IRVING, Texas -- Bill Parcells wants to develop Drew Henson into an NFL quarterback and he wants to win games. If he has to pick one, he'll take winning every time.
So with the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears playing terribly and tied at halftime, Parcells decided he'd seen enough from the rookie. He pulled Henson from his first start, turned to Vinny Testaverde, and walked away smiling with a 21-7 victory yesterday, ending a three-game losing streak and winning for just the second time since September.
"I'm going to relax and enjoy this," Parcells said. "I didn't know whether we were going to get another one or not for a while."
At least the Cowboys (4-7) came away feeling good about one youngster on offense, running back Julius Jones. The second-round pick from Notre Dame followed his 81-yard, 30-carry performance in his starting debut last Sunday with 150 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries.
This game was going to be memorable for Jones regardless of the outcome because he was starting against his big brother, Chicago running back Thomas Jones. That Jones was the best thing the Bears (4-7) had on offense, too, but his 46 yards on 14 carries and 48 more on six receptions weren't enough.
Henson dreamed about this opportunity, his first NFL start. He made his debut five days earlier, going 6 for 6 with a touchdown at the end of a lopsided loss after Testaverde was hurt. Parcells was reluctant to start Henson, but had to give him most of the work in practice while Testaverde rested. Henson seemed to pick up where he'd left off, leading a 62-yard, five-play drive that included a nifty 33-yard touchdown run by Julius Jones. But the only points Henson produced the rest of the half were for Chicago -- an interception that R.W. McQuarters returned 45 yards for touchdown.
Henson went into halftime 4 of 12 for 31 yards. Parcells told him, "Good job," and that he was going with Testaverde. "You go in and try not to make mistakes, but the times that you do, you just learn from it," Henson said. "There were a couple of throws I'd like back, but we got out of here with a win. That's something to build on." Parcells wouldn't say who will start next at quarterback, but he has until a week from Monday night to decide. The Bears lost their second straight since winning three in a row. Again, the offense was ineffective. Rookie QB Craig Krenzel went 5 for 10 for 46 yards, then left with a sprained ankle in the second quarter. Replacement Jonathan Quinn was 10 of 21 for 86 yards with two interceptions.