In Atlanta's 34-31 win over the New Orleans Saints, White suffered through three excruciating quarters that cost him a starting job. He dropped two passes and accidentally tipped a ball into the air that rookie safety Josh Bullocks intercepted and returned 51 yards. Dez White also negated Warrick Dunn's 30-yard run with a holding penalty.
The Falcons signed him in March 2004 to work as a deep-threat receiver for quarterback Michael Vick and to complement Peerless Price, and White did an adequate job. His best play was a 32-yard touchdown catch that ended the scoring for Atlanta in a one-point win over San Diego last year.
Unfortunately, a hamstring injury in the fourth preseason game caused White to start this season slowly and he just two catches for 25 yards and one touchdown in the six games he played.
White's demise was nothing compared to that of Price, who cost the Falcons a first-round draft choice and a $10 million signing bonus, when they acquired him in March 2003.
Expectations were much lower for White, but he still worked hard to block downfield for a rushing attack that's led the NFL during the last two seasons. Price, whom Dallas coach Bill Parcells cut last Saturday despite the receiver's guaranteed contract, developed a reputation as somewhat of a diva.
White and Price each started 17 of 18 games last season, but Michael Jenkins took the latter's job before training camp opened in late July. White's poor performance two months ago caused head coach Jim Mora to move him to No. 5 on the depth chart.
Because he will earn the remainder of his salary and can receive medical treatment through the end of the season, White will remain on the team. His contract runs through 2006, but he would need to make a major turnaround to prevent the Falcons from cutting him this winter.
The Chicago Bears drafted White in the third round of 2000 following his junior year at Tech.