•Since May 13, 1989, the Cowboys have made 29 trades involving players, and the Giants have made none.
•New Orleans quarterback Bobby Hebert is 13-0 lifetime against AFC teams. The 6-2 Saints play the Pats this Sunday.
WHAT'S A JOE TO DO?
The 49ers choose their words carefully when talking about Joe Montana's future with the team, but he doesn't seem to figure in their plans beyond this season. If Montana, who has been sidelined by elbow surgery for all of the 1991 and '92 seasons, attempts to return in '93—and one friend said last week that Montana is so determined to play again he'll do just that—he may have to make his comeback with another team.
"We've made an organizational decision that whatever happens, number one, we'll treat Joe with ultimate respect and consideration," says Niner president Carmen Policy. "And two, we will do what's in our best interests to field a competitive team."
The 49ers, who are buoyed by Steve Young's Pro Bowl-caliber season, aren't counting on Montana to be healthy for any significant stretch of time. They could give him a choice of either retiring with the appropriate pomp and circumstance or obtaining his release so that he could try to make a deal with another team. In the second scenario, it's logical to think that the Raiders, who have a history of picking up such reclamation projects, would try to work out an incentive-laden contract with Montana.
NO FURTHER REVIEW
Instant replay hasn't been missed—there weren't any erroneous game-turning calls in the first hall" of the season—and the flow of the game has improved as well. "I'm glad it's gone," says Oiler wideout Haywood Jeffires. "We're going with what the referee calls, and hopefully it doesn't affect the outcome of the game." Dropping replays also has shaved two minutes off the average length of games (excluding overtime).
The Cowboys have to find a backup for Emmitt Smith, someone to run the ball six or eight times a game, or risk burning out their star back at an early age. If Smith, who carried 30 times for 163 yards in Dallas's 20-10 win over the Eagles, continues at his current pace of 25 carries a game, by season's end he'll have 1,006 career carries at age 23. Too much, too soon....
Six months before the scheduled 1993 draft, there's no clear-cut No. 1 pick. Of the seniors who were highly touted prospects in the preseason, Notre Dame quarterback Rick Mirer has not distinguished himself, and Washington tackle Lincoln Kennedy has played to mixed reviews. The up-and-comers now include Alabama's pass-rushing defensive ends, Eric Curry and John Copeland, and Louisiana Tech tackle Willie Roaf.