By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Why? Because the season is over, like it or not, and Testaverde isn't the future around here, but Henson might be. Because if they go into next season without knowing what they have in Henson, they likely forfeit next year, too. Because if they don't play Henson now, and they have a high draft pick in next year's draft, and a quality quarterback is available, their decision will be that much harder, because they won't have all the information they need. But mainly, Parcells needs to switch things up, because what they're doing right now isn't working.
"Dallas is going to be home watching the playoffs with me," said Michael Irvin, who is now a broadcaster for ESPN but who has never hidden his love for his former team. "This team is not going to the playoffs. We haven't seen anything from this team that would make us sit here, as analysts, and analyze this team and think that they're going to the playoffs. It's just not gonna happen.
"The Cowboys need to make some hard decisions, and they need to make them now."
He's right, of course, but the truly biting part about those comments stems from the fact that he made them a few hours before the Monday-night beatdown was served up by Philly. That's how plain the situation has become: Even an unabashed homer like Irvin understands that the Cowboys have been done for a long time now and no amount of denial will change that. Even Irvin is willing to admit that this season is over, and decisions need to be made that will set them up for the future now that the present is an unmitigated disaster.
These next few weeks will tell the tale. Either Bill Parcells accepts the current situation or he doesn't. Either he plays Henson, as everyone who's thinking about this rationally is clamoring for him to do, or he doesn't. Either he abandons the delusions that have arrested him over these past few weeks, or clings to the hubris that has blinded him.
It is a critical time for both Parcells and the Cowboys. Surely the head coach can see that now, right?