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Pro Football SPOTLIGHT

November 21, 1994|Bob Cuomo, Helene Elliott, Houston Mitchell and Ara Najarian


The Cowboys were sending out an SOS after they lost quarterbacks Troy Aikman (knee) and Rodney Peete (thumb) and finished their 31-7 victory over Washington with third-stringer Jason Garrett.

"We've got to find us a quarterback," said Coach Barry Switzer. "There's none at the 7-11. But we have to find somebody.

"We can't rack the table and quit. We still have to play the last five balls."

Owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys will "go with what we got" in their next game, on Thursday, and start searching next week. But they can't be extravagant. They're only $40,000 under the salary cap.

The Redskins also used three quarterbacks in the game--Gus Frerotte, John Friesz and Heath Shuler.

"All I know, six quarterbacks in one game has to be an NFL first," Switzer said. "It at least ties a record."


After being sacked twice and throwing an incomplete, fourth-down pass with time running out in a 12-6 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Randall Cunningham was thoroughly disgusted with the day's events.

"The way we played, we can't beat anybody," Cunningham said. "We couldn't beat a Pop Warner squad."


Last week, the Minnesota Vikings allowed New England's Drew Bledsoe to set NFL records with 45 completions and 70 attempts. On Sunday, the New York Jets' Boomer Esiason picked apart the Vikings for 22 completions in 29 attempts. He threw three touchdowns, and was not intercepted.

That was the second consecutive week the Vikings couldn't intercept a pass, and they were unhappy.

"It's not what we're doing different now, it's what teams are doing differently against us," cornerback Anthony Parker said. "We have to have our leadership step up and we need to make some big plays."


Seattle defeated Tampa Bay on a seven-yard touchdown run by Mack Strong with 42 seconds left. Seahawk offensive coordinator Larry Kennan, with no timeouts remaining, caught the Buccaneers sleeping. They were expecting a pass.

Said Coach Tom Flores: "Larry called the play and I said, 'Wait a minute.' But then I thought if we got outside the pass rush, only defensive backs would be left."


We know they do things big in Texas. But sometimes, they go a bit overboard.

The Cowboys, who were fined $10,000 by the league for failing to report Troy Aikman's thumb injury prior to last week's game against San Francisco, complied with the letter of the law this week.

They issued a post-game injury report that included 15 names: Aikman (sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee), Peete (sprained right thumb), cornerback Larry Brown (left elbow contusion), linebacker Dixon Edwards (sprained right foot), defensive end Charles Haley (sprained right big toe), wide receiver Alvin Harper (bruised lower back), defensive tackle Chad Hennings (sprained right ankle), wide receiver Michael Irvin (sprained right quad), guard Derek Kennard (reaggravated sprained right big toe), guard Nate Newton (reaggravated sprained ankle), linebacker Godfrey Myles (sprained right knee), linebacker Darrin Smith (left calf contusion), running back Emmitt Smith (reaggravated left shoulder sprain), cornerback Kevin Smith (reaggravated sprained right Achilles tendon) and guard Ron Stone (sprained right elbow).

TONIGHT'S GAME: N.Y. Giants at Houston

6 p.m., Channel 7

The Giants (3-7) have lost seven consecutive games and the Oilers have lost six.

The Oilers are 1-9, but with the exception of last week, the losses have rarely been the fault of the defense. That is why defensive coordinator Jeff Fisher was elevated to head coach to replace the fired Jack Pardee.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was also fired, so the run-and-shoot offense will be scrapped except for when the team is way behind. Chances are you'll still see a lot of it.

Billy Joe Tolliver has been named the starting quarterback after directing the Oilers to their best offensive showing this season last week. He completed 20 of 34 passes for 142 yards and the Oilers scored a season-high 31 points.

The problem was that the Bengals--a team nickname usually preceded by the word hapless-- scored 33 points against the Oilers.

Quarterback Dave Brown returns to the starting lineup for the Giants after Kent Graham's dismal debut, He completed nine of 26 passes for 92 yards and an interception in a 10-9 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

The Giants need to establish the running game to help their young quarterback, but everyone knows that, so opposing defenses stack the line to stop the run and dare the Giants to throw.

So far that strategy has worked.


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