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SIDELINES

A Tough Afternoon in Carter's Education

September 23, 2002|Houston Mitchell

At halftime of Sunday's Cowboy-Eagle game, Quincy Carter had an ever-so-slight edge over Donovan McNabb in quarterback rating for the game: 100.9 to 100.8.

Then came the second half.

Philadelphia turned their 20-10 halftime lead into a 44-13 victory over the Cowboys, demonstrating that Dallas and its fledgling quarterback have a long way to go.

"I thought Quincy looked good for most of the day," Emmitt Smith said. "Until the pressure got to him."

The pressure has been on Carter since he was drafted in the second round a year ago and was handed the starting quarterback job on a high-profile team after the retirement of Troy Aikman.

McNabb was the No. 2 overall pick in the 1999 draft and is arguably the best quarterback in a draft in which five were taken in the first round.

McNabb sat and watched veteran Doug Pederson quarterback a bad team, getting in games in dribs and drabs for the first half of the season. He didn't start until the 10th game of his rookie season on a team that finished 5-11.

Carter was thrown in from Day One--a message emphasized when Tony Banks, Dallas' only veteran quarterback on the roster, was cut in training camp.

"This is my 11th start," Carter said Sunday. "I don't think Donovan was what he is now after his 11th start."

What McNabb was Sunday was this: 24 for 37 for 287 yards and three touchdowns, plus six carries for 67 yards. Carter was 11 for 14 for 115 yards in the first half, then self-destructed in the second half, fumbling twice and throwing an interception when he tried to loft the ball on a fade route.

"That was on me but it's not something that can't happen to any quarterback," Carter said. "I was starting to throw, my hand was wet, I got hit and the ball just slipped out. A lot better guys than I am have had that happen to them."

McNabb's rating at the end of Sunday's game was 115.5. Carter's was 64.1.

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Key injuries in Week 3:

* Charger linebacker Junior Seau was helped to the locker room after he sprained his right ankle late in the Chargers' 23-15 win against Arizona, but Seau does not think the injury is serious.

* Arizona cornerback Duane Starks left the game against San Diego with a groin injury and San Diego center Cory Raymer left with an injured left Achilles' tendon.

* Troy Brown left New England's game against Kansas City after taking a hit to his knee, ending his chance to set the NFL record for receptions.

* Detroit linebacker Brian Williams injured his right ankle, which might be broken.

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Former NFL linebacker Wayne Simmons, who died last month in a one-car accident at Independence, Mo., had a blood alcohol level more than twice the state's legal limit at the time of the crash.

The Jackson County Medical Examiner said Simmons had a blood alcohol level of 0.19 when he was killed Aug. 23. The legal blood alcohol limit in Missouri is 0.08.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Really Catching On

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Troy Brown had 16 catches for 176 yards and a touchdown Sunday. Most receptions in NFL game:

*--* No Player Team and Opponent Date 20 Terrell Owens San Francisco vs. Chicago Dec. 17, 2000 18 Tom Fears L.A. Rams vs. Green Bay Dec. 3, 1950 17 Clark Gaines N.Y. Jets vs. San Francisco Sept. 21, 1980 16 Troy Brown New England vs. Kansas City Sept. 22, 2002 16 Keenan McCardell Jacksonville vs. St. Louis Rams Oct. 20, 1996 16 Jerry Rice San Francisco vs. L.A. Rams Nov. 20, 1994 16 Sonny Randle St. Louis Cardinals vs. N.Y. Nov. 4, 1962 Giants

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