The Terrell Owens gamble notwithstanding, the Dallas Cowboys quietly are taking small steps to make big improvements next season. First, Dallas cured its chronic kicking cancer bysigning Mike Vanderjagt
. Despite being labeled an "idiot kicker" by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning for running his mouth, and being nicknamed "Vandershank" by Colts fans still stinging from his horrible crunch-time miss against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC playoffs, Vanderjagt is a drastic upgrade from Jose Cortez, Scott Suisham, etc. It's not a stretch to think the Cowboys would've won an additional three games—-against the Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks--last season with a kicker who could simply make 35-yard field goals.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
And now the Cowboys are at least investigating signing a veteran backup quarterback. Drew Bledsoe staying upright for all 16 games last year was a miracle. They shouldn't count on that again, especially with the release of their best offensive lineman, Larry Allen. Considering Bill Parcells' stubborn refusal to give even a couple of garbage-time snaps to inexperienced backups Tony Romo and Drew Henson, the Cowboys were a sprained knee away from total disaster. The Detroit Lions' Joey Harrington is hardly a savior, but he'd be a step in the right direction. Another one. --Richie Whitt