Thursday News, Notes, & Rumblings

Quarterbacks Anthony Wright and Ryan Leaf are likely headed out the door in Dallas, the only question is where will they end up? News on those two and more are contained in this report for Thursday.

* Apparently the Cowboys are trying to deal both Anthony Wright and Ryan Leaf, as opposed to simply letting them go. With Quincy Carter and Chad Hutchinson firmly in place as the top two quarterbacks on the roster, Jerry Jones is looking to wheel and deal once again.

"Because of the numbers that we have at quarterback, we have fielded calls from other teams as to any interest we might have in making a move," Jones told the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday.

Each player will likely only be able to draw in a conditional late round draft pick. Leaf, the 2nd overall pick in the 1998 draft, might even be hard to dump off for that given his current track record.

In my estimation, the sooner Ryan Leaf leaves the Dallas Cowboys, the better. His mere presence at Valley Ranch seems to command unwanted attention, and its just a matter of time before he starts making some noise.

Clint Stoener will likely stay on board as the team's third string quarterback, and we still are projecting undrafted free agent Woody Dantzler to eventually get into the mix somehow.

* TE James Whalen, who added thirty pounds this offseason to help improve his drive blocking, has been gaining some noteriety around Valley Ranch after mini-camp last week. He's been hovering around the 260 lb. mark and Dave Campo has been impressed with his ability to take on some of the bigger linemen in practice.

For those of you that haven't seen Whalen in action, he was one of the all time leading tight ends in the history of the Southeastern Conference at Kentucky. The kid has as much ability catching the football as anybody on the Cowboys' roster, but as a tight end in the NFL, he must learn how to battle in the trenches with the big boys. He'll need to continue to show improvement if he's going to make the 53-man roster, but don't be surprised if he does.

* Also, don't bet on Antonio Bryant just waltzing into training camp and winning over the #3 receiver spot right away. Wide Receiver isn't the easiest position to come in and play in the NFL, and a whole host of returning guys will have their shot, including Reggie Swinton and Ken-Yon Rambo.

Rambo was reportedly very impressive last week during mini-camp, and former Ohio State star is making a push for some serious playing time. As we first reported, Bryant started out last week's mini-camp on the slow side- attributing most of that to nerves.

* Cornerback continues to be one of the more talked about positions at Valley Ranch. The Bryant Westbrook acquisition is starting to look like one of the best "bang for your buck" deals made in the offseason. Westbrook has added some much needed confidence to a secondary that was lacking playmakers last season, and his big time recovery from an Achilles injury in 2000 will go a long way in the Cowboys' success in 2002.

Look for Mario Edwards and Westbrook to be your starting cornerbacks next season, with Pat Dennis, Derek Ross, Duane Goodrich also in the mix. (I'm still not sold on Pete Hunter.) Goodrich has even indicated that he could make the switch to safety if the Cowboys need him there.

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