Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Quick Slants

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Quick Slants

Article excerpt

COLTS GETTING COMPARED TO OLD COWBOYS

The Colts are one of the NFL's best young teams and, because of their trio of young skill players, are expected to be one of the power teams in the next few years.

One reason is it's easy to draw comparisons between the Colts, with QB Peyton Manning, RB Edgerrin James and WR Marvin Harrison, and the premier team of the 1990s, the Cowboys.

Dallas won Super Bowls following the 1992, 1993 and 1995 seasons, and the major reason was their trio of core skill players -- QB Troy Aikman, RB Emmitt Smith and WR Michael Irvin.

"I think it's premature," Manning said of comparisons. "For any young player, those guys' careers are the ones you like to model yourself after because they've done it the right way, and they have three rings on their fingers. Those guys have nothing left to prove. We feel like we're a young team and we're heading in the right direction. But it's one thing to talk about doing it and another thing to go out and actually do it. Those guys have done it."

The teams play today, with Aikman and Smith still playing for Dallas, and Irvin out with a career-threatening injury to his spine. What they'll see is not only team with similarities to what they were 10 years before, but three players who -- at this stage of their careers -- are ahead of Aikman, Irvin and Smith at similar career stages.

A CLOSER LOOK

A statistical look at Aikman, Smith and Irvin vs. Manning, James and Harrison, at similar stages in career:

After 22 games Com-Att Yards TD Int 300* Rating

Manning 449-784 5,418 39 36 5 76.1

Aikman 334-621 3,765 17 33 2 59.1

After 6 games Att. Yds TD 100#

James 149 520 4 3

Smith 72 273 3 1

After 50 games Rec Yds TD 100#

Harrison 241 3,187 29 8

Irvin 180 3,130 20 9

QUIRK GIVES BROWNS A ROUGH ROAD

You want to call it a quirk in the schedule? …

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