Choosing Your Bananas Well

  •   How many wide receivers does he keep? Five as usual, or six because a couple of young guys force his hand? Sam Hurd, Jamaica Rector and Miles Austin are making life hard on Green and Terrance Copper, especially if the Cowboys should trade for a moderately experienced guy. And if you keep six receivers, then where do you shave from? Maybe only nine DB's instead of 10? Maybe only nine offensive linemen?  * Does he go young or old at safety? Roy

Williams, Keith Davis and Watkins are on this team. But if he keeps just four safeties, does he go with first-year guy Abram Elam, who he obviously is intrigued with, or veteran Marcus Coleman? Or must he keep five? 

What about Fabini? The Cowboys signed the veteran tackle to be at least the swing guy and possibly the starter at right tackle. Monday night will be huge for Jason Fabini, because so far it doesn't seem as if he's got this team made, no matter the $1.7 million bonus he was paid. He will start at right tackle and play a half. Do you keep him just because of his experience, but at the expense of say McQuistan?   

"Every coach comes to a point and looks at a veteran player," Parcells said. "Where is he in this world? Where are we going to be six months from now? Where will we be one year from now? 

"If the veteran player is definitely superior and gives you a better chance to win, that's when the real conflict comes. If you think a month from now or six weeks from now or eight weeks from now this young player is going to be better than the veteran, then you have to bite the bullet." 

Parcells recalls this tough lesson learned back when he was the head coach of the Giants. He had veteran Tony Galbraith as his third-down back. But then, too, he had this rookie, Dave Meggett, who appeared to be a budding third-down back and kick returner, too. He could only keep one. 

His GM at the time, the late George Young, told his young head coach this of Galbraith: "The day before he dies, he's going to be able to beat someone out of the backfield. 

"Do you like Meggett?" 

"Yes," Parcells recalled his response. 

"Then don't stop progress" were Young's words to Parcells. "Don't stop progress." 

Parcells says he has remembered that forever more, and he now has Cowboys owner Jerry Jones asking the same question when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, veteran vs. youngster: "Is he a progress-stopper?" Jones will ask. 

Decisions, decisions. 

"And I'm not looking two years from now," Parcells said of keeping a rookie over a veteran. "I'm looking at six months or six weeks from now." 

Which means, can Watkins or Elam help him as soon as October or December. Same with McQuistan and Cory Procter and Hurd and Green. He doesn't keep young guys just to keep young guys. 

"Eh, we're not in - we don't buy futures," Parcells said. "I told you, I don't even buy green bananas." 

See there, told you so. The hard part, because we all know how we debate with our own selves there in the produce department. 

And his bananas aren't 39-cents a pound.                   

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