Busy night of football no big deal for king of two-way
Author(s): Joe Bush Daily Herald Sports Writer
Date: September 3, 1996
The interrogator should have known better. Deion Sanders stood in front of the cameras, tape recorders and notebooks resplendent in a bright green tailored suit, gold jewelry, and well-groomed nails, hair and teeth. Even the bandage on his chin looked like a designer wrap.
After telling the mob that after playing in 90 percent of the plays through three quarters of Monday night's game he wasn't any more tired than any other player, a reporter asked him to verify that.
"Don't I look good?'' Sanders said. "Next question.''
Though Sanders' dual capabilities have been used before in the same game, Monday night was by far the busiest night of his life.
Offensively, Sanders was the Cowboys' leading receiver, with 9 catches for 87 yards. All but a first-quarter slant pattern were outs in front of Bears rookie Walt Harris, who gave Sanders plenty of room off the line.
"What'd you want 'em to do, let me run by you and dance?'' Sanders said when asked if he was surprised by the game-long cushion.
Whenever the Bears got the ball, Sanders rested on the first play of the series, then played the rest.
The Bears avoided Sanders for most of the game, throwing twice in the first half to his side - once to Michael Timpson for 11 yards, and once to Robert Green, whom Sanders wasn't covering.
In the third quarter, Sanders broke up a sure catch by Conway when he closed on the receiver and swatted the ball from his grasp.
As seems to be his fate, though, Sanders figured in the game's first momentous play. Usually perceived as contact-shy, Sanders was credited with the hit - more like a dive at Timpson's ankles - which upended Timpson on his first-quarter fumble at the Dallas 1.
"You guys say I can't tackle, so I don't know what happened,'' Sanders said. "You'll have to tell me about it.''
On one play, Sanders flipped from offense to defense in a heartbeat. When Aikman overthrew him late in the first quarter, he became a cornerback, rushing over to break up Bears safety Mark Carrier's attempted interception. Carrier dropped the ball before Sanders got there, however, and Sanders suffered a nasty cut on the chin in the flurry.
In the fourth quarter, Sanders once again thrust himself into the game's most memorable action.
His fumble after a reception deep in Dallas territory led to a Carlos Huerta field goal and a 16-3 Bears lead.
"Actually I thought I was down,'' Sanders said. "If I wasn't down, I know my momentum had stopped and it was pretty much a stalemate. I figured the whistle should of been blown, but I can't sit up here and make mistakes and blame it on the officials. We got our butts kicked.''
It was unclear if Sanders ended the interview session because the team bus was leaving or because he was starting to perspire.
"Thank you, I gotta go,'' Sanders said. "I'm sweating like a dog.''
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