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Don't expect the Dallas Cowboys to renew the option on their long-running game show, Quarterback Feud. Host Tom Landry, whose own ratings have slipped, will probably trade Danny White or Gary Hogeboom.
"There has been such pressure on both quarterbacks," says Gil Brandt, Cowboy vice-president of personnel development. "Danny starts and the fans boo him. Gary starts and the fans boo him. If one guy is the quarterback, the other guy is always questioned, 'How do you feel about him starting?' Look, if you've got a job to do and the phone is always ringing, you never get anything done."
Many think that Landry believes the 26-year-old Hogeboom is the man to lead the Cowboys back to the Super Bowl, despite his 53.1% completion average and 14 interceptions. A strong closing performance by the 32-year-old White could change that—but he didn't improve his standing with Sunday's 8-for-25, four-interception performance vs. the Eagles.
Both quarterbacks wholeheartedly endorse the idea of a trade. Says Hogeboom, "A trade is really the only way to go." And White? "I don't think I'd be willing to give up on the goals and plans I've made for my career, which I'd be doing by accepting a permanent backup position," he says. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, Landry put the retirement rumors concerning him to rest by announcing that he will continue as coach for at least two more seasons. Landry, 60, makes $500,000 a season and will be offered a contract similar to Miami coach Don Shula's—that is, $700,000 to $800,000 per year.
Last season, in gratitude for their blocking and pass protection, running back Eric Dickerson and quarterback Vince Ferragamo bought each Rams' offensive lineman an expensive Rolex watch. This season, Dickerson could break O.J. Simpson's single-season rushing record of 2,003—he's got 1,781 with two games to go—and the Ram linemen have been dropping hints.
Talk about a gratuitous penalty. With four minutes to go in the first half of Sunday's Giants-Jets game, score 0-0, the Giants faced a fourth-and-one at the Jets five. Ali Haji-Sheikh came in and, as he was successfully kicking the field goal, Jet Kyle Clifton, playing five yards off the line, took one step forward and then made a halfhearted leap at the ball, which was about 17 feet over his head at the time. Flag! Clifton was nailed for unsportsmanlike conduct—a no-jump infraction, which was established this year to prevent a defender from taking a running start from beyond the line of scrimmage to get extra height on a block attempt. But Clifton never touched anyone. Not a Jet, not a Giant. No matter, the Giants got a first down and Giants running back Rob Carpenter went in for the TD. Giants 7, Jets 0, rulebook 4.