Friday, January 7, 2000
Low blow by Vikings end on Flozell Adams
not easily forgotten
By Jeff Caplan
Knight Ridder Newspapers
IRVING, Texas Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Flozell
Adams says he doesn't think about the below-the-belt cheap shot
that Minnesota Vikings defensive end Duane Clemons landed on him
during the teams' first meeting Nov. 8 in Minnesota.
He surely hasn't forgotten about it.
I don't think he'll forget it, Cowboys coach Chan
The referees didn't see the punch, but ABC's Monday Night
Football cameras caught it, and the video prompted the NFL
to fine Clemons $7,500, a figure Gailey surmised as minuscule
considering the severity of the infraction.
At the time, Adams called the fine ludicrous, and
Gailey was as outspoken on the subject as anything this season.
He's still disappointed with the league's punishment.
I better not say because if I say I'll probably get in
trouble, Gailey said. Better off to leave it, as I
was very unhappy with the way it was handled.
Gailey said he will talk to Adams at some point before Sunday's
wild-card playoff game against Minnesota to remind him of the
bigger picture and to keep his emotions in check if and when he
tangles with Clemons again.
ROBERT SMITH A CONCERN
Both defenses are guarding against a Smith. The Vikings are
poised to stop Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, and the Cowboys
are talking the same about Vikings running back Robert Smith,
who missed the earlier meeting this season with an injury.
Robert Smith can go the distance from anywhere. He can
take it 90 if you're on your own 10, he's that kind of back,
Chan Gailey said. Obviously, he's a big, strong man who
can break tackles as well, so that's the dimension he adds, the
home run from anywhere on the field.
Cornerback Kevin Mathis was upgraded from doubtful to questionable,
joining fellow cornerback Kevin Smith at that status. Both practiced
again Thursday, but Chan Gailey said it remains uncertain how
much either can contribute Sunday.
Gailey called their practice session encouraging, but said
neither is at 100 percent.
Deion Sanders, however, will be 100 percent. In the last meeting
at Minnesota on Nov. 8, which also happened to be the last time
Smith and Mathis played in the same game, Sanders played with
an injured groin and hamstring and was noticeably gimpy.
WINNING AT .500
The Cowboys heard it more than once this week: the 1985 Cleveland
Browns, the '90 New Orleans Saints and the '91 New York Jets,
all playoff qualifiers at 8-8, never won a playoff game.
Just because it's never happened doesn't mean it can't
happen, safety George Teague said. Knowing the talent
we have, and the potential we have, if at some point like this
weekend, we actually play our best game and put it all together,
there's not anybody that we can't beat and no reason we can't
make it all the way to the Super Bowl.
HIGH HONOR FOR TUCKER
Wide receiver-kick returner Jason Tucker of the Cowboys was
named NFC special teams player of the month for December, the
NFL announced. Carolina wide receiver Patrick Jeffers, a former
Cowboys player, was named the offensive player of the month, and
tackle John Randle of the Minnesota Vikings won defensive honors.
The Cowboys have 16 active players who have played in the Super
Bowl. That's 15 more than the Vikings. Cornerback Jimmy Hitchcock
played in Super Bowl XXXI with the New England Patriots against
the Green Bay Packers.
Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman said having players with playoff
experience is great, but it doesn't mean an automatic victory.
It helps, he said. In '92 we didn't have
much experience either.
Cowboys players with Super Bowl experience:
Troy Aikman, Larry Allen, Eric Bjornson, Jason Garrett, Dale
Hellestrae, Chad Hennings, Leon Lett, Eddie Murray, Ernie Mills,
Deion Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Kevin Smith, Mark Stepnoski, Charlie
Williams, Erik Williams, Darren Woodson.
Note: Michael Irvin and Darryl Johnston also have Super Bowl
experience, but are on injured reserve.
(c) 2000, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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