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Local writer done good

Clarence E. Hill Jr. over at the DFW Star-Telegram does a nice job on his latest article. He lays out the next 10 questions the Cowboys must answer now that Parcells is back. Here are a few choice excerpts:

Any talk of off-season upgrades needs to start on the offensive line -- namely, right tackle. Rob Petitti might improve, but the Cowboys can't take the chance that he doesn't. They need to get an alternative via free agency. Think L.J. Shelton or Jeff Backus.

Love it. We can't rely on the draft to solve the line problems. We need experienced players who are ready on day one. Besides a right tackle, Dallas needs an experienced guard to back up Rivera and Allen and may need to think about help at center. Andre Gurode has nice versatility, but we should at least explore better options.

Bill Parcells built a roster full of team players and hard workers. The Cowboys don't need [Terrell] Owens in the locker room. Parcells is too old to put up with it. Besides the locker room is not big enough for Owens and Keyshawn Johnson. It's something quarterback Drew Bledsoe doesn't need either.

The subject that will only grow over the off season unless Parcells decides to stop it. I'm on record, just say no to T.O. Yeah, I'd like to see us upgrade the receiver spot. But no matter how much talent Owens has, it's not worth the risk of blowing up a team Parcells has carefully crafted.

[On players that may be released] The same could go for guard Larry Allen. Never mind his 10th trip to the Pro Bowl, Allen is not worth a $7.5 million cap figure, including a $2 million roster bonus due in March.

That was a slap in the face, a $7.5 million cap figure? Clarence Hill is right; Allen is not worth that much money. He's no longer the Larry Allen of five years ago when he was the most dominant guard in the league. On the other hand, I don't think we can release him. With Rivera's shaky play, no real depth, and the need to fix the right tackle spot, we can't create more uncertainty on the line.

The Cowboys have about $10 million in cap room in 2006. How the Cowboys use it will be determined by whether the NFL and the NFL Players Association can agree on a new collective bargaining agreement. The current one ends after the 2007 season. Teams will be leery about doling out big bonuses to free agents without a new deal.

Labor issues are a nightmare. Without an agreement free agency could be a risky process for teams. At least Dallas has cap room to make some moves, because we need it.

[Kevin Burnett] started to come on and was going to move to inside linebacker before suffering a season-ending knee injury. A strong rehab program could land Burnett as Dat Nguyen's replacement in the starting lineup next to Bradie James in 2006.

If Burnett could move inside next to James and be effective, that would be a huge lift for Dallas. The linebacker corps was a problem last year and the departure of Dat Nguyen and Al Singleton leaves us with quite a few holes. We also need to re-sign Scott Fujita for depth purposes.  

Read the whole article, here.

Click below for more.

The Redskins won their playoff game even though they managed just 120 yards on offense. You got to give it up for their defense which scored and practically scored their two touchdowns. Safety Sean Taylor scored a TD like last week, but then reverted back to previous form when he got ejected for spitting in Michael Pittman's face. Pathetic, just like Marcus Vick last week, this kind of behavior is reprehensible.  

More bad news for the Skins, DE Renaldo Wynn broke his arm and is out for the playoffs

Meanwhile, in the AFC, the defending champ Patriots just keep on keeping on. They man-handled Jacksonville like a Pop Warner team. I'm sure Tom over at Pats Pulpit is celebrating.

It seems Dom Capers is a hot commodity. Came across this morsel in a Miami newspaper.

[Nick] Saban has contacted former Houston Texans head coach Dom Capers about a position on his staff, a source said Friday.

Although fired by the Texans on Monday following a 2-14 season, Capers is considered one of the NFL's top defensive coaches. Capers has already received feelers from five other teams about defensive coordinator positions, the source said.

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