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Meanwhile, in St. Louis...

Interim head coach Joe Vitt has ripped his defense's poor tackling. He has also given the business to his offensive line, who has failed to convert several key fourth and short situations lately. Vitt backed away from these criticisms yesterday and put the blame on himself.

These are typical sounds from a team that has lost four straight and six of its last seven. Don't take Sunday's game for granted, however. The Rams can still pass and if Anthony Henry's abdominal strain keeps him out again the undermanned Cowboys' secondary will be tested.

-- The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Drew Brees might play somewhere besides San Diego in 2006. Expect the New-Drew-to-Dallas speculation to swirl, but don't bank on it, unless Bill Parcells picks up and leaves.

Brees' 2005 has followed a similar path as Drew Bledsoe's; Brees had a 100 QB rating at mid-season but has slumped badly in the second half. Acquiring him would be expensive, in picks and money. San Diego could franchise him again and then flip him for the best package it could find. Be sure that the Chargers would have suitors.

And let's not discount money. Drew Bledsoe's contract averages just over $4 million a season, putting him in the middle of the QB salary pack. Brees garnered $8.1 million from San Diego this season. Whomever acquires Brees will likely pay him a salary roughly double what Bledsoe makes. If you love him, hate him or are Bledsoe agnostic, know that he's giving the Cowboys good value salary-wise. That means a lot to Jerry Jones.

-- It appears that Redskins' LB LaVar Arrington will also be on next year's free agent market. The Washington Times reports that his spring roster bonus will force Washington to cut him. Arrington reads like a spurned suitor, claiming he might retire if the Redskins set him free.

Not likely. Arrington is only 27. The Cowboys would take him for a test drive if he became free, but I set long odds on him going to Dallas. Weakside linebacker is Arrington's best position. That's precisely where Demarcus Ware is breaking in. Arrington would also command a huge salary. I think Dallas will look for a bookend to Ware, but will find him in the draft.

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