Fourth and One

Much has been made by fans over the last two weeks about Quincy Carter's abilities versus Anthony Wright's. Some schools of thought claim if Wright had been given an opportunity to play in the fourth quarter against the Buccaneers, Dallas would be the sole owner of first place in the division.

Sunday's game with the San Diego Chargers may give fans a glimpse at what could have been two weeks ago as a sprained thumb possibly may sideline the rookie from Georgia.

In the press conference Thursday, head coach Dave Campo talked about both his quarterbacks.

"Quincy (showed) a little bit of improvement today," Campo said. "He threw before practice but didn't feel real comfortable with it."

The prospect of Carter taking the field with anything but complete health in his hands that completed 9 of 19 passes for a total of 31 yards against the Bucs is scary. Quincy also fumbled twice and gave up two interceptions. What could be the results if he plays with a sprained thumb is anyone's guess.

Yet Campo would offer nothing in the way of an indication on which player would start.

"We're going to see where Quincy is in the morning. Right now I would say it's more like 50/50 (that Carter will start)."

Even though the last game Wright has started didn't show much more than the debut of Carter, (5 passes for 35 yards against the Titans) he has been the sharpest quarterback on the team in practice.

"You can easily see the difference now," said running back Michael Wiley on this years Wright versus last years. "Last year Anthony didn't know much of the offense and he was still learning as he went along. But now he's got it down, understands what he's doing and it shows on the field. He makes the right reads out there and doesn't make many mistakes." Glowing praise indeed coming from a back-up tailback.

Dallas could use a skilled hand against the Chargers. Alex Molden, a starting cornerback for the San Diego team is out because of a knee injury. However, Ryan McNeil returns to Texas Stadium and will play against an offense he is very familiar with. His time spent last season in the defensive backfield of the Cowboys will give him a distinct advantage against any quarterback in silver and blue.

But a positive recommendation for Wright was not forthcoming from Campo.

When asked by a reporter why the Cowboys drafted Carter when his skills were so similar to Wright's, Dave Campo bristled.

"Well I think that's an unfair question. You're going to put me in a position I don't want to get into."

Campo went on to compare the two players in question. "We drafted Quincy because we think he has all the tools to be a starter in the NFL." He continued," Anthony Wright hasn't proved that yet."

One has to wonder if the head coach has noticed that Quincy Carter hasn't proved anything yet, as well. This season could be seen as Quincy Carter's audition come hell or high water. The real question on the minds of the Cowboy faithful is "did Jerry Jones leave Dave Campo a paddle and canoe?"

With the injury to Ebenezer Ekuban the starting defensive end spot goes to Peppi Zellner. The 6'5", 262 pound third year pro will be coming off a knee injury and faces a test at stopping the run.

LaDainian Tomlinson makes his first trip back to the Metroplex Sunday. And Mike Riley, head coach of the Chargers intends to use him liberally.

"We want to be a power running team with the ability to throw the ball," Riley said.

A tough first start for Zellner when considering Doug Flutie will be the quarterback.

Zellner will have to contend with Tomlinson's ability, favorably compared to Emmitt Smith's, and Flutie's impersonation of Fran Tarkington in the way he buys time for the receivers with his legs. The defense's ability to stop the Chargers may well rest in Peppi's hands.

Sunday will be the induction of Bob Hayes into the Ring of Honor, a tribute that has been long in coming and well deserved. His ability as a wide receiver changed the face of professional football and defensives with his blazing speed. The zone defense was created to deal with the "fastest man on earth." Yet he still succeeded in a game bent on stopping him.

But Hayes' selection to an all Cowboy's greatest list rings hollow at his being double-teamed out of the NFL Hall of Fame. No pass receiver ever was more feared or changed the game by his mere presence than Bob Hayes. His record of over 1200 yards in a season stood until 1991. Yet he is not feted and inducted into the Hall of highest honors the NFL can offer.

The elevated press that elects a Hall full of 49ers and Steelers neglects the players from the most successful franchise in NFL history. One can only wonder why.

Harvey Martin, the co-MVP of the Superbowl and sack leader of the Dallas Cowboys, along with Bob Hayes gives one pause to reflect on the criteria required for entry.

The press will elect stars into the Hall of Fame. Yet apparently only those that didn't wear the star on their helmets.

To me this is a travesty of Biblical proportions. For shame Hall of Fame electorate for your bias.

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