Saturday, June 5, 2004

Carter welcomes QB competition

Enquirer news services

IRVING, Texas - Quincy Carter said he doesn't fear a quarterback competition in the Dallas Cowboys' training camp.

It's the nature of the NFL.

Besides, he's used to it.

Last year, Chad Hutchinson supposedly was poised to take his job in camp. Three months ago, Drew Henson was being hailed as the Cowboys' next quarterback.

Now, Carter will be competing with Vinny Testaverde, who signed a one-year contract with Dallas on Thursday that will pay him $1.1 million in base salary this season and as much as $5 million if he reaches certain incentives.

The New York Jets released Testaverde on Tuesday.

"If you win, you play. If you lose, you sit on the bench," Carter said Thursday. "Everybody understands that.

"I am the starter and I'm going to fulfill my duties and do everything in my power to continue to improve as a quarterback and be the starter."

Carter, 16-16 as a starter, passed for 3,302 yards with 17 touchdowns and 21 interceptions last year as the Cowboys went 10-6 and advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

Carter said he's looking forward to learning as much as he can from Testaverde while competing with the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback. But he doesn't want to divide the locker room.

"I want to make sure our team understands that I'm one of the leaders of this team and that this competition should make everyone better," he said. "It shouldn't cause any dissension, because we're all going to benefit from Vinny being here."

Said Testaverde: "Hopefully, we can work together to make each other better players, and that will make us a better team."

BILLS: Travis Henry was practicing with the team this week after missing the previous week's session while working out on his own.

The change of mind came after the starting running back was coaxed back by his teammates.

"I got a couple of guys that called me and that's all it really took," Henry said Friday.

Henry, who had been working out with his personal trainer in Orlando, Fla., said his absence was not a sign that he was unhappy.

"Like they say, they're voluntary, but they're not. So we all have to be here it seems," he said.

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