The redemption of Quincy

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Just in from our Stories We Never Imagined In A Million Years department, former Cowboys and Jets quarterback Quincy Carter worked out for the Miami Dolphins on Thursday. The story was broken by Michael Irvin on the ESPN Radio affiliate in Dallas and it was confirmed by Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano on Thursday.

"This isn't going to change," Sparano said. "We're just going to keep flipping over stones and bringing in a lot of people. It's probably not going to change for two or three years."

So are we to believe that Carter was brought in for a ceremonial workout by Bill Parcells? Sort of a slap on the butt for conquering (at least for the time being) the demons that sent his career spiraling into oblivion. Honestly, I've never met this Bill the Redeemer character. He's definitely sentimental at times, but once you let him down -- especially in such spectacular fashion -- he's done with you.

I would bet all the money left in my Bank of America savings account ($27) that the Dolphins aren't going to sign Carter. Offensive coordinator Dan Henning and quarterbacks coach David Lee are desperately trying to figure out what they have in second-year quarterback John Beck and rookie Chad Henne. To bring in a man whose only recent experience was with the Kansas City Brigade is a reach. And if they are considering signing him, it speaks volumes about their current quarterbacks.

I was sitting in the front row of Parcells' news conference four years ago when he and owner Jerry Jones announced that Carter had been released. It was a stunning turn of events after Carter had helped lead the team to a playoff appearance following three consecutive 5-11 seasons. When a reporter asked whether Parcells would consider bringing Carter back someday, he said yes. I just thought he was being gracious at the time.

Earlier Thursday, a high-ranking member of the organization told me the Cowboys actually considered bringing Carter back a few weeks after he'd been cut in 2004. Vinny Testaverde became the starter that season and was backed up by Drew Henson and a kid named Tony Romo -- in that exact order.

If Carter had remained with the team, the legend of Romo may have never been born. My South Florida crew has gone underground on this topic, but I'll gather a few more details while I'm driving to Los Angeles tonight.

General manager Jeff Ireland, Sparano, Lee and of course Parcells were all around on Aug. 6, 2004, the day Carter answered his hotel-room door at 6:30 a.m. and was summoned to meet with Parcells and Jones.

He woke up reserve running back Aveion Cason to say goodbye and then he left training camp for good. I recall the Dallas Morning News' Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Irwin Thompson driving 80 miles to track down a photograph that a random fan took of Carter as he left the Oxnard campus.

The last I heard from Carter, he was being bailed out of jail by an afternoon radio show in Dallas following another marijuana arrest. In the past year, he spent time in a drug rehab program run by former Cowboys linebacker Hollywood Henderson.

I was pretty surprised -- and pleased -- to hear about Carter signing with an Arena League team, but I was absolutely stunned to hear about his workout Thursday.

I just spent a few minutes talking to Tony Romo about the topic and he was genuinely happy to hear that Carter had the opportunity. He also said it didn't surprise him that much that Parcells would take a look at Carter.