March 22, 2005, 5:36 p.m. (CST)
also hands out players performance-based bonuses not counted against a team's salary cap. Of the top 25 players to receive a bonus, Cowboys tackle Torrin Tucker ranked 23rd with a $120,730 stipend added to his second-year minimum salary of $305,000. This has nothing to do with how well you play, but how much you play. So players making minimum but playing maximum receive the most money - and that distinction went to Jets safety Erik Coleman, who was handed $227,625. Coleman, a 2004 fifth-round draft choice nearly doubled his $230,000 first-year base salary for starting 16 games. By the way, the formula to determine this bonus is as complicated as the one determining compensatory picks. Don't ask . . . .
Ran into former Cowboys personnel assistant Jason McKay last weekend in LA. He's the LA Avengers director of football operations. And know this, Jermaine Jones, who had a cup of coffee with the Cowboys at the end of the 2002 season and went to camp with them in 2001, is one of the top cornerbacks in the AFL. The Desperados' third-year veteran just won AFL Defensive Player of the Week honors, returning an interception for a touchdown in a 72-50 victory over the Avengers on Friday. He's tied for the team lead with three interceptions . . . . Clint Stoerner, another former Cowboy, has his Desperados tied for the best record in the AFL at the halfway point (6-2) and in first place in their Eastern Division. At the halfway point, Stoerner is the fifth-ranked AFL quarterback (118.1), having thrown 37 touchdowns and only five interceptions . . . . And speaking of alternative leagues, NFL Europe opens up April 2, and once again the NFL Network will be carrying those games. Former Cowboys safety Darren Woodson will be an analyst for two games, April 17 and 24. With Willie Blade now out for the season, having torn his Achilles in training camp, the Cowboys' most prominent NFLE player would probably be Woody Dantzler (Frankfurt), trying to make the transition to safety . . . .
Finally let's wander off to the draft, which is exactly a month from Wednesday. The Cowboys could only hope these mocks are accurate, most pegging them a defensive end and wide receiver in the first round. Fine by me.