The question was asked in this diary by markdamack – What happens to Anthony Henry if/when we sign Pacman Jones? In my evaluation, there are two scenarios and they both lead to the same place.
The first path would be Pacman immediately becomes the second starter at CB opposite Terence Newman and Henry is relegated to 3rd corner status. We probably still slide Newman into the slot when we bring in the nickel corner. It all depends on how sharp Pacman is coming into training camp. He claims he’s been working out but he will still have to show the Cowboys in camp that the year-plus layoff hasn’t negatively affected his timing, his instincts and his feel for the ball. If he comes into camp and the preseason games with anything close to his old abilities then he’s a better corner than Henry and the Cowboys would be fools not to start him. When Pacman is on his game he’s a much better corner than Henry.
If the layoff has created a situation where Pacman needs a little time to recover his timing and instincts, then you slide him as the 3rd corner until he is ready to assume the starting corner opposite Newman. I wouldn’t expect that to take long so by my reckoning Pacman will be starting at some point in the 2008 season and Henry will have to accept the move to the 3rd corner. Of course, for team chemistry reasons, the Cowboys staff was reluctant to move MB3 ahead of Julius Jones last year until the playoffs, but hopefully a small lesson was learned from that situation which is get your best players on the field as much as possible. And in my opinion, there’s no question Pacman is a better corner than Henry once the Pac gets his sea-legs back.
As far as Henry’s future, he will end up just playing out the string. Given his age and his injury history, the Cowboys will be fine with letting him be the 3rd corner until they are ready to replace him with a rookie drafted in this year’s draft or until his contract runs out. I don’t think they will move him to safety but will be fine with letting him go when the time comes.
DC.com has another article on Pacman’s last chance. More hand-wringing over Pacman, here.
Frank Luksa puts up a passionate defense of Bob Hayes for anybody willing to listen. Luksa was prompted to write after seeing Hayes was left off ESPN’s Top-10 WR list and getting nary a mention. For me, it’s hard to talk about Hayes career with any authority because I didn’t really see him play on a regular basis. His time was ending just as mine was getting going with the Cowboys. I know about his speed and how he changed the philosophy of coverages to include a lot more zone, but I’ll let others who know his career better than I argue the point.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who opened with a 73, struggled to an 80 Friday and is in the middle of the pack, tied for 52nd.