Wednesday's Tuna Talk

IRVING, TX - The Cowboys have made a couple of moves in the last 48 hours, including the addition of an offensive lineman and a wide receiver. Read about those transactions, and much much more as TheRanchReport.com comes to you live from Valley Ranch with another detailed report.

Making the Smart Choice
Bill Parcells said Wednesday that his decision to sign offensive tackle Ethan Brooks as a replacement for injured Flozell Adams had as much to do with Brooks' brain as it did with his brawn.

"He's a smart guy," Parcells said of Brooks. "He's played both sides (of the offensive line). He started against us last year (when Brooks was with the Baltimore Ravens) when Jonathan Ogden was hurt. I just hope he can come in and learn the system. That doesn't mean he'll be active this week -- I don't know that."

Veteran Torrin Tucker will start in Adams' place at left tackle. Who backs up Tucker, Parcells said, remains to be seen.

"Brooks, Shannon Snell and Ben Noll -- they're all going to get turns (in practice)," Parcells said. "I don't know who the backup (to new starter Torrin Tucker) will be."

Parcells said that the loss of Adams doesn't mean the team will make significant alterations to its blocking schemes.

"You can't just change all your protections," Parcells said. "If you don't have confidence they can block, you shouldn't have them in there."

Tucker, Parcells said, has showed immense improvement, even since the team's summer training camp, when his mental errors and lack of conditioning almost cost him his place on the Dallas roster.

"Torrin Tucker … coming into camp, I had a lot of questions about about him," Parcells said. "I think you (media) know that."

Parcells quickly squelched the idea that he had toyed with the idea of moving left guard Larry Allen to left tackle so that he could insert backup center Andre Gurode at left guard.

"Nooooooo," Parcells said. "Why would I do that? Why mess with four positions when I only have to mess with one?

"Torrin is a classic example of a kid who, when he came here, didn't have a clue," Parcells said. "Now he has an idea of what it takes to be successful -- I really do."

Tucker said that he also has more faith in himself than he did a year ago, or perhaps even as recently as this summer.

"I'm really excited to play again," he said. "I'm a better player from the standpoint that I have more experience than last year. I have a good idea how to maintain (conditioning) and get in good graces (with the Dallas coaching staff). I know how to stay in shape, not get overweight …

"I'm going to do what's asked of me, whatever puts me in the best position to be successful. I'm a big believer that what you put into something, you get out of it. I've learned how to do things like watch film. It's not that you can't do it, but you have to learn how to do it, to get the most out of that."

Tucker gets a big chance to show off just how much he's learned Sunday, when he lines up against Seattle defensive end Grant Wistrom.

"I haven't played against Grant (head-to-head)," Tucker said, "but I got to watch Flo (Adams) play against him last year. Grant's a great player. You can see he's quick, and you can see how much he hustles, so I'm going to have to try and do my best against him."

What Controversy?
Parcells looked shocked when asked if the impressive play of linebacker Scott Shanle -- who has been filling in for injured Dat Nguyen -- creates a potential problem when Nguyen returns to the lineup.

"I'm not in a tough position," he said. "I'm not in a tough position at all. I now have two guys who I know can do a good job, and that's a good position. I don't care who plays a prominent role, and these guys are going to have to subordinate their egos, because that's what good teams do. I'm going to play all of them -- if I think they can play, they're going to play."

Parcells admitted, of course, that he doesn't enjoy such confidence at all positions.

"I've got a tackle position where we're not very deep at all," he said. "It's kind of like a baby pool over there."

Just Give Me the Ball, circa 2005
Parcells was told that wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson had told members of the media that he was "a little bored" catching quick sideline passes.

"Tell him to get open more and we'll throw him something else," Parcells joked … we think.

Is Price Right This Week?
Parcells said that wide receiver Peerless Price, who was signed early this season but has been inactive in four of the team's six games, would play against the Seahawks. He likely will be the team's third wide receiver, replacing injured Patrick Crayton, and also might return punts.

"That's a possibility," Parcells said of the return option. "We'll see -- we're working him there. (Marion) Barber also could do it, or (Terence) Newman."

Quarterback Drew Bledsoe said that while the team definitely will miss Crayton, Price presents another element for the offense: pure speed.

"Patrick makes so many great catches," Bledsoe said. "Even on the play when he got hurt, he made a catch not many guys in this league are going to make.

"But I've played with Peerless before, and he'll do a good job for us. He gives us more downfield speed, and he'll catch the ball. With him and Terry (Glenn) out theredefenses will have to respect the deep ball more."

Transactions/Injuries
Signed offensive tackle Ethan Brooks
Placed offensive tackle Flozell Adams on injured reserve list
Signed wide receiver J.R. Tolver
Deleted safety Tony Bua from practice squad

Linebacker Dat Nguyen (pinched nerve): probable
Running back Julius Jones (ankle): questionable
Wide receiver Patrick Crayton (ankle): out
Tight end Dan Campbell (groin): questionable, but head coach Bill Parcells said he'll be upgraded Thursday to probable

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