This Team's Mr. Irreplaceable

It's fixed; you have rehabilitated yourself. If you don't undo that learned behavior you are going to hurt something else.' He is doing fine."

And that's by Parcells' standards. To the rest of us, he's a little better than "fine."

In the first week of practice, Glenn repeatedly has been the open receiver streaking down the middle with defenders simply not fast or quick enough to keep up. He wins most, if not all, of his one-on-one battles in the individual drills, and he already seems to have reconnected with Bledsoe.

Remember, the two spent five full seasons together in New England, where Glenn was often considered Bledsoe's favorite wide receiver target. In Glenn's first season, the rookie receiver caught 90 passes for 1,132 yards and six touchdowns, helping the Patriots to a berth in Super Bowl XXXI against Green Bay.

But if there is a knock on Glenn, it is his inability to remain healthy for a full season. In nine years, Glenn has played in all 16 games only twice, including the 2003 season in Dallas when he caught 52 passes for 754 yards and five touchdowns. Four of those years he missed at least six games in the season.

And all of this is reason to bring up his importance. The Cowboys need Terry Glenn out on the field. And unlike other players, it's not about how much money is invested in him and who gets paid the most. Because if it did, Terry Glenn wouldn't have the 14th-highest salary cap figure at $2.02 million, and he wouldn't rank eighth in base salary this year with $1.5 million price tag.

No, Glenn needs to play because he helps the team win.

In six games last year, which is really only about five considering he was injured in the first quarter against the Packers, Glenn caught 24 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns.

Wanna pace that out for the whole season? Why not, we do it all the time with Julius Jones, who missed half the season with a shoulder injury. We've all doubled his 819 yards and seven touchdowns from last year, and that's why the second-year back has such high expectations for himself this year.

So why not do the same with Glenn. Taking away his one catch for six yards against the Packers, Glenn had 23 catches for 394 and two scores in the first five games. If we triple that, we're looking at 69 receptions, 1,182 receiving yards and six touchdowns. And that's only a 15-game pace. Not exactly, Pro Bowl numbers, but not too far away, especially with that many receiving yards.

OK, maybe we're getting a bit hypothetical here. But the point is, Glenn was on his way to a breakout season. And when he went down, the offensive production did as well. Cowboys quarterback Vinny Testaverde had just three 300-yard games in 2004, all occurring in the first six games with Glenn on the field.

And of the seven games in which the Cowboys had more than 345 total yards, Glenn played in four of them.

"When we lost Terry, the defenses completely changed the way they were playing us," said tight end Jason Witten, who was a likely beneficiary of Glenn's injury, catching 87 passes for 975 yards. "Without Terry . . . he was our main speed guy. And without him, teams played up a lot more. When he's in the game, it opens the underneath stuff a lot more. And it's not like the other guys - Crayton and Copper - aren't fast or anything, it's just Terry gets a lot more respect from the defense. So it's great to have him back."

And it's not just about the speed. Glenn has that big-play knack. In the last two years, he has produced some of the team's top highlights - putting away the 2003 Redskins game with a 47-yard reverse run and catching three touchdowns passes in the first half against Detroit that same year. What about the two end-zone catches this past year, the diving 32-yard grab against the Vikings and the 27-yard snag from of a Richie Anderson pass against Washington on Monday night?

And the funny part of all this Glenn talk is that he might not be the best overall wide receiver on this team.

Depending on how you define "best," some might suggest Keyshawn Johnson is the better overall receiver. Certainly not as fast or one who will make

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising