Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Aikman, Smith like Money in Bank

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Aikman, Smith like Money in Bank

Article excerpt

Cowboys 38 Redskins 3

Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith played like they were worth every penny of the $63.6 million they're being paid.

Aikman, a fresh $50 million contract in the bank, threw two touchdown passes and Smith regained the NFL rushing lead and scored a touchdown as the Dallas Cowboys rolled to an easy victory over the Washington Redskins.

The most one-sided game in the 68-game history of the Cowboys-Redskins series moved Dallas into an NFC East championship showdown with the New York Giants at the Meadowlands next Sunday.

"I'd have to say it's the biggest regular season game since I've been here," Aikman said.

Smith agreed, saying "we know the Giants will be tougher than they were last time. It's all on the line, the division and the homefield."

The defending Super Bowl champions are 11-4 after losing their first two games of the season without Smith, who eventually signed a $13.6 million contract.

The Giants are 11-4 after losing on Sunday 17-6 to Phoenix. The winner gets homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

"I said a month ago it would come down to Jan. 2 against the Giants for the homefield advantage and that's what happened," Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson said. "The Giants are very physical and the game should be very intense. I think our guys are ready to play."

Dallas was in no mood to overlook the Redskins (4-11), who beat the Cowboys 35-16 in the season opener.

"This was an outstanding performance," Johnson said. "We've finished strong the last two games."

Aikman hit 16 of 20 passes for 193 yards and Smith rushed 21 times for 153 yards. Smith, the NFL rushing leader the last two seasons, has 1,318 yards to 1,283 for Jerome Bettis of the Los Angeles Rams.

"If Bettis wins it, he wins it, but it's no biggie," Smith said. …

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