Glenn's Eternal Quandary

articular cartilage from behind the right kneecap removed during last summer's second arthroscopic surgery and because he has been playing with the torn PCL suffered while in Green Bay - a bad combination, I'm told - you just never know. 

Could be playing today, retired tomorrow. 

And here is why, as simply explained as my medically-limited mind allows: When torn articular cartilage is removed, that means something that should be there is missing. That means there is a divot in what should be the cushion between your leg bones joining behind the kneecap. Well, the more activity you have the higher percentage the friction in there will cause the existing divot to enlarge, which definitely is not good, or possibly cause another piece of the cartilage to break off, which would be terrible. 

Glenn can run all he wants. He can further strengthen his quad all he can. The Cowboys can limit his participation to the bare minimum for the remainder of the off-season, during training camp and even if they get him into the season, all helping to increase his odds of playing at least another season. 

But one misstep, one hard plant, possibly even just a normal stride on a go-route, and all can go for naught. That's how delicate this situation is and will continue to be. 

Only microfracture surgery has a chance of helping Glenn's degenerative knee, but he rolled the dice last year, hoping that prolonging his potential availability would land him in a Super Bowl. That didn't work out quite so well, and why you probably saw the postgame scene of Glenn lingering on the bench at Texas Stadium long after the Giants eliminated the Cowboys in that playoff game, 21-17. Ah, the best-laid plans. 

But to have the surgery now, which he likely needs anyway if he is to have a chance at having a sound knee for the remainder of his life, would certainly end this season and possibly his career. Remember, rehab on a micrcofracture is a year's time. That means this season is out and that he would be trying to restart his career in 2009, at nearly 35 years old, without any guarantees. What are the odds? 

Now this outlook will certainly continue to frustrate most, because you guys have been looking for a cut-and-dried answer: Yes Glenn will play, no Glenn will not play, and as you can see either is a rather impossible declaration, not now and who knows, maybe not even until the end of training camp after Glenn has actually played some football. 

Even at that, good the first of September doesn't necessarily guarantee good through November. The situation is that fragile. 

Jones seems willing to give Glenn the chance, and for obvious reasons. Glenn seems willing to exercise the opportunity, and for good reason, knowing his NFL earning power is quickly dwindling after 12 years in the league. When might he ever again earn $1 million in one year during his lifetime? 

So sorry, we can tell you the Cowboys will have the rights to Newman and Barber for another seven years - the rest of their careers - and that both were handed $12 million signing bonuses. We can assure you these deals were completed on Tuesday mainly because of the NFL owners opting out of the CBA, and for sure Barber's, the ramifications of the move starting tomorrow making any such deals impossible.  

But I'd be lying to you if I guaranteed Glenn would play this year, and would be equally lying to you if I guaranteed he won't be playing this year. 

That's why the 50-50 - no matter what you hear, see or think from this day forward when it comes to anyone's opinion on Terry Glenn. Maybe only Mother Nature knows for sure. 

Maybe.               

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