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Today's NFL Games : It Figures to Get a Bit Wild for Vikings and Cowboys

November 26, 1987|From Times Wire Services

The Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings, fighting for the same wild-card playoff berth, will provide the entertainment today in the second game of the National Football League's traditional Thanksgiving Day doubleheader.

The game will be televised at 1 p.m., PST, by CBS.

In the first game today, NBC will televise Kansas City (1-9) against Detroit (2-8) at Pontiac, Mich., at 9:30 a.m.. PST.

NBC, in an effort to make that telecast more interesting, has hired a psychologist, Dr. Eric Margenau, to work alongside announcers Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen. Margenau is the director of a sports psychology center in New York.

Michael Weisman, NBC Sports executive producer, said the idea is for Margenau "to get inside the helmets of the players . . . to describe the game from a psychological point of view."

Concerning the more meaningful second game, Dallas Coach Tom Landry said: "The players know that if they want to make the playoffs, they need to win this game. It's been pointed out to them."

With San Francisco, Chicago and Washington leading the three NFC divisional races, the rest of the teams in the conference are left to fight over the wild-card spots.

New Orleans leads in that race with a 7-3 record. Minnesota is 6-4 and Dallas 5-5. The winner of the Cowboy-Viking game will earn a tie-breaking advantage should the teams wind up deadlocked at the end of the season.

Both teams go into the game with unsettled quarterback situations. Minnesota played three quarterbacks last week and Dallas made a change from Danny White to Steve Pelluer in its 20-14 loss to Miami.

Minnesota Coach Jerry Burns, whose team has won three in a row and has a 7-1 record with its regular players, Wednesday named veteran Tommy Kramer to start at quarterback.

Kramer started last Sunday against Atlanta, only his second start of the year. But he left at the end of the first quarter with a bruised hand and on came Wade Wilson, who has played most of the season. Wilson was ineffective and was replaced by rookie Rich Gannon of Delaware. Wilson returned and finished in Minnesota's 24-13 victory.

Landry said he will not decide between White and Pelluer until just before kickoff. White was benched Sunday to rest his sore wrist. Pelluer gave Miami problems with his scrambling ability, running for 85 yards in 11 carries, but did not complete a pass to a wide receiver.

The Chiefs enter their game against the Lions with a nine-game losing streak. Their last victory was in their season opener against San Diego. They have not scored an offensive touchdown in their last three games and are depending on the return of quarterback Bill Kenney to rally the offense.

Kenney broke a wrist Nov. 1 in a loss at Chicago in which he threw four touchdown passes.

Sunday's NFL TV lineup in Los Angeles and San Diego: Green Bay-Chicago, 10 a.m., CBS; Denver-San Diego, 1 p.m., NBC, and Cleveland-San Francisco, 5 p.m., ESPN.

CBS originally was going to show the New York Giants and Washington Redskins in Los Angeles and San Diego but switched to the Packers and Bears at mid-week.

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