Just how wrong Paul Zimmerman was about the Cowboys getting nothing from recent drafts (Paul Zimmerman's Scouting Reports, Sept. 8) was illustrated by Dallas' 17-3 defeat of Washington on Sept. 8. It was 1979 draft pick Ron Springs, formerly of Ohio State, who scored the second touchdown. If you still think the Dallas dynasty has become history, think again!
Let's hear it for Paul Zimmerman's scouting reports. Being an avid Redskin fan recently transferred to Cowboy Country, I was especially pleased with his Washington report. I only hope you continue to give the Redskins the recognition they deserve.
Last season (19TH HOLE, Jan. 7), I criticized Paul Zimmerman for not naming Eagle Middle Guard Charlie Johnson to his All-Pro team. Zimmerman has redeemed himself by acknowledging in his preview of the 1980 Eagles that Johnson is one of the NFL's best and most underrated players. There's only one problem: the Eagles at only 10-6?
Tampa Bay was no fluke last year, and barring injuries galore, the Bucs will be even better this year. John McKay is the most underrated coach in the NFL, and Tampa Bay the most underrated team.
Paul Zimmerman's report on the New York Jets was painfully accurate.
Your article on the prevent defense (Tick...Tick...Tick..., Sept. 8) hit on one of my pet peeves. I've long been opposed to the prevent because of the many times I've seen losing teams score against it in the final two minutes and either tie the game or win it. I'm especially annoyed when the offense is allowed to get close enough for a field goal—and these days that doesn't have to be very close. You go with your best defense at all times, not one that is practiced once a week.
It seems to me the prevent defense is like the pulled-in infield in baseball and the intentional foul in basketball—it's been done for years, everyone does it, but it usually doesn't work.
You quote coaches as being willing to accept a success rate of "only" 50% for the two-minute offense. This makes me wonder how successful regular offenses are; surely they don't score half the time they have the ball.
JON MATTHEW FARBER, M.D.
•The Redskins' Jack Pardee, one of the coaches who keep such statistics, says a good offense will score on 33% to 40% of its drives of more than 50 yards.—ED.
I have always found the work of Frank Deford excellent, and his article "Hey, Greek, Who Do You Like?" (Sept. 8) is perhaps the most thorough, well-written and emotional work ever to appear in SI. Jimmy The Greek's personal triumphs are inspirational.