In 1998, Vinny Testaverde led a Bill Parcells-coached New York Jets squad to a 12-4 record. Along the way, he threw 29 touchdown passes against just seven interceptions to propel himself into the top five of fantasy quarterbacks. Six years later, can the reunited duo work similar magic in Dallas?
After Quincy Carter was axed by The Tuna on Wednesday, it appears that Parcells thinks Testaverde still has something left to give. Parcells has a history of getting productivity out of geriatrics. In 1990 he won a Super Bowl with Phil Simms at quarterback and Otis Anderson at running back. Both were in their mid-thirties.
And Parcells is nothing if not loyal to his former players who worked hard. This offseason, in addition to signing Testaverde, he went out and made a deal to bring back receiver Keyshawn Johnson – Testaverde and Johnson connected 83 times for 10 TDs in 1998.
With Testaverde again at the helm, Johnson is one player who may benefit. There is a lot to be said for chemistry, and these guys had it when they were together in New York.
That said, at this point in his career Testaverde is a big risk. Let's be honest: Tectonic plates move faster than the 40-year-old QB. And since 1998, Testaverde has averaged fewer than 200 passing yards and just more than a TD pass per game in the 43 games in which he saw significant time. Those are not numbers that impact fantasy teams in a positive way.
How long Vinny will last also is a big question mark. Dallas has former Michigan star Drew Henson waiting in the wings. And Dallas gave up 37 sacks last season with younger and more elusive quarterbacks like Carter and Chad Hutchinson behind center. A sitting duck like Testaverde will certainly take a bigger beating.
All things considered, Testaverde is best avoided even as a backup fantasy QB for leagues of 12 teams or less. Dallas is shaping up to be similar to the Giants of Parcells' past: a grind-it-out offense made up of veterans and a strong defense designed to keep the game close. And those kind of conservative defensive battles aren't fertile ground for fantasy production.