Concussions another repeat consideration for Cowboys' Aikman

January 26, 1994|By Vito Stellino and Ken Murray | Vito Stellino and Ken Murray,Staff Writers

ATLANTA -- Quarterback Troy Aikman of the Dallas Cowboys got the first warning about concussions from the team doctors this week.

"Once you've had one [concussion] like that, the chances become greater [that you'll have another one]," Aikman said yesterday.

Another former Cowboys quarterback, Roger Staubach, was forced to retire because of repeated concussions.

But Aikman has to ignore that when he returns to the field Sunday in the Super Bowl, even though he probably never will remember much about the victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game.

"There are no concerns," he said. "I'll go in and play like I always do. I won't be concerned about injury. I won't be concerned about getting hit. "If I start forgetting what my name is on a continuous basis, I might get alarmed."

He says, though, that it's strange to watch highlights of the game on TV and not remember the plays.

"I don't recall playing in the game on Sunday. I remember pre-game introductions, and I remember the deep ball to Alvin [Harper], but that's about it," he said.

Aikman said he suffered a concussion in Phoenix in his rookie year, but he said it didn't cause much memory loss.

Aikman said he has just as much incentive this year, even though the Cowboys won it all last season.

"I'm sure probably most of America would like to see a different matchup, but we're not going to make any apologies. This is something we wanted to do, and Buffalo's not going to make any apologies," he said.

"I think once you've been to a Super Bowl, it makes you want to go that much more. I think for those players who have never made it to a Super Bowl, I do believe that there is a certain drive and hunger to get there.

"Once you've been and had a taste of it, it makes you want to go back that much more. The whole concept of complacency after having won a Super Bowl, I don't think it's based on contentment," he said.

More interest in Turner

The Washington Redskins are no longer the only team interested in Dallas offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

The Phoenix Cardinals, who fired Joe Bugel on Monday, want to talk to Turner after the Super Bowl.

But even though Turner and the Redskins say it's not done, most pro football observers think Turner has decided to take the job and will turn down an overture from Phoenix. He's expected to fly to Washington on Monday.

Turner not only apparently plans to take the job, but also seems to have decided to hire former Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Ron Lynn to that post in Washington.

The Bengals have hired Larry Peccatiello, who coached the linebackers in Washington, to replace Lynn.

You've got to talk

Offensive tackle Erik Williams of the Cowboys missed the team bus to the Georgia Dome for Picture Day and will be fined.

Johnson bullish on Bills

The fact that Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly said the Bills felt no pressure in this Super Bowl did not go unobserved by Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson.

"For one of the Buffalo Bills players to say there is no pressure on them, well, that is pure bull," said Johnson. "They are fooling themselves or they are trying to fool themselves."

Feeling at home

Linebacker Cornelius Bennett is one of a handful of Bills who live in the Atlanta area in the off-season. And he attaches a certain destiny to the fact the Bills are here for Super Bowl XXVIII.

"I live in Atlanta, about 10 minutes from [the Georgia Dome]," Bennett said. "I have a lot of family here from Birmingham, and when I got back to my room [Monday] night, I had about 25 messages from people. So it is like a homecoming. This was meant to be for us to be here."

Also from the area are offensive guard John Davis (Ellijay, Ga.), cornerback Nate Odomes (Columbus, Ga.) and punter Chris Mohr (Thomson, Ga.)

Film review

Bills coach Marv Levy said he rarely resorts to psychological ploys to motivate his players.

"We may show them a very meaningful tape the night before the game of something provocative," Levy said, "but we don't go around looking for it."

Asked what kind of tape he might show, he said: "If somebody said something very provocative on their own show, or on a wrap-up show or something. But I've maybe done it three times in seven years since I've been here. So we don't look for a ploy."

The credit game

Running back Thurman Thomas says the Bills have been shortchanged in the credit department because of their three Super Bowl losses.

"This team is unique in the sense that we've handled all this abuse we've taken over the past three or four years," he said. "If it was the Houston Oilers or Kansas City Chiefs or the Raiders that had been to four straight Super Bowls and lost all four, I think they would be given a lot more credit."

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