And if he stays healthy, the Cowboys have a great chance to stay atop pro football. In Sunday's game the 49er defense chose to focus heavily on the Cowboy wideouts, rolling double coverage alternately to Irvin and Alvin Harper. "They wanted to see if Emmitt, with his shoulder, could beat 'em, " Irvin said afterward. "They were doubling the outside receivers, challenging Emmitt, making it hard for Troy to get the ball to me and Alvin. But you don't challenge Emmitt. Emmitt beat 'em. Emmitt ate 'em up."
After the game San Francisco's old sage of a tight end, Jamie Williams, was worried about Smith's health. "Is Emmitt O.K.?" he wondered.
"He'll be fine," a writer told him.
"Then Buffalo's in trouble," Williams said.