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QB Market Full Of Spoiled Goods Columnist 
Feb. 17, 2004, 5:24 p.m. (CST)   

glad to sign somewhere. But that there would indicate they are willing to hand Henson the keys, and judging from Jones' comments Thursday, he's not quite ready for this car. 

So just look at the free-agent quarterback market, suddenly minus Drew Brees, franchised by San Diego on Thursday, and likely minus Matt Hasselbeck, surely to be franchised by Seattle by Tuesday's deadline. These free-agent guy all want starting jobs. That's what Bledsoe wants, no matter his ties to Parcells. Otherwise, he could have remained there in Buffalo tutoring J.P. Losman.  

Same with Warner. He elected to void his second year instead of mentoring Eli Manning. And I'm guessing the likes of even Garcia and Kelly Holcomb want starting jobs, and Cleveland might have no other choice but to bring back Holcomb. 

And if not starting jobs, these guys all want to be paid as if they will be the starter, and that there is the catch in this little game of quarterback roulette. Playing sometimes is not as important as getting paid as if you are playing. At least that signing bonus. 

So unless the Cowboys have decided to close their eyes so tight their eyelids hurt and go with Henson, and it doesn't seem they are inclined to do that just yet, they are going to need one of these guys - at least for part of the season. 

And sure Bledsoe says he wants to play with the Cowboys. Out of a job, he probably wants to play with 30 other teams, too, just as Vinny. 

"Dallas is intriguing for obvious reasons, with playing for my old coach and looking at the weapons they have offensively," Bledsoe said. "That's intriguing, but there a number of teams that are possible, and Dallas is one of those. That would be an interesting option, no question." 

Now Bledsoe, at age 33 and being a Parcells' former first pick in the 1993 draft in New England, said during a conference call on Wednesday he can't see himself going somewhere to be a backup. True, but he really means that he doesn't see himself getting paid as a backup just yet. All he needs is two teams interested to insure that. 

And, upon further review, the Cowboys aren't the only team in need of a quarterback - starter or backup. Check with Cleveland, Miami, San Francisco, Arizona, Chicago and possibly even Detroit, since head coach Steve Mariucci recently alluded to not being settled at quarterback with Joey Harrington. 

Plus, it's not as if this pool of quarterbacks has a deep end - when it comes to guys you wouldn't mind being your starter. My guess is, when teams start sizing up these available quarterbacks, the top 10 will consist of (today) in no particular order: Hasselbeck, Bledsoe, Warner, Holcomb, Testaverde, Garcia, Brad Johnson, Mike McMahon, maybe Jim Miller and what the heck, Carter since at least he's started somewhat recently in the league. 

After that (see complete list in Mick Shots) . . . . yuk. 

The key thing, then, is not to purchase more than you can use - in other words don't pay so much for one of these hand-me-downs that it will paralyze your cap once you find a for-real guy. Or in the Cowboys' case, until Henson - or Romo, for that matter - is ready, if that still is a possibility. 

"Not backing off of it in any way," Jones said of his original contention Henson has the potential to someday be the Cowboys' starting quarterback. "We have seen nothing that would indicate he doesn't have that kind of potential." 

That would be a good thing . . . a real good thing. Because this free-agent quarterback market is overrun with spoiled goods.   


!   Since Bledsoe technically still is property of Buffalo and with such a competitive free-agent market out there, Jones was very hesitant to say anything of substance about the veteran quarterback. But sources were saying back during the Super Bowl week that the Cowboys were anticipating the Bills releasing Bledsoe and already getting their ducks in a row on him.  
!   According to the list of

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