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nfc east
Paul Zimmerman
September 06, 1993
What can possibly stop the DALLAS COWBOYS from repeating as Super Bowl champs? Traditionally, there are many ways the lofty can tumble: A one-season frenzy abates, and some other team comes along that's even more frenzied. Complacency settles in. The superstars get old, and there's no one to take their places. You know the usual excuses, but I don't see any of that happening to the Jimmy Johnson Cowboys. But there is a new wrinkle, free agency, and its escort to the dance, the salary cap.
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September 06, 1993

Nfc East

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"Put me in a seven-step drop." Simms says. "Let me throw down-field, stretch it out. Those DBs are so used to seeing that quick-drop 49er offense, they're jumping on everything short. I can burn 'em."

"Can the line give you the extra time?" Reeves says.

"One second is all I need," Simms says. "One more second...."

And with nothing to lose, Simms gets the green light and starts firing deep. And Gotham is agog. And....

As I said, it's a daydream. Putting your quarterback in a seven-step drop, with all those charging maniacs bearing down, doesn't make sense when his backups are a pair of greenies. But a grind-it-out running game, Bill Parcells style, doesn't work if it isn't backed up by a solid defense. Two newcomers to the Giants, Mark Jackson and Mike Sherrard, might revive an anonymous wideout corps, but they're not superstars. It might be time for Reeves and Simms to pull something out of their bag of tricks.

In the locker room and the coaches' room, everyone was saying that these PHILADELPHIA EAGLES might be better than the last few teams. I waited for an elbow in the ribs. I tried to find a script from owner Norman Braman that the players had just memorized. Sorry, but I just can't see it.

Free agency took 11 vets from the Eagles, with more to go next year. The defensive line, which used to be every quarterback's dark nightmare, now lines up as follows: Tim Harris, a converted linebacker who has never had to play the power side; Andy Harmon, a holdover and a comer; possibly ex-Viking, ex-Seahawk Keith Millard; and Clyde Simmons, who will get more attention than Madonna.

The defensive line is where it has always started with this team—and-where the 1993 season will end unless a miracle occurs. A team that has been geared to a crush-'em defense for so many years will go into shock once it starts slipping. Just check the Giants of '90 and '91. Oh, there is still sonic super talent on defense, but linebackers Seth Joyner and Byron Evans and cornerback Eric Allen always had those big bombers to play behind.

Can the Randall Cunningham offense carry it? Quick, now, what's his psychological status? They love me, they hate me; I want to be me, I don't care who I am. Stay tuned. Until another receiver of Mike Quick's or Keith Jackson's caliber shows up, the Eagle offense will be most effective when it's pounding the ball—no, not with Herschel Walker, but with a 205-pound overachiever named Heath Sherman.

And remember this name: Vaughn Hebron, a lice agent running back from Virginia Tech—5'8", 196 pounds, and, boy, does he bring it.

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