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Sean Payton, Drew Henson and the draft

Plenty of articles this morning on the departure of Sean Payton to the Saints. Be careful what you wish for, it may come true. There were definitely a number of fans (including me) who were not sad to see Payton go, but will his replacement be any better? You've got to have a replacement to start determining the answer to that question, and we don't have one yet. Lots of "sources" are reporting that Parcells will elevate WR coach Todd Haley to some type of passing game coordinator position.

I've spent some time dreaming of big names coming like Norv Turner or Al Saunders but the reality is it won't be that dramatic. From the Dallas Morning News we get this speculation:

... Parcells might select Chris Palmer. Palmer, the head coach when the Cleveland Browns returned to the NFL in 1999, was also the Houston Texans' offensive coordinator for three seasons. He and Parcells worked together in New England.

Nothing says excitement like Chris Palmer. Also included in the article is the possibility that line coach Tony Sparano might take over in some capacity. I think I'd rather have Tony Soprano instead. The offesnse might not play any better, but the ever-present danger of getting whacked would create a spirited competition at training camp.

The DFW Star-Telegram looks at the possibility of Payton taking some coaches with him. Money quote:

Payton's departure could likely have a domino effect on the Cowboys coaching staff. According to a source, he might take one or two coaches with him to New Orleans, including linebackers coach Gary Gibbs, whose contract with the Cowboys expired at the end of the season. Quarterbacks coach David Lee is also a possibility.

Yawn. Not exactly earth shaking news. Instead, let's concentrate on something that is truly relevant, like the draft. Draft projections in January are like my choices in girlfriends, always wrong and frequently hilarious.

Still, Mel Kiper took a break from the hair stylist to drop his list on us (subscription required). Here's how he describes the criteria:

Here's my first-round projection for the 2006 NFL draft. I put this list together by taking a look at the general area where each player should go, then placing the player on a team where he filled one of that particular team's top three needs.

So what's his Dallas Cowboys pick?

18. Dallas -- Jimmy Williams, DB, Virginia Tech

Hold the phone. Did I miss something? Since when did CB become on of our top three needs? Right tackle? OK. Linebacker? Sure. Free safety? I'm feeling ya. Receiver? Maybe. Cornerback? Not so much.

Jimmy Williams is a great player, and I'd be surprised to see him drop this low anyway, unless his durability becomes an issue. But fills one of our top three needs? That's just nuts. Especially with the pick he gives the Patriots.

21. New England -- Bobby Carpenter, LB, Ohio State

Now you're talking about filling needs. Mel Kiper, the man with the best job in sports, who is continually wrong.

Finally, what Henson's trip to Euro-Disney really means, from Jean-Jacques Taylor (subscription required).

Henson's performance in NFL Europe won't determine whether he can be the Cowboys' quarterback of the future, but it will go a long way toward determining whether he has a shot to play at any level.

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