"The biggest thing he does that you don't usually see rookies do is use his counter-moves instinctively," says veteran Arizona linebacker Seth Joyner. "A lot of young guys, when something isn't working, have to stop and think what they want to try next. Simeon just does it."
Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel's potential as an NFL quarterback seems marginal at best. Scouts aren't enamored with his arm strength or mobility, and despite his 39 TD passes this season for Florida, he's projected as no better than a third-round pick in next April's draft. "He has ability and guts," says Falcons vice president of player personnel Ken Herock. "I think he could hang around the league and be a good backup. But if anyone sees beyond that, he's looking into a crystal ball."
When the Cowboys clinched the NFC Fast on Sunday, with a 12-6 win over the Patriots, it set them up for a tough road schedule in 1997. Most notable is that Dallas will travel to Green Bay next year for the first time since 1989. The teams' last seven meetings, four during the regular season and three in the playoffs, have come at Texas Stadium, and the Cowboys have won all of them. Dallas also will play at Pittsburgh, and should the Panthers hold on and win the NFC West, a trip to San Francisco will be on the Cowboys' schedule as well....
How important is a bye in the postseason? Since the playoffs were expanded to four rounds in 1978, of the 92 teams that have played a wild-card-round game, only the 1980 Raiders have gone on to win the Super Bowl....
Agents have never been popular with Panthers general manager Bill Polian. Told that Tom Cruise's title role in the hit movie Jerry Maguire is patterned after agent Leigh Steinberg, Polian said, "The apocalypse is upon us."
...With Ron Turner having accepted the coaching job at Illinois, Bears coach Dave Wannstedt is looking for a new offensive coordinator. Word is that Wannstedt hopes to shake Ernie Zampese free from the Cowboys, but that appears unlikely as long as Barry Switzer is the coach in Dallas....
The Raiders were whistled for a team-record 20 penalties for 157 yards in a 24-19 loss to the Broncos that eliminated Oakland from the postseason. Afterward Raiders safety Lorenzo Lynch said, " Denver will lose in the first round of the playoffs—guaranteed."
...The Bengals finally did the right thing on Sunday when they signed interim coach Bruce Coslet to a four-year contract. Upon replacing David Shula, who was fired on Oct. 21 after a 1-6 start, Coslet challenged lackadaisical players and got more out of this talented team than his predecessor. The result: Cincinnati is 6-2 under Coslet after Sunday's 21-13 win over the Oilers, and quarterback Jeff Blake says of his new boss, "I'd go to the grave with him."
... Oilers cornerback Cris Dishman, a free-agent-to-be, after playing probably his last game in Houston: "Shocked, stunned, frustrated, upset, happy." Happy? "Well, I'm happy no one suffered a career-ending injury."