Wednesday, August 23, 2006

drew henson cut today

Curtosy of the DMN Cowboys Blog and Jean-Jacques Taylor

The Drew Henson experiment is over.

“Drew Henson is not going to be on roster this year,” coach Bill Parcells said Wednesday.

“I just didn’t see enough. We tried very diligently with this guy."

Henson, signed three years ago, was supposed to eventually be the Cowboys quarterback of the future. But he started only one game – Thanksgiving Day against Chicago in 2003 – and was benched at halftime.

Tony Romo distanced himself from Henson last year, claiming the backup job. And Romo has been even more impressive in training camp and preseason games the past month as Henson fell more out of favor.

In the past two weeks, Henson lost practice repetitions to undrafted free agent Matt Baker. Henson did not play in either of the Cowboys’ first two preseason games.

He will count about $3 million against the club’s salary cap, though he’s no longer on the team.

“I don’t keep players that I don’t think can play for us,” Parcells said.

Parcells declined to talk about whether Dallas is trying to trade him.

“I’m really not at liberty to discuss the situation because I’m not privy to that information,” Parcells said. “He’s not going to be on our roster. That’s all you need to know. This is a little bit of a limbo situation. There are a couple of moving parts.”

Parcells said the Cowboys aren’t sure who will be their third quarterback when the season starts. They could keep Baker or attempt to acquire an experienced veteran.

Dallas acquired the 6-4, 235-pound Henson from Houston for a third-round pick in 2003.

At Michigan, Henson was considered one of the league’s top prospects after passing for more than 2,100 yards with 18 touchdowns and four interceptions as a junior. Then he took big money and signed with the New York Yankees, where he spent three seasons trying to hit curveballs.

In NFL Europe this spring, Henson completed 53.6 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions and played well enough at the team’s off-season mini-camps that the Cowboys thought he might challenge Romo for the backup job.

It never came.

“I think he has a little trouble relaxing,” Parcells said of Henson last week. “I think he’s pretty smart and his mind races a little bit. I think one of the most beneficial things you can do for a player – I’ve tried to do this with hundreds of players – is to teach them a mechanism whereby in the battle they can learn to relax.

“They can employ some kind of tactic that allows their mind and body to take a 10-second vacation between plays.”

Owner Jerry Jones was encouraged by Henson's NFL Europe performance as well as his arm strength, mobility and ability to manage a game and limit mistakes. But that wasn’t enough to keep him on the roster.

“It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says as long as you have confidence in yourself and keep pushing forward, keep working and keep the big picture in mind,” Henson said last week. “That’s kind of how I figured out how its best for me to go about my business.

“…I can control only the things I can control. It has taken a while to develop that mentality. As I’m getting older, patience is a virtue. Instead of getting frustrated and trying to figure things out I just want to focus on the things that I do so I’m prepared when an opportunity comes.”

Apparently, it will have to come wearing another team’s uniform.

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