Browns knew what they were doing Kosar considered past his prime

November 11, 1993|By Terry Pluto | Terry Pluto,Knight Ridder News Service

Dallas!

Bernie Kosar is going to Dallas?

I have to admit, when I heard the news, I was absolutely dumbfounded.

Last time I checked, Kosar was cut by the Browns because they think Todd Philcox is better.

Trust me on this. I have talked to several members of the Browns organization, and they insist owner Art Modell wasn't blowing smoke -- or smoking something he shouldn't -- when he said that virtually every Browns coach and scout considered Kosar to be kaput.

They thought Kosar was so bad, they couldn't wait another month for Vinny Testaverde's shoulder to heal. They had to get him out of town.

The Browns also are convinced they are not writing off the season. Rather, they think Philcox -- with one career start in five NFL seasons -- has a better chance of getting this 5-3 team to the playoffs than Kosar.

It wasn't just Bill Belichick. It was everybody paid to make these ++ decisions.

I'm not making this up.

I realize all of this is harder to accept than the Single Bullet Theory. A conspiracy between Bernie, Coach Bill and a group of Mafia-hired hit men from Cuba probably makes as much sense to those of us who don't spend our lives in an NFL film room.

Yes, Kosar's personality and philosophical conflicts with Belichick didn't help the situation, but they cut the guy because they thought he was beat-up and washed-out at 29.

So why will Kosar start for Dallas Sunday in place of the injured Troy Aikman?

Yes, Dallas. I know I'm repeating myself, but I can't help it. Even Kosar had to be shocked by how quickly the offer came from the Cowboys -- that's why he signed so fast. He didn't want them to change their minds.

Kosar looked at Dallas and saw a herd of young, swift athletes to run down his passes. He then saw an offensive line that would keep his limbs connected to his body.

Finally, he saw Jimmy Johnson, his old college coach, a man he knows and trusts.

There he was, his career in a Cleveland stupor behind Testaverde, and now he is with the Super Bowl champions.

No wonder Kosar now wakes up each morning and says, "Yes, there must be a God!"

If the subject is Kosar and quarterbacks, you could say that Dallas and the Browns have a slightly different opinion.

When the Browns' starting quarterback is hurt, they cut Kosar.

When Dallas' starter is injured, they sign Kosar.

I admit it, I'm confused.

Is not Dallas a better team than the Browns? Aren't the Cowboys in first place in the NFC East and haven't they won six in a row?

Aren't the Browns 5-3, but only 2-3 in their last five games?

Didn't the Cowboys check with the Browns before they checked in with Kosar?

Actually, they didn't. They said they knew Bernie and they wanted him, and they weren't especially interested in what the Browns had to say.

Hmm.

That made me ask, "If Todd Philcox had been placed on waivers, would the Cowboys have signed him in five minutes as they did Kosar?"

Why do I think that Philcox might still be sitting alone by the telephone had he been booted out of town.

And, in case you didn't notice, the Cowboys also passed on Tom Tupa, whom the Browns signed to replace Kosar.

Regardless of how he rationalized getting the ultimate sack from the Browns, Kosar's confidence had to be shaken by Monday's release.

Furthermore, the Browns had to be stunned by how Kosar was immediately signed by one of the league's elite teams.

There is no in-between on this issue. Either Kosar is good enough to quarterback a winning team or he is not.

Dallas -- yes, Dallas! -- says he is. The Browns believe otherwise. It won't be long until we find out who is right.

If the Browns are wrong, heaven help them because their fans sure won't.

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