March 31, 2004, 5:32 p.m. (CST)
couple of years (with the defensive line rotation)." And just so you know, Haslett is fond of Howard, he also said, "Here's the kind of kid he is. Most players, if they get franchised, they aren't going to be coming around the facility. They're not going to be working out. They're going to show up, like Walter Jones, Tuesday before the first game. Darren goes and signs his tender so he can go work out . . . . He's got a great mind-set." Darn, and I thought the Saints might just give him away . . . .
Whatever Marcellus Wiley is paying agent Brad Blank, it's well worth it. Blank ended up selling Wiley to the Jacksonville Jaguars this week, and although it's only a one-year deal, and the financial details weren't disclosed - which means, embarrassingly not much - at least he's gainfully employed after consecutive lackluster seasons, whatever the excuses were. Hey, it's one thing not to pile up a bunch of sacks when you're paid a $4.5 million signing bonus, but the Cowboys' right-side starting defensive end was going games - nine to be exact - making no more than two tackles . . . . Hey, told you back last year that I ran into Alvin Harper in Washington, and that he had gotten into coaching, volunteering at Howard University. Well, he must have liked it. He's now serving a coaching internship with the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe, which opens its season on Saturday. The NFL's internship program has attracted 28 former players, which extends to officiating and game operations, too, in NFL Europe. Never would have projected Harp as a one-day coach when he was playing here (1991-94, '99). And I'm sure Jimmy is equally surprised . . . .
Hold the phone. Really, the Apocalypse must indeed be upon us. Saw where Redskins emperor Danny Snyder actually did an interview, and not only his first "on-the-record" interview with a media outlet in two years, but with the previously much-despised Washington Times, which always holds him accountable. Snyder says he's mellowed some, and sees the error of his early ways, the Redskins only 45-53 during his six years of ownership. "I probably was too excited," Snyder said of his first season. "I wanted 'now, now. Let's get this done now.' I didn't have a chance to get my own organization set because I took over in the middle of July. I probably overreacted in some negative ways." You think? Poor Norv . . . .
Interesting list provided by Pro Football Weekly, its top 100 free agents for this season, signed, unsigned or franchised. Of the three guys the Cowboys immediately signed, PFW had cornerback Anthony Henry ranked 28th, offensive guard Marco Rivera 35th and defensive tackle Jason Ferguson 45th. By the way, when it comes to Howard, who signed his one-year, $7.8 million franchise tender with the Saints but still is on the trading block, he's 13th . . . . Was talking to Joe Avezzano the other day, and I truthfully can tell you Coach Joe will be glad to see Randy Moss on his sideline this year, knowing that in the four times he faced the Vikings wide receiver with the Cowboys, the guy scorched 'em, catching 25 passes for eight touchdowns and averaging 25 yards a catch. I'm sure he was glad he was in Oakland this season, missing out on the season-opening two-touchdown performance by Moss . . . .
OK, three weeks until the NFL Draft. Are you Mocked out yet? For whatever these are worth, and usually not much, the Cowboys should take Maryland DE/LB Shawne Merriman with the 11th pick and a wide receiver at No. 20. That would be dandy with me, especially since I've seen Merriman compared to