Times NFL Writer T.J. Simers Poses--And Answers--The Burning Questions on GAME DAY

1) Question: Will Dallas running back Emmitt Smith ever score again?

Answer: The Cowboys do play the hapless Bears this week, don’t they? OK, it’s been five games since Smith scored, and although he is responsible for the NFL rule against removing your helmet after scoring, he’s taking this a little too far.

After scoring 26 touchdowns in 32 games over the 1994 and 1995 seasons, Smith has scored only 12 in his last 19 regular-season games. Yikes! In his last 19 games, he has only 11 carries of 15 yards or more. In his previous 16 games, he had 20.

“I think what Emmitt has to do is figure out a way to let the younger running back on the team [Sherman Williams] get some more carries so that he can stay fresh for a period of years,” said Earl Campbell, the once-great running back with Houston and a friend of Smith. “It’s time for him to start playing smart. When your legs have been used like Emmitt’s have, he’s got to stay fresher for longer.”


2) Q: How does Minnesota quarterback Randall Cunningham feel about meeting his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles?

A: “I’ve asked God to forgive me about any negative feelings I’ve ever had about leaving Philadelphia,” Cunningham said. “When I left after 11 years, they gave me a handshake and I was out of there. I don’t have any reason to be upset after playing for 11 years, doing the things I did and then getting on the road. God moves you where He wants you to be. I’m very, very happy to be here.”

Yeah, Randall’s ticked, all right.

3) Q: How many of the players who crossed the picket line 10 years ago during the NFL strike are still playing?

A: Thirty--15 NFL players who crossed the picket lines and 15 more who signed on as replacement players for the three games played by the NFL during the strike.

4) Q: What does Barry Switzer think about Jerry Jones replacing him as Cowboy coach?

A: Said Switzer, “I’ve spent 40 years looking at good football and bad football, and I know the difference between them. You people [reporters] don’t know, and Jerry doesn’t either.”

5) Q: Who has the youngest team? The oldest team?


A: The Cincinnati Bengals are the youngest, the average age is 25.95, but the remarkable Tampa Bay Buccaneers are next-youngest and undefeated. The oldest team, by almost a full year, is the San Francisco 49ers, at 29.72. The Cowboys are next at 28.95.