To Play, Or Not To Play


DallasCowboys.com Columnist 
Jan. 20, 2004, 4:14 p.m. (CST)

opportunities.

And you say, well, what about the draft? Glad you asked. Jones also went on to say Henson "as far as potential, has as much potential as any of the quarterbacks coming out of college now." And with Matt Leinart now staying at Southern Cal, he might even italicize that statement.

So again, let me ask: Does Vinny want to play another season in Dallas?

"There is no question I can," Testaverde said that final week of the season in reference to his physical capabilities, "because at my age how many guys have done it (start 15 games and play in all 16) or will do it in the future?

"I'll continue to try to play as long as I can answer the questions I have for myself: Do I still enjoy it? Am I healthy? And can I contribute to a team winning? These are the questions I ask myself."

Judging from how he carried himself throughout the season, and how he interacted with his teammates - you should see Vinny with the guys before the charter flights depart to away games - that answer would be, yes. Sure doesn't seem as if he's ready to leave, as Parcells calls it, "the Boys Club."

OK, and health? He's healthy. Wonder who's the last 41-year-old quarterback to start 15 games in one season? Play in all 16? He had a little back and shoulder problem there after Baltimore, but for the most part, he's in the same piece he started training camp in at Oxnard, Calif.

Can he contribute? Let his 3,532 yards passing speak for itself. That's the third most in club history, and just 55 short of being the second most passing yards, which he likely would have totaled had he played the first half of that Chicago game.

Case settled?

Well, there is one more aspect.

"For me to enjoy it, I have to know my family is enjoying it, too," Testaverde said.

For the most part, he seemed to think so, and thought his kids were treated well in school by their classmates, a tribute he said to the parents in the school district. Might even get better when he and wife Mitzi fully experience the January's and February's in these parts compared to what takes place on Long Island this time of year.

So, all questions answered, and then throw in his agent Mike Azzarelli's opinion Vinny still wants to continue playing, and it would appear we have a triumvirate consensus on this topic.

Now then in what capacity would he return to the Cowboys?

Follow the money.

MICK SHOTS

Think Bill Parcells is not a little envious of the New England Patriots' offensive line? Here the Pats go into their third AFC title game in four years, and those starters up front consist of a second-round pick (Matt Light), a never-drafted free agent (Joe Andruzzi), a fifth-round draft choice (Dan Koppen), another never drafted free agent who wrestled in college instead of playing football (Dan Neal) and a seventh-round pick of the Chargers signed to the Pats practice squad in 2002 (Brandon Gorin). Just got lucky or coached the heck out of those guys?
Unless proven otherwise, it would appear Dick Nolan and Mike Nolan have to be the first father-son combination to be the head coaches of the same NFL team. Remember, former Cowboys assistant Dick Nolan was the 49ers head coach from 1968-75, and now son Mike has just been named head coach. The irony of Dick Nolan's career? The very team that employed him for 15 years, six before he became the Niners' head coach and nine after, is the very team which cost him his head coaching job in all likelihood. Back to back years Dick Nolan had San Francisco in the NFC title game (1970-71), and both times the 49ers lost to the Cowboys. And the following season, 1972, just when the Niners appeared to have the Cowboys beaten in the first round of the playoffs, Roger Staubach throws two touchdown passes in the final 1:30 to lift the Cowboys to a stirring 30-28 victory.
And the

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