Patriots, Cowboys sever Ismail talks

April 19, 1991

The New England Patriots' proposed trade of the top pick in the National Football League draft, likely to be Raghib "Rocket" Ismail, to the Dallas Cowboys expired last night.

Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson set an early-evening deadline for the Patriots to accept a deal of multiple picks in Sunday's draft.

Negotiations broke off, apparently because the Patriots wanted to raise the stakes.

"We came close, but there's no deal," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.

The Cowboys proposed exchanging the Nos. 11 and 14 picks in the draft, plus two players, for Ismail, plus the No. 28 pick.

The Cowboys offered a list of veterans from which the Patriots could choose: tackle Kevin Gogan, defensive end Jim Jeffcoat, fullback Daryl Johnston, receiver Kelvin Martin and linebacker Jesse Solomon.

The Patriots might have been able to draft quarterback Dan McGwire and running back Eric Bieniemy, besides choosing Johnston (who played for New England coach Dick MacPherson at Syracuse) or Martin (the Cowboys' leading receiver last year).

The Patriots sought to amend the deal to trading Ismail for the Nos. 11 and 14 picks plus either a later draft choice or a veteran player.

The Patriots had been dealing with the Atlanta Falcons and had hoped to acquire the Nos. 3 and 33 picks this year, plus another first-round choice next year, for Ismail.

Falcons general manager Ken Herock would not part with more than one first-round choice.

Ismail, who had indicated he would much prefer either Atlanta or Dallas to New England, retains the option of playing in the Canadian Football League.

* BRONCOS: Quarterback John Elway has a back problem, but nobody knows exactly how big the problem is yet, said coach Dan Reeves.

News of Elway's back problem came just a day after the media were informed the Broncos backup quarterback Gary Kubiak is scheduled for back surgery Friday and probably won't see action until late summer.

Reeves said the Broncos would not select a quarterback with the fourth overall pick Sunday, but might after the first round.

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