Dallas Anything But Perfect
The Cowboys, who staggered to their sixth division title in seven years by virtue of a 13-9 win over the Eagles, need a victory over the Redskins on Sunday to become the first NFC East team to go through division play undefeated—a dubious achievement given the state of the division and the fact that Dallas hasn't looked anything like a playoff team in the past month. The Cowboys have won two games out of the division, against the 3-12 Panthers and the 8-7 Sea-hawks....
Talks the 49ers have had with coach Steve Mariucci about extending his contract through 2005 have stalled. "It's not me," a grim-faced Mariucci, who has three years left on his current deal, said on Sunday. Could minions of suspended owner Eddie DeBartolo, who could return to power in February, be hoping to lure Packers coach Mike Holmgren back after the season?...
Some treasure could be found this off-season among the ranks of the restricted free agents, the three-year veterans whose contracts have expired but whose teams have the opportunity to match another club's offer. The Jets got running back Curtis Martin last March for first- and third-round picks after the Pats declined to match a six-year, $36 million contract. Martin has had seven 100-yard games and has rushed for eight touchdowns this season. This year's restricted free-agent gems: Oilers tackle Jon Runyan, Patriots outside linebacker Tedy Bruschi, Chiefs defensive tackle Tom Barndt and 49ers wideout Terrell Owens.
The End Zone
O Come All Ye Zebras
Referee Bob McElwee's officiating crew visited Children's Hospital in Boston last Saturday. Stephen Harling, a 21-year-old cancer patient, buttonholed McElwee and said, "You've got to have replay."