Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cowboys Win Game, Lose 2 Quarterbacks Aikman, Peete Injured in 31-7 Rout

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cowboys Win Game, Lose 2 Quarterbacks Aikman, Peete Injured in 31-7 Rout

Article excerpt

IRVING, Texas - Charles Haley charged up the tunnel at halftime and wondered aloud - as he tends to do - whether this team needed Jimmy Johnson to provide a killer instinct. Barry Switzer, running a few feet behind Haley, made it clear that Johnson is not the only one capable of a halftime tirade.

After the Dallas Cowboys' 31-7 whipping of Washington on Sunday, it was clear that a new sideline leader was not of immediate concern. Despite what is now a two-game lead over Philadelphia in the National Football Conference East, the Cowboys need quarterbacks, not coaches.

Dallas lost Troy Aikman probably for three to four weeksR because of a sprained left knee. Backup Rodney Peete is almost certain to miss Thursday's game with Green Bay because of a sprained right thumb.

That leaves Jason Garrett (one for five Sunday, 24 career pass attempts) as not just the starter for the Packers game but also the only quarterback on the Cowboys' roster.

"Even if Jason's our starter, we've got to have someone to back him up," said Switzer, in his first season as Cowboys coach after succeeding Johnson. "We can't go out there with one quarterback."

Six quarterbacks played Sunday, and seven players, including Washington running back Brian Mitchell, threw passes. But only Aikman looked like the real thing, leading the Cowboys to three scoring drives and a 17-0 first-quarter lead.

The score was 17-7 late in the first half when Aikman completed his final pass, a 13-yarder to Michael Irvin. Linebacker Ken Harvey, who entered the game as the National Football League's sack leader, bounced up from an Emmitt Smith block to grab Aikman's left leg as the quarterback made his delivery.

Aikman limped off the field to the locker room and shortly thereafter was taken to Baylor University Medical Center. A magnetic resonance imaging test disclosed a sprained ligament but nothing more serious.

"If we're going to have to lose Troy for three to four weeks," owner Jerry Jones said, "I want to lose him now, not three weeks from now. The surprising thing is that Rodney's injury appears to be more serious than we thought."

Peete threw an important 15-yard touchdown to Alvin Harper just before halftime to remove the woeful Redskins (2-9) as a serious threat. …

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