BALTIMORE (AP) -- The question of when Dallas Cowboys rookie
quarterback Drew Henson would get a chance to play was answered
Sunday. Now, the question is whether he'll be back on Thursday.
Henson got the call in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 30-10 loss
shoulder injury. He fumbled in his first NFL play and Baltimore
converted that into a touchdown.
Should Parcells have gotten Henson some snaps prior to Sunday?
I think the Cowboys did what they felt was best for their organization by waiting to bring Henson on the field. It's almost become the fun thing to do to call for the backup when the starter isn't winning games, but people forget how easy it is to wreck a quarterback's career by rushing him. It doesn't help the team or the quarterback when a young guy gets thrown into the fire before he's ready and I'm not convinced that wouldn't have been the case in Dallas. The Cowboys are trying their best to take the necessary precautions with Henson to prepare him for a long career in the NFL and not just a short-term solution.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.
"It felt good to see him go in," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
said, "but I liked to choke when I saw him on the first play.
Those are the kinds of things you don't want to happen."
Henson rebounded to lead the Cowboys (3-7) on a touchdown drive
in the waning minutes and finished 6-for-6 for 47 yards, including
a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Robinson with 40 seconds left.
Coach Bill Parcells would not speculate who would start Thursday
against the Chicago Bears, saying he wanted to see the severity of
Testaverde's injured right shoulder before making a decision.
"We'll see how Vinny feels, if he can come back. If not I'll be
prepared," Henson said. "As bad as today was, I was able to take
something away and have something to build toward Thursday if need
Burned for 49 points on Monday night in a lopsided loss to the
Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys played well for a half. But things
unraveled during a third quarter in which the Ravens compiled a
163-11 advantage in offensive yardage.
Testaverde went 9-for-22 for 109 yards and two interceptions.
Henson came in and promptly lost his grip on the ball while
being chased by Marques Douglas.
Baltimore recovered at the Dallas 1, and Chester Taylor scored
from there to make it 30-3.
"I thought I was throwing but they called it a fumble. It
happened real fast," Henson said. "You move on and keep going."
Dallas forced only five turnovers in its first nine games, but
recovered two fumbles during a first half that featured six punts
and only one score, a first-quarter field goal by Billy Cundiff.
Undaunted by a first half in which the Baltimore Ravens failed
to score against the struggling Dallas Cowboys, Kyle Boller spoke
confidently to his offense about staging a comeback.
Then he went out and made it happen.
Showing the poise and leadership of a rapidly maturing
quarterback, Boller threw two touchdown passes in the third
quarter, and the Ravens rolled to a 30-10 victory Sunday.
"We kind of got stalled in the first half, but that's the
beauty of a four-quarter game," said Boller, who fashioned the
comeback without injured running back Jamal Lewis. "I just rallied
the guys and told them we still got two quarters, so let's go out
and score 21 points."
With help from Baltimore's opportunistic defense, the Ravens
(7-3) used a 30-point second half to pull away to their third
straight win. After being criticized earlier in the season for his
erratic play, Boller went 23-for-34 for 232 yards in his third
straight game without an interception.
Trailing 3-0, Baltimore finally scored on its second drive of
the third quarter. Boller went 6-for-7 on a 78-yard drive that
included three passes to tight end Darnell Dinkins -- two for first
downs and a 17-yard touchdown.
They were Dinkins' first three catches of the season. He was
activated off the practice squad in late October to help cover for
the absence of the injured Todd Heap.
Ed Reed intercepted a pass by Testaverde on the next play from
scrimmage, and the Ravens went up 14-3 when Boller completed a
63-yard drive with a 31-yard TD pass to Kevin Johnson.
A 50-yard field goal by Matt Stover made it 17-3, and Chad
Williams sealed the victory with a 44-yard interception return for
a touchdown with 10:42 left. It was the fourth time this season the
Ravens returned an interception for a score.
The Ravens then lost backup running back Musa Smith, who broke
his right leg while being tackled by Roy Williams on a 12-yard run
late in the first quarter. It turned out to Baltimore's longest run
of the day.Game notes
Robinson has two receptions this year -- both 1-yard TDs. ...
Travis Taylor became the Ravens' career leader in receptions. He
has 196, surpassing Qadry Ismail (191).
- Thomas White