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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Veteran QBs Still the Masters

NEW YORK -- The quarterbacks of the future are showing their stuff this season in the NFL. What they have shown is that they are still the quarterbacks of the future.

That was never more evident than this week when Warren Moon, 37, and Dan Marino, 33, pulled out games for Minnesota and Miami and Randall Cunningham personally disposed of Buddy Ryan for Philadelphia. Drew Bledsoe, Rick Mirer and Dave Brown, the quarterbacks of the future, continued to stumble.

So what else is new?

This is the period of the interregnum.

Phil Simms is gone; Joe Montana is going (probably after this season), and most of the top quarterbacks are over 30 -- Marino, Moon, Cunningham, John Elway, Jim Kelly and Steve Young. The only younger guy at the top level is Troy Aikman, 27, of Dallas.

That's basically the problem with developing quarterbacks, and it's why patience is required with top prospects.

Bledsoe, Mirer and Brown, all quarterbacks of young teams, started well and so did the teams. Now Bledsoe's New England team has lost four in a row; Mirer's Seattle team has lost five and Brown's New York Giants have lost six. All have had problems that have coincided with problems for their teams.

Behind them are Heath Shuler and Gus Frerotte of Washington and Trent Dilfer of Tampa Bay, raw rookies being thrown to the wolves on losing teams. Shuler and Dilfer were No. 3 and No. 6 in the draft this year; Frerotte, who's now ahead of Shuler, was No. 197.


Seven of the 26 National Football League teams that played Sunday did not score a touchdown.

But two of them won, both in overtime. Cincinnati got its first win by beating Seattle 20-17 on six field goals and a safety, while Pittsburgh beat Houston 12-9 in a score that was highly popular last season, when field goals were the norm.

The other non-scorers: Tampa Bay (6); San Diego (9); New England (6) and the Raiders (3). There were 42 touchdowns, but 48 field goals Sunday. For much of this season there have been nearly two touchdowns for every field goal.

Overall, just 460 points were scored in 13 games, an average of 35.38, or two points below last year's full-season average that the league tried to hard to avoid again. Zone defenses, young quarterbacks and bad weather could all be to blame for the drop. Still, the yearly average remains up -- 40.49 points compared to 37.40 last year.


The Dallas Cowboys got good news from their medical staff: Injuries suffered by wide receiver Alvin Harper and offensive lineman Derek Kennard were not as bad as was earlier feared.

Harper, who landed awkwardly trying to catch a pass as the half ended in Monday night's 38-10 victory over the New York Giants, was thought to have torn a left-knee ligament. Owner Jerry Jones said he was worried Harper was gone for the season.

However, an MRI examination Tuesday showed a sprain to the outside ligament of the knee. Harper was listed as doubtful for Sunday's game in San Francisco, but it wasn't a season-ending injury.

The news regarding the sprained toe received by Kennard was also promising. Switzer said he hoped Kennard could play Sunday.