The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 15, 1996 · Page 14
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 14

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Salina, Kansas
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Tuesday, October 15, 1996
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Page 14
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B4 TUESDAY. OCTOBER 15, 1996 SPORTS THE SALINA JOURNAL PRO FOOTBALL Cowboys glad Irvin is back Wide receiver gives team emotional lift in return from suspension By DENNE H. FREEMAN The Associated Press IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys, their offense rejuvenated by the return of Michael Irvin, got some help Monday for their top-rated defense. Suspended defensive end Shante Carver returned to the team after serving his six-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. Irvin gave an emotional lift to the defending Super Bowl champions on Sunday as they finally struggled back to .500 with a 17-3 domination of the Arizona Cardinals. "Good things are going on," offensive lineman Nate Newton said. "We got a quick emotional fix from Michael coming back and now we got Shante." Defensive lineman Chad Hennings said Carver's arrival gives the defensive line some much needed depth. "It really helps to have Shante back and now if we can get Charles Haley well we'll really do some damage on defense," Hennings said. "We need all the help we can get because we need to make a big run. We dug ourselves a hole at the start of the season." The Cowboys lost three of their first four games but bounced back with wins against Philadelphia and Arizona and have the winless Atlanta Falcons coming to Texas Stadium on Sunday. Carver will share time with Hurvin McCormack, who has been starting in Haley's absence. Haley has missed two consecutive games with back pain but still expects to play again this season. "We'll start Hurvin and work Carver in the rotation," coach Barry Switzer said. "We'd like to see Charles back in there soon, too, but don't know for sure if he will be able to play Sunday." Carver made himself scarce in the Cowboys locker room Monday as he opted not to talk about his problems. Still, there was some of the old Cowboy swagger at Valley Ranch on Monday because of the strong performance against the Cardinals which included two touchdowns and a season-high 112 yards rushing by Emmitt Smith. Irvin was back after missing the first five games of the season under an NFL suspension after he pleaded no contest to felony cocaine possession. He caught five passes against the Cardinals for 51 yards. "We're starting to put the pieces of the puzzle together again," Smith said. "Everybody counted us out. Now, they're trying to climb back on the bandwagon. Well, the bandwagon is full. There are about 50 people on it." Quarterback Troy Aikman, who got mad at offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese at one point during the game because the plays were slow coming down from the press box, said "those things can be cleared up. The main thing is that this team is starting to get its confidence back. And confidence always goes with playing well and winning." The Associated Press Miami Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson (top) celebrates his team's 21-7 victory at Buffalo on Sunday, while Michael Irvin (catching pass above) returned to the Cowboys after serving a five-game suspension for his drug conviction. Kansas City adds cornerback, defensive lineman NFL strategy: to study team, watch coach Johnson, Cowher, Rhodes, Fontes lead predictable outcomes By DAVE GOLDBERG Tlw Associated Press Many NFL teams mirror their coaches. Which is why the Dolphins, Steelers and Eagles won Sunday and the Lions lost. In other words, teams coached by Jimmy Johnson, Bill Cowher, Ray Rhodes and Wayne Fontes are eminently predictable. Miami's 21-7 win over Buffalo was perhaps the perfect example of why Johnson remains football's best coach, although Cowher and Rhodes are coming up quickly. Playing without Dan Marino for the third straight game (two of them losses), the Dolphins acted as if they'd all be cut if they didn't win. And why not? Johnson seems to cut a player a week after a loss. "We had to overcome the thought that we couldn't win without Marino," Johnson said after his defense, with four rookies starting, sacked Jim Kelly seven times and intercepted him three times. "Obviously we're going to welcome him back with open arms, but I think our guys took a giant step forward and became a better team." That's not an accident. Kelly, coming back from a pulled hamstring, has no touchdown passes and six interceptions in three games against Johnson-coached teams — the first two were Super Bowl losses to the Cowboys. And he played only a half before being injured in the 1993 Super Bowl, a 5217 Dallas win. As for the other teams: • Cowher's Steelers, prime for a letdown against Cincinnati after a big Monday night win in Kansas City, sacked Jeff Blake 10 times in a 20-10 win over the Bengals, 41/2 by Chad Brown. Cowher's teams, like Johnson's, almost welcome adversity — in this case the loss for the season of Greg Lloyd and Ray Seals on defense — by pulling from the shadows other great players like Brown and Levon Kirkland. • Rhodes' Eagles, with Ty Detmer making his first start at quarterback, simply wore down the Giants on defense and won 19-10 despite going without an offensive touchdown. That's Rhodes' forte: If one unit's hurt, let the other one do it. "The leaders on defense made a point of letting these guys know, 'Hey, if we're going to be a good football team, our defense will have to take over,' " Rhodes said. The defense scored one touchdown and allowed just a field goal. "Our defense won the game for us." • Fontes' Lions were again their schizophrenic selves, losing the first half, then winning the second in Oakland after they'd fallen behind 34-0. A week ago, they took a 28-0 lead at home over Atlanta, then held on to win 28-24. "It was a game of two halves," Fontes said in his sometimes Sten- gelese syntax. "They won the first half and the second hah". At least we By DOUG TUCKER The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Chiefs, who gave up more than 300 passing yards to Mike Tomczak in a 17-7 loss to Pittsburgh in their last outing, signed veteran corner- back Tony Stargell on Monday and activated rookie defensive lineman Kerry Hicks from the practice squad. To make roster room, they put wide receiver Victor Bailey and linebacker Tracy Rogers on injured reserve. The Chiefs have been banged up in the defensive secondary. Cornerback T PRO BASEBALL James Hasty missed the Pittsburgh game with a wrist injury and backup Darren Anderson has been slowed by a sore knee. Anderson did not practice Monday. Stargell, a seven-year veteran, has appeared in 85 games, including 35 starts, with the New York Jets, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay. He started six of 14 games with the Bucs last year. He was released by the Carolina Panthers during the exhibition season and joined the Chiefs' practice squad. "He's been a starter, but he's got a lot of learning to do and we're spend- ing a lot of time cramming it into him," Chiefs coach Marty Schotten- heimer said. "We were very thin at that position." "By being a veteran, it doesn't take me so long to learn the defense," said Stargell, 31. "It's just different terminology that I've got to pick up on. I'll just go out and get it from them and go home and study and put it together on the practice field." Schottenheimer said Stargell will probably see action Thursday night against Seattle, at least on special teams, where the Chiefs have been coming up short all year. "I hope I'm able to help the team Kansas City signs Roberts to 1-year contract By The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Free agent Dip Roberts, a switch-hitter who batted .283 and drove in 52 runs for the Kansas City Royals in an injury-interrupted season, has signed a one-year contract for 1997, the team said Monday. Roberts, 32, came to the Royals from San Diego last December in a trade for first baseman Wally Joyner. Roberts, who plays both infield and outfield, appeared in 90 games. He went on the disabled list after tearing his left hamstring June 9 and was out until July 19. A strained muscle in his left side sidelined him again from Aug. 6 until Sept. 1. Roberts got off to a fast start for the Royals, being named the team's player of the month for April when he hit .303 with six doubles and 14 RBI. In nine major league seasons he has a .296 average, with 284 RBI and 25 homers. "I'm excited about coming back to Kansas City," Roberts said from his home in San Diego. He said he was anxious to show fans what he can do when he's healthy and likes the direction the Royals are head- t ing. Manager Bob Boone called Roberts his most experienced hitter and said he provided leadership for the team's younger players. The Royals also announced that catcher Henry Mercedes, who appeared in four games for them after hitting .215 at Omaha, has elected free agency, as has pitcher Julio Valera. Reinstated to the roster from the disabled list were outfielder Michael Tucker and pitchers Mark Gubicza, Kris Ralston and Jim Converse, with Ralston and Converse assigned outright to Omaha. t All WOOd Wood Unfinished Products Furniture ON SALE NOW • Chairs • Stools • Book Shelves • Entertainment Center BOSTER LUMBER CO. 1210 W.Crawford Salina 827-3618 Events of the Day the Salina Journal came back in the second half and showed some character." Added wide receiver Brett Perriman: "I knew we were flat. I could see that in the locker room before the game. If we don't come out with some spunk, some enthusiasm, we don't play well." That kind of inconsistency is not the route to the Super Bowl despite the Lions' talent, particularly on offense. On the other hand, look for the Steelers to get back soon, the Dolphins to be there during Johnson's tenure (five years is his usual stay in one place) and the Eagles to make it under Rhodes if they ever find a quarterback. One more thing: In two weeks, the Dolphins play the Cowboys. Marino hopes to be back for that one. Even if he isn't, it's a good bet Johnson will find a way to will Miami to victory. BUGS' Patsies Tampa Bay's 24-13 win over Minnesota, Tony Dungy's first as a head coach, shouldn't have been a surprise, although who would have expected Trent Dilfer to throw three touchdown passes and no interceptions after only one TD and 10 interceptions in his first five games. For one thing, Dungy knew the Vikings, having been defensive coordinator there for four seasons under Dennis Green. Despite Tampa's dismal record the last 15 or so seasons, it was the Bucs' fourth win in their last six meetings with the Vikings, and third in the last four at what is now called Houlihan's Stadium. It also followed a pattern that also applies to the Lions — playing in a dome may be an advantage, but teams that play there often lose something on the road. Unless they are Atlanta, St. Louis or New Orleans, which know how to lose anywhere. Giants or midgets? Two statistics that tell everything about the state of the Giants. 1. Amani Toomer's 65-yard punt return for a touchdown was the rookie's second this season. It's one more than the team has scored rushing and ties him with tight end Aaron Pierce for the team lead in TDs — Pierce has one reception and scored on reverse. 2. The defense played its third straight game without allowing a TD in the 19-10 loss to the Eagles. During that period, the special teams have allowed a punt return for a score and the offense gave up William Thomas' 23-yard fumble return for a TD on Sunday. Scary thought The Jets have lost to the Giants, Raiders and Jaguars en route to 0-7. That leaves them only one more game against a team that currently has a losing record — at Arizona (24) on Oct. 27. The rest? Buffalo (4-2) and New England (33) twice each; Indianapolis (5-1, Houston (4-2), Philadelphia (4-2) and Miami (4-2). If they lose them all, it will be the first team to go 0-16 and the first winless team since Tampa Bay was 0-14 in 1976, its first year of existence. out this week," he said. "I'm really eager to get in there and contribute. The first practice today we well. I had fun and learned a lot. It was great to get back out and work on my skills again." Bailey has caught only one pass this year. Rogers, a mainstay on special teams, has been hampered by an injured thumb all season. "Tracy Rogers was a difficult one to let go of," Schottenheimer said. "It appears in light of the fact he's had two surgeries on his thumb, he's going to be disabled from an effective playing standpoint for at least another six weeks." Packers edge 49ers in OT By The Associated Press GREEN BAY, Wis. — Chris Jacke's 53-yard field goal 3:41 into overtime gave the Green Bay Packers a 23-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night in the season's most dramatic game. Jacke, who had tied the game with a 31-yarder with eight seconds left in regulation, kicked the longest field goal in NFL history to win an overtime game. The real hero for Green Bay, though, was Don Beebe, the veteran wide receiver who caught 11 passes from Brett Favre for 220 yards, including a 13-yarder that set up Jacke's winning kick. The teams were tied at 17 when San Francisco's Marquez Pope intercepted a pass by Favre with 2:13 left and returned it 12 yards to the Green Bay 12. That set up Jeff Wilkins' 28-yard field goal with 1:50 left that gave the 49ers a 20-17 lead. * FLUSH COOLING SYSTEM 6 Antifreeze • Backflushes cooling system to remove deposits, scale and corrosion. • Recycled fluid provides superior corrosion protection for today's aluminum engines. • Pressure tests entire cooling system. Eliminates disposal and pollution problems. Drains cooling system to facilitate repairs. We Now Accept The NAPACARD 3PH S Auto & Truck Repair Service 2259-A Centennial Road / Salina / (913) 823-9732

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