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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : NFC : Cowboys Sue NFL for $750 Million

Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys filed a $750-million antitrust lawsuit against the NFL on Monday, accusing the league of blocking teams from conducting their own marketing business.

The suit, filed in federal court in New York, cites the Sherman Antitrust Act and names the league, NFL Properties and the NFL Trust, which the team called an “illegal cartel.”

The Cowboys seek $200 million in actual damages, which would be tripled under federal antitrust laws. The team seeks an additional $150 million in punitive damages. The team announced its suit hours before its game against Philadelphia Monday night. ABC reported during the game that every owner except Al Davis was named in the suit.

Team owner Jerry Jones has said he wanted to mediate the rift between the Cowboys and NFL out of court, but said the league’s $300-million lawsuit filed against the team in September has left him no recourse.

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That lawsuit challenges Jones’ separate sponsorship agreements between Texas Stadium and Nike, Dr Pepper and others. Jones contends his aggressive marketing is in the best interests of all 30 teams, not only the Cowboys.

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Cary Conklin could find himself making his first start at quarterback in two years when the San Francisco 49ers play at Dallas on Sunday.

Steve Young (left shoulder) and Elvis Grbac (left ankle) were listed as questionable for the game. Grbac was seen in the locker room on crutches with a walking cast covering his sprained ankle. Young, who has been sidelined the past three games, said his status is uncertain until he throws later this week.

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Quarterback Brett Favre, defensive ends Reggie White and Sean Jones and receiver Anthony Morgan, who were injured in the Green Bay Packers’ 27-24 loss to Minnesota, are all expected to play Sunday for Green Bay against Chicago.

However, backup quarterback Ty Detmer will be lost for about six weeks because of torn ligaments in his right thumb suffered in a 27-24 loss at Minnesota. Favre, White and Morgan suffered sprains, and Jones suffered a concussion.

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Derrick Moore, who had been on track for a 1,000-yard rushing season for the Carolina Panthers, will be out four to six weeks because of a knee sprain.

Moore suffered a second-degree sprain to his right knee when he was tackled in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 13-7 victory over San Francisco, Coach Dom Capers said.

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William Clay Ford, owner of the Detroit Lions, said not making the playoffs “is not acceptable,” and that he would “probably” be looking for a new coach if the team falls short.

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Ford said Coach Wayne Fontes is aware of his concerns.

The Lions are 3-6, 0-5 on the road. Fontes is in his seventh season as coach.

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Chicago punter Todd Sauerbrun, a second-round draft pick out of West Virginia, may not be on the Bears’ roster at the end of the week. The Bears are bringing back punter Mitch Berger, who was brought into camp last year and released, for a tryout.

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Sauerbrun is averaging only 38.2 yards for 33 punts and Coach Dave Wannstedt said, “I told Todd we’ll just let them both kick during the week and whatever guy, I think, gives the team the best chance to win will be the guy that will kick on Sunday.”

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Washington Coach Norv Turner said Gus Frerotte will remain the team’s starting quarterback even though he had his worst game of the season--11 for 34 for 140 yards--and was pulled for Heath Shuler in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 24-3 loss to Kansas City.

“I don’t feel I need to make that change right now,” Turner said. “I think Gus has played well. He had a tough day.”

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