Cowboys Find Aikman's Replacement

The Dallas Cowboys, who earlier this month released 12-year veteran Troy Aikman, are reportedly close to a one-year deal with former Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tony Banks.

Several media outlets in the Dallas/Fort Worth area reported late Monday night that Banks would sign a one-year deal worth about $500,000. While there would be no signing bonus, the contract is expected to be full of incentives that could greatly increase its value.

Banks began last season as the starter in Baltimore, but was replaced by Trent Dilfer in the ninth week. Banks saw limited action the rest of the season as the Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl.

Rich Dalrymple, the Cowboys' public relations director, didn't return phone messages left by The Associated Press. Banks' agent, Marvin Demoff, also didn't return calls.

Demoff reportedly met Monday with Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones in Palm Desert, Calif., site of this week's NFL owners meeting. Dallas owner Jerry Jones isn't at that meeting.

Banks, considered a year ago as Baltimore's quarterback of the future, was cut March 1 by the Ravens because of salary cap concerns. He was due to receive $2.8 million on the four-year, $18.6 contract he signed in February 2000.

Aikman, who won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys, was also let go because of salary cap reasons. His contract called for a $7 million bonus and an extension through 2007 if he had still be on the Dallas roster March 8.

The Cowboys were also concerned about the health of Aikman, 34, who suffered four concussions in his last 20 starts. His last play was Dec. 10 against Washington when he suffered a concussion after being slammed to the turf by Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington.

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