Parcells: QB Henson won't be with Cowboys in '06
IRVING, Texas -- Drew Henson won't be on the Dallas Cowboys roster this season, and the team is apparently trying to trade the former third baseman who was considered the quarterback of the future when he signed three years ago.
"I just didn't see enough," coach Bill Parcells said Wednesday.
Parcells said Henson hadn't been waived, but the coach wouldn't elaborate when asked if the Cowboys were trying to trade the quarterback who started only one game for Dallas.
"I'm really not at liberty to discuss the situation because I'm not privy to that information," Parcells said. "He's not going to be on our roster. That's all you need to know."
Henson's locker had already been cleaned out when reporters were allowed into the locker room before practice Wednesday. For now, rookie free agent Matt Baker is the No. 3 quarterback behind Drew Bledsoe and Tony Romo.
The only reason Drew Henson wasn't cut Wednesday was because the Cowboys wanted to check out his trade value. Considering his base salaries are guaranteed, don't expect any team to make a trade. That means he could be released as early as Thursday.
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Parcells also reiterated that Bledsoe is the starting quarterback and that he is just trying to get a true evaluation of Romo, who has never thrown a pass in a regular season game, with extended play during the preseason.
Romo took every snap in the preseason opener, then played in the second half Monday night against New Orleans after Bledsoe was 12-of-16 passing for 156 yards and two touchdowns before halftime in his first preseason action. Romo is 25-of-33 for 373 yards with two TDs.
"I think if the day ever comes when I am going to be committed to Romo, the first person I would let know would be Bledsoe. I am going to owe him that," said Parcells, who drafted Bledsoe with the first overall pick with New England in 1993. "We're not at that day right now.
"But I am happy with Romo's progress. I'm sure most of you can see why I was hoping this would kind of go, so we would have some hope for the future."
Henson had spent three seasons playing baseball in the New York Yankees' organization when the Cowboys acquired him from the Houston Texans in March 2003. The Texans, already with David Carr at quarterback, had the rights to Henson after drafting him in 2002.
The Cowboys gave Henson an eight-year deal with a guaranteed $3.5 million -- the most ever for a sixth-round pick -- and sent a third-round draft pick to the Texans. The final four years of Henson's contract were voidable.
About $3 million of Henson's contract will count against the Cowboys' salary cap this year.
"I don't keep players that I don't think can play for us," Parcells said. "We tried very diligently with this guy. I really don't want to comment. This is a little bit of a limbo situation. There are a couple of moving parts."
Baker has taken most of the snaps with the third-team offense since being added to the Cowboys roster Aug. 7.
Henson's only start for the Cowboys came on Thanksgiving Day 2004 for an injured Vinny Testaverde, who then replaced Henson at halftime. Henson was the Cowboys' third quarterback all last season.
While calling Henson's performance during camp "average," Parcells insisted that the quarterback's roster spot wasn't in danger. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones still considered Henson "an excellent prospect," but admitted last week that he thought the quarterback would be further along in his development.
"It's accurate to say that I had higher expectations," Jones said then. "It wouldn't surprise me if we didn't wake up here and he was starting for a team in the NFL. ... Not right now, but in the future."
In Henson's first Dallas camp two years ago, he was shaking off the rust after being out of football since starting for Michigan as a junior in the 2001 Rose Bowl. Last year, he was competing with Romo for the No. 2 job. Now, he appears headed to another team.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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