just haven't been able to come to any agreement in compensation, which isn't uncommon," said Jones.

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