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Bouncing back

Carter has good day of practice after disatrous game

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Posted: Tuesday August 21, 2001 2:28 AM
Updated: Wednesday August 22, 2001 10:42 PM
  Michael Hawthorne, Quincy Carter Cowboys QB Quincy Carter watches Saints CB Michael Hawthorne waltz into the end zone after an interception Saturday. AP

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) -- There were no fumbled snaps, no interceptions and no frustrated looks from the sidelines.

There was just Quincy Carter flipping tight spirals through the chilly air on Monday, trying to make amends for his woeful starting debut against New Orleans.

The Dallas Cowboys rookie handled himself with the poise of a veteran during the team's first practice since their 16-10 loss to the Saints on Saturday.

"He was about as sharp as I've ever seen him," Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "He understands the ups and downs that come at this position. Quincy's going to be able to handle anything that comes his way."

Carter looked confident and patient during the team's drills on Monday, completing touch passes to his secondary receivers and occasionally zipping bullets through tight coverage.

It was exactly the kind of performance Carter expected of himself.

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"I'm just going to stick in there and respond to the adversity," Carter said. "I've just got to relax, go out there and play football like I know how to."

And not play football like he did on Saturday.

Carter spent most of Saturday's preseason contest against the Saints scrambling away from defensive pressure, then tossing the ball away. He finished 5-of-17 for 27 yards, including two fumbled snaps and an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

With Carter, the Cowboys picked up only two first downs and 53 yards. They also failed to convert any third downs.

But Cowboys head coach Dave Campo insisted Monday that Carter was not solely responsible for the Cowboys' offensive inefficiency.

"Other guys have to pick up the tempo, not just the quarterback," Campo said. "We've gone into New Orleans a number of times with a number of people at quarterback who've struggled."

Campo said he also saw a few -- and just a few -- highlights amid Carter's disastrous starting debut.

"I think Quincy got better as the game went on," Campo said. "I just felt he was getting more aware of some things as the game went on. I don't think that game bothered him a lick."

If it did, it didn't show on Monday.

During scrimmage-type drills, Carter even flashed some of the scrambling skills that has Jones drawing comparisons of him to Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb and Minnesota's Daunte Culpepper.

Carter, the Cowboys' first draft pick and the 53rd overall in the NFL draft, reminded everyone that he's just going through the typical rookie struggles.

"The season hasn't even started yet," Carter said. "People are making too many judgments. At first, people wanted to know why I wasn't starting, now they don't want me to start. I just need to keep focused on the job."

Veteran receiver Joey Galloway, who didn't make a single catch in his first preseason game of the year, said he's confident the Cowboys can win with Carter at quarterback.

"I've been conditioned to go with whoever is under center and just play," said Galloway, who worked on some pass routes with Carter after practice. "I don't think Quincy's going to have any problems. He's done a great job."

Related information
2001 Dallas Cowboys team preview
SI's King: Quarterback carousel continues
Carter struggles as starter; Cowboys lose 16-10
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