Randall to return?
Cowboys may re-sign Cunningham to be starter
By Don Banks, Sports Illustrated
With the Troy Aikman era over in Dallas, who will the Cowboys turn to as their next starting quarterback?
Former St. Louis and Baltimore starting quarterback Tony Banks visited Dallas as a free agent on Tuesday and is well-regarded by Cowboys offensive coordinator Jack Reilly. He could be the early front-runner.
But sources close to the Cowboys say Randall Cunningham has a great shot to return and replace Aikman on a full-time basis this season, just as he did on a part-time basis last year as Aikman's backup. Cunningham, who'll be 38 this month, met enough performance incentives in 2000 to earn unrestricted free agency as he enters his 16th NFL season.
Sources say Cowboys owner Jerry Jones likes the chemistry Cunningham had with the offense last season and has spoken positively to Cunningham about his chances of re-signing with the team.
"They're going to bring me back from what I understand," said Cunningham Wednesday, when reached at home in Las Vegas. "I'd be open to coming back to Dallas. But it's a waiting game right now."
Cunningham also has been contacted by Baltimore and may receive an offer to serve as the team's No. 3 quarterback behind newly signed starter Elvis Grbac and second-year man Chris Redman. While Cunningham would be in the No. 3 role, part of his job would be to help mentor Redman, the team's projected future starter.
Banks was made an unrestricted free agent last Thursday when he was released by the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens. Ironically, another of his main competitors for the Cowboys job might be Trent Dilfer, the former Baltimore starter who took over for Banks at mid-season and led the Ravens to an 11-1 record and a Super Bowl title.
Third-year man Anthony Wright was ineffective in his late-season starting opportunity, after Aikman was lost for the season with a concussion, and is not being considered for the No. 1 job. Second-year man Clint Stoerner projects to no more than the backup role, at best.