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Wednesday - 11/15/2000

It has been 19 years since the Dallas Cowboys have made a trip up to Baltimore�s �Charm City.� December 6, 1981 was the last time that the Cowboys came to Baltimore, defeating the then Baltimore Colts 37-13 at Memorial Stadium.

The Cowboys went on that year to finish the regular season at 12-4, while the Colts finished 2-14. Although the Cowboys won their last meeting in Baltimore and hold a 5-3 advantage against Baltimore, just like the Colts, that�s old news.

This Sunday afternoon when Dallas (4-6) returns, it will begin a new match-up between the two cities. The Cowboys will be going up against the league�s number one defense: in points allowed, yards allowed and rushing defense to name a few. Oh yeah, this Baltimore team is called the Ravens, they have a 7-4 record and they have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 28 games.

�It�s a concern, but not because of the back,� said Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman via conference call today, about facing the Ravens physical defense. �I am not worried about the back going into any game. Once I feel that I am able to play and if something was to happen and if I wasn�t able to play, that�s part of it. My concern is about their defense is that they are so good, and what are we going to do, and what can we do in order to move the football and give our team a chance to win the ball game.�

Aikman also responded to questions on why he continues to play the game after all the injuries he has had over the years, and if he would play for another team.

�Right now it�s trying to win a fourth Super Bowl and that will continue to be the goal as long as I keep playing,� said Aikman. �I still enjoy playing on Sunday�s, I enjoy the game and have the passion for playing, and when I lose that then I will get out. But right now the passion is far greater what I believe the risk to be with injury.�

As for playing elsewhere, �I couldn�t see myself in a different uniform,� said Aikman. �The commitment has been made both on my part and Jerry�s [Jones]. I will be 41 when I get out of this contract, and I don�t anticipate I�ll be playing anywhere else.�

When asked how it felt to not be on Rod Woodson�s list of quarterbacks that he has intercepted, Aikman replied: �It feels good to not be on that list; I hope after Sunday�s game I can still say that. I have tremendous respect for Rod and what he�s done and the level that he�s played at for such a long period of time. He�s a veteran guy and a great football player, and there�s not much that you are going to do that he hasn�t seen. When you have guys of that kind of experience you have to be careful of them. He�s doing a nice job for Baltimore and that is a concern along with the rest of their defense. He�s a guy that represents this league very well.�

Ravens Notebook: This afternoon the Baltimore Ravens� re-signed center Rod Payne to the practice squad. Offensive lineman Richard Mercier was signed off of the Ravens practice squad by the Denver Broncos to their 53-man roster. Payne, in his third year out of the University of Michigan, first signed with Baltimore on 4/25/00. He spent training camp with Baltimore before being waived on 8/26/00.

Wednesday�s Injury Report:
Full back Obafemi Ayanbadejo who re-injured his toe during last weeks Tennessee game, is listed as out. Offensive tackle Harry Swayne (thigh), is doubtful, and defensive end Michael McCrary (foot), is questionable. Defensive tackle Sam Adams (knee), tight end Ben Coates (thigh), center Jeff Mitchell (knee), Guard Edwin Mulitalo (ankle), and tight end Shannon Sharpe (knee) were all listed as probable.

Kevin C. Paige