Rumor Mill Heats Up at Free Safety

OXNARD, Calif. - The rumor mill in Oxnard is working in full force as chatter heats up about a new acquisition at free safety.

Keyshawn Johnson doesn't just hear the whispers. He hears the screams.

"Yes, I read that stuff in the papers,'' said the Cowboys' high-profile 33-year-old receiver. "But it doesn't make me pull my hair out.''

Judging by those screams -- screaming headlines that insist that Johnson is well on the backside of his NFL career -- Keyshawn doesn't have any hair left. ... after all, he's ancient, right? Said Keyshawn: "Terrell Owens is old, Marvin Harrison is old, Eddie Kennison is old, Eric Moulds is old, Muhsin Muhammas is old. When those guys retire, I'll retire.''

His point is a good one: Nobody thinks of most of those other members of the Wide Recievers Draft Class of 1996 as old. ... except for some reason, Johnson is perceived that way. Oh, by the way: the Cowboys made their own contribution to the WR Draft Class of 1996. Or had you forgotten Northeast Louisiana's Stepfret Williams?

CHAMPIONSHIP CHATTER: It's really interesting to monitor the words of veterans such as Drew Bledsoe, Marco Rivera, Keyshawn Johnson and Aaron Glenn, all of thom in the first week of camp have talked openly about their goal to have the Cowboys win a championship this season.

They don't couch it by saying "contenders.'' They don't couch is by saying "before their careers are through.'' They talk championship, and they talk about for this team, now. Said Glenn: "That's what I'm here for. We want to win a championship this year.''

Is this the ideal attitude? Or putting the cart before the horse? We'll argue that the state of the NFL makes those kinds of dreams come true -- and if you don't believe in August, you'll never believe.

JUJO: Julius Jones went on record last week as saying he is targeting a 1,700-yard, 20-TD season. We now know that he's done the math to arrive at that yardage figure.

Said Jones: "If it's 150 yards here, 198 here, 130 there, those are the type of games that I expect. ... I definitely want to make a legacy here in Dallas and it starts right here in training camp."

Is Jones capable of 1,700 rushing yards? If he turns in weekly efforts like "150, 198 and 130,'' um, yeah.

MISCELLANY: Parcells said right tackle Torrin Tucker, battling Jacob Rogers for the right tackle job, has been guilty of just one mental error this week -- and that that is a far cry from the number he totaled in the past. ... We noticed the tall blonde kid working out as a receiver after the morning workout. It was, as you know by now, former Missouri quarterback Kirk Farmer. We're told there are no plans to sign Farmer. ... There is continuing gossip about a search for help at free safety. Media types have thrown out the names of Cleveland's Chris Crocker and Minnesota's Corey Chavous (a heckuva good guy with leadership abilities). But if we're fishing, we're going to cast our line once again toward old friend Brock Marion.

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