Sports Outside the Beltway

Reeves: Cowboys Should Make Play for Culpepper

FWST writer Jim Reeves believes the Cowboys should do what they need to in order to pick up Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper, even if it means giving up a 2nd round pick.

He believes the Cowboys should “Forget about Terrell Owens” (no disagreement from me there) and sign Culpepper even though QB is not current on the shopping list because he’s a “franchise quarterback”

When was the last time the Dallas Cowboys had one of those? Better question: How often do they come along? You, better than anyone, should know the answer to that one, Jerry.


It was just two seasons ago that Culpepper threw 39 touchdown passes and only 11 interceptions. For his career, the ratio is 135-to-86. He’s 6-foot-4, 260 pounds with an arm like a bazooka. So tell me again, Jerry, why the Cowboys haven’t been on the horn with the Vikings?

Yes, there’s the knee. He tore three of the four ligaments in it seven games into 2005, and that’s definitely a concern. Yet, every report out of Florida, where he’s reportedly been training religiously, says he’s recovering quickly. Besides, the conditional draft pick provides protection there.

“This would be a sliding scale that I’ve run past a few general managers that are not in the market for Culpepper,” Pat Kirwan, a senior analyst for and Sirius Radio, told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. “The draft picks are for 2007. If you trade for the guy, and he never plays, the compensation is zero. “If he plays eight or less games, the compensation is a second-round pick. If he plays nine or more games, the compensation is a first-round pick. If he throws for 3,000 yards, then it’s a first and a third. And if he makes the Pro Bowl next year, it’s two first-round picks. With something like that, the risk is all off and everybody can take a wait-and-see approach as far as how much of Daunte Culpepper is left physically when he returns.”


Seriously, we know that Parcells is comfortable with Bledsoe. He’s the type of game-manager Parcells likes. But we also know that Parcells isn’t here for the long run. He’s here to win it right now.

It’s an interesting argument, to be sure. Here’s the problem, though. It’s not just that Culpepper would cost draft picks; he would cost a chance to win now. The Cowboys already have a more-than-serviceable QB who knows the system. By bringing in another veteran, the Cowboys would also have to make a hard choice: Do they get rid of Bledsoe in a gamble that Culpepper will immediately be ready? Or do they keep both and effectively have to give up on Drew Henson (it’s clear that Parcells prefers Tony Romo right now)?

It’s not at all clear that Culpepper remains a “franchise quarterback,” if he was ever one to begin with. I wouldn’t want to bet the Ranch on him.

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