A deal that would send Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback Steve Walsh to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a package of draft choices may be close to completion, the Dallas Times Herald reported today.

The newspaper said that a league source told them Thursday that New Orleans president Jim Finks this week has asked at least five teams about the availability of their backup quarterbacks, and that one of those teams is Dallas.Well-traveled John Fourcade is starting for the 0-2 Saints and Bobby Hebert is a contract holdout, leaving the Saint in need of quality quarterback.

Another source said the Cowboys had been in contact with the Saints on Thursday, and that the Saints are willing to offer a package of draft picks for Walsh, the newspaper reported.

A deal for Walsh possibly hinges on New Orleans' ability to trade the disgruntled Hebert to the Raiders for a first-round pick, a source said. After securing a first for Hebert, the Saints then would package that draft choice and several of their own for Walsh.

"The Saints want to move Hebert first," the source said.

The Cowboys are reportedly asking for two first-round draft picks or a first-round draft choice and a starting player, preferably a linebacker or defensive lineman, for Walsh.

Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson could not be reached for comment but Tuesday did not deny New Orleans had expressed interest in Walsh, the Cowboys' first-round pick in the 1989 supplemental draft that cost the team the first pick in the 1990 draft.

"That would be really speculation at this point to be talking about anything like that," said Johnson, who coached Walsh at the University of Miami.

The league source said Finks, besides inquiring about Walsh, has contacted the Raiders about Steve Beuerlein, Kansas City about Steve Pelluer, the Jets about Tony Eason and the Bears about Mike Tomczak. All are former starters, and the Saints showed some interest last year in Pelluer before the Cowboys cut a deal with the Chiefs.