Finn-grinning Tony Romo, the Cowboys quarterback, since cutting ties with Henson, they obviously would do cartwheels over if he proved to be their future. And since Romo is in the final year of his two-year deal, the Cowboys also would like to know - now - if they can count on that so the former 2003 rookie free agent can be signed to a proper extension and avoid the whole free-agency thing.
That is one reason why Parcells is saying he'd like to play Romo another four quarters this preseason, which would give Jones and Co. even more evaluation information, not to mention further prepare Romo for a backup role just in case. I mean, if he intended to start Romo, then why the hell would he waste those other four quarters on Bledsoe when Romo has barely played in the league?
Now if this is being too, too logical, I apologize.
And one other note: Do you think one preseason game and the second half of another would cause the Cowboys to suddenly change their minds on the quarterback position? Suddenly cause them to spend $5.66 million (Bledsoe's 2006 cap charge) on a backup quarterback?
Come on - again.
"I think I would tell you if I thought he was going to be (the starter)," Parcells said. "I think I would give you some indication if he was going to be the starting quarterback.
"What did I tell you about Romo? Trying to use him, try to see what I got here, trying to give to give Jerry and the ownership an idea about this player and to try and gain the confidence in him that I could use him in a game if I needed to. That's what the plan is and that's what it always has been, and it hasn't changed, regardless of what these other people say - some of these chatterboxes."
None of this, though, means Parcells doesn't like Romo or that he's not capable of becoming the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Remember, while Bledsoe had just a $500,000 roster bonus this year, that escalates to $1 million next year, along with a base salary increasing from $3.5 million to $4.5 million. Now that's when the Cowboys would have to make a decision on Bledsoe, and then know for sure if Romo is or he isn't.
Now Parcells would not say who was going to start the third preseason game, this Saturday at Texas Stadium against San Francisco. But he knows exactly what fire he would be fanning if he chose to check out Romo a second time against another team's first defense. He at least said, and this should come as no surprise now that Henson is gone, Bledsoe and Romo would each play a half.
"No he's an improved player; I think he's more game-ready than he was," Parcells said of Romo, "but do you want me to tell you something about what I'm dealing with here? Well, Romo hasn't had a glove on all summer, OK, so now it's like sprinkling the other night, so he decides in his infinite wisdom to put his glove on. Well, he's out there with his glove on, what happens? What did he do?
"Thank you very much . . . that might seem like a small item to you. But you know, he hasn't practiced with a glove all summer, and now, 'Oh, I'm going to wear a glove. Oh by the way, they just scored a touchdown because I wanted to put my glove on.' Anybody notice that?"
And when asked what all this means, including what he said after the Seattle game about finding out he constantly had to "coach" Romo during a game, Parcells took a playful shot at Romo, another indication he does like what he's seeing from the 26-year-old backup quarterback, saying, "It means he's a couple of quarts low sometimes."
Now the media, as is our want, likes to read something into the smallest thing, and the reading certainly began on Romo when Parcells talked about his theory of not wanting to "stop progress" by keeping a veteran at the expense of an up-and-coming player.
Is Bledsoe then a progress-stopper, he was asked.
"No, no, I think if the day ever comes where I'm going to be committed to Romo, the first person who would know is Bledsoe, I would owe him that, OK?" Parcells said. "And we're not at that day right now, but I am happy with Romo's progress and I'm sure most of you can see why.
Funny thing about all this, as much as Parcells has seen Romo practice