Cowboys Notes 8-11

Friday, August 11th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WICHITA FALLS – Cornerback Kevin Smith, who's considering retirement, visited with team doctors and trainers Thursday. The Cowboys have said a degenerative back condition has led Smith, a first-round pick in 1992, to ponder his future.

"He's still thinking about his decision," owner Jerry Jones said. "We talked and he reiterated to me that he wanted to be involved with the team off the field, if he decides to retire."

Jones has said he would consider adding Smith to the coaching staff. Smith, signed through 2003, will forfeit $750,000 if he retires. He was unavailable for comment and did not return a message left on his home answering machine.

Steve Zucker, Smith's agent, said his client has an insurance policy that will compensate him if he must retire because of a football-related injury.

"Most of my players have them. I recommend them," Zucker said. "The insurance policy is small compared to what a player can earn in a career, but it's important to have one."

Tight end acquired

The Cowboys traded a seventh-round pick in 2002 to New Orleans for blocking tight end Lawrence Hart. Dallas released running back Phillip Rogers to make room for Hart. Hart is the third blocking tight end – Chris Smith and Rickey Bradey are the others – the Cowboys have added in the past week since losing Mike Lucky to a knee injury.

Training site up in the air

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has dispatched club representative to inspect to training sites in California, said he has not made a final decision about where the club will train next summer.

"We haven't made a decision," Jones said. "We don't have a deal. I'm not opposed to coming back, if we don't find what we want."

The Cowboys have spent the past three training camps in Wichita Falls at Midwestern State University, which has a one-year agreement with the club. Jones said he's leaning toward moving training camp to the Rio Grande Valley next summer but indicated some important issues still must be resolved before an agreement can be finalized. One issue is whether the facility can be completed on time. Jones said he will probably make a decision on the Cowboys' training camp site in early September.

Briefly ...

The Cowboys recently offered former New York Giants starter Phillipi Sparks a one-year contract for $440,000 to play safety because they were concerned about Izell Reese's health. He turned it down. ... Fourth-string quarterback Clint Stoerner will play before Paul Justin so coach Dave Campo can see how he plays against better competition and with better personnel.