http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=1773811 wrote:IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Larry Allen is reportedly a no-show two weeks into the team's off-season program.
Even though participation at the Cowboys' Valley Ranch headquarters is voluntary, Allen's absence hasn't gone unnoticed.
Team vice president Stephen Jones, at the National Football League meetings in Palm Springs, Fla., told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Friday's editions that Allen has not attended the off-season workouts.
Allen repeatedly clashed with Cowboys coach Bill Parcells during training camp last season over his conditioning and even contemplated retirement.
And, for some time, it's been known that the Cowboys might have to make decisions about high-priced veterans such as Allen.
He received a $13 million signing bonus as a part of a six-year, $37 million contract extension in 2002. His cap figure for 2004 is $5.5 million, including a $3.5 million base salary.
Allen is among players who have cap figures outweighing their performance. The Cowboys could release these players or ask them to restructure their contracts.
Parcells, in his second year as Dallas coach, has made clear his stance on the team's off-season program. He expects full participation from his players.
The coach has not talked to the media since a season-ending news conference in January.
Allen, the most decorated offensive lineman in Cowboys history and a strong possibility for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is a key to the team's hopes of upgrading their offensive line for 2004.
Last season's struggles with Allen were partly attributed to poor conditioning stemming from an injury-plagued 2002 campaign. The Cowboys hoped the aging star, facing a return for an 11th season in 2004, would finally buy into Parcells' disciplined philosophy.
Allen started all 16 games in 2003 and even earned his team-record eighth Pro Bowl appearance for an offensive lineman. But he missed parts of four games with injuries.
One of only two remaining members of the Cowboys' last Super Bowl title team in 1996, Allen was forced to lead the team in running drills in training camp by Parcells, who nicknamed him "Secretariat." He walked out of a drill during camp after getting beat by defensive tackle La'Roi Glover before being talked back to practice by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
He also missed a flight to a preseason game for "personal" reasons, although his frustrations had him contemplating retirement.
If the Cowboys cut or trade Allen before June 1, it would cost them $8.2 million in "dead" money on the salary cap, roughly $3 million more than his current cap value. If they wait until after June 1, it would cost them $2.06 million in 2004, actually saving them roughly $3.4 million off the cap in 2004. But it would count $6.2 million in 2005.
If he doesn't get it together, restructure his contract, and participate in Parcells' program, LA is gone.
This was a surprise when I read about this on the Cowboy website. LA is overpaid, but Dallas has done nothing to fix/upgrade the o-line. Dallas will be lucky to be 8-8 in '04 the way the team is right now.
It almost seems to me that Parcells is getting cocky enough that he thinks he can win with any scrubs. I was impressed with what he did last year with a pile of trash for a team, but now that he has the chance to make some changes, he needs to realize he isnt going anywhere until he brings in some actual talent.
Yeah, I heard on the ESPN today that Parcells doesn't like him. I mean, he is getting older, but he's a good part of the reason why Dallas won 3 SB's in 4 years. Allen opened up those holes for Emmitt (much as I hated to see it).
They still need a reliable back they can use to go through the holes at this point! Is Hambrick really the guy?
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I still think Dallas can play for Dillon right before the draft, for an '05 mid-rounder. Anyway, barring that, drafting Kevin Jones or Chris Perry would be a good place to fix that problem. I also think we can expect some OL work in the draft as well.
I love Larry Allen, he is a borderline HOF player right now, but he should find some way to either get with the program and be a standup guy, or retire if that's what he wants to do.
I am not too sure we can get Dillon at this point, I tend to think the Raiders will get him. And with Denver and NE ahead of us could put getting Kevin Jones in jeopardy. Dallas needs to get there A@@ in gear if they want to keep competitive in the NFC! RB, OL, and DE are all needs. We have some money, spend it.