Nfc Preview

September 02, 1995

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Division prediction

The Dallas Cowboys should breeze to the division title, and the Washington Redskins figure to finish last. That leaves the other three teams -- the New York Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Arizona Cardinals -- in a scramble for second and third, and wild-card spots.

1. Dallas Cowboys

1994 record: Won division with a 12-4 record, lost NFC title game at San Francisco.

Coach: Barry Switzer (13-5).

Key additions: rr C Ray Donaldson, QB Wade Wilson and RB Sherman Williams.

Key losses: WR Alvin Harper, C Mark Stepnoski, DE Jim Jeffcoat, James Washington, S Kenneth Gant and QB Rodney Peete.

Strengths: The Cowboys still have the Big Three -- Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin -- on offense, and still have Charles Haley anchoring the defense.

Weaknesses: They lost supporting cast members Harper and Stepnoski to free agency. They have to wonder whether Erik Williams will make it all the way back from a knee injury he suffered in an auto accident and whether Barry Switzer's laid-back style can take them to the Super Bowl.

Extra point: If Paul Tagliabue has to present the Super Bowl trophy to Jerry Jones, it may be the NFL's best scene since Pete

Rozelle had to give it to Al Davis.

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