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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Monday, July 31, 2000

Steelers' rookie burns Cowboys' cornerbacks


AP Sports Writer

IRVING, Texas, July 31, 2000 — In his first two professional quarters, Plaxico  Burress sent quite a message to NFL cornerbacks. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers' top draft pick caught two passes over smaller guys, one in the end zone. He ran over someone after another catch. A 5-yard reception became a 20-yarder when his defender was flagged for roughing.

Burress' immediate impact helped the Steelers beat the Dallas Cowboys 38-10 Sunday night in the preseason opener for both teams.

Cleveland beat Philadelphia 33-22 in Sunday's only other preseason NFL game.

The Cowboys trailed 14-10 when they turned things over to youngsters and backups. The second-tier players committed four second-quarter turnovers and the Steelers cashed them all in for 24 points. Neither team scored in the second half.

Burress played with the first and second teams. No matter who else was on the field, he stood out, making four catches for 60 yards and a touchdown, and drawing another 36 yards in penalties, leading to another touchdown.

"Everybody says that I make it look easy," Burress said. "But it is definitely not easy."

Burress came in on Pittsburgh's second series and quarterback Kordell Stewart couldn't wait to break in his new target. He threw to Burress on the first snap and three of the first six.

The first one was high, but Burress snagged it from above rookie cornerback Mario Edwards for 29 yards.

Then Burress turned a short pass into a 24-yard gain by running over Dallas' top draft pick, Dwayne Goodrich. Two plays later, Stewart threw to Burress in the end zone and Edwards was flagged for interference. Pittsburgh moved 21 yards to the 1, and Jerome Bettis scored for a 7-0 lead.

Burress' next catch came on the final drive of the first half. It was a short one from Kent Graham, but a 15-yard roughing penalty made it a big gain.

The drive ended with Burress using his body to snag a 2-yard touchdown lob over second-year corner Duane Hawthorne that gave Pittsburgh a 38-10 lead. Burress spiked the ball near Hawthorne and drew a 15-yard penalty for taunting.

The blowout spoiled the debut of Cowboys coach Dave Campo. His consolation is that he still has five weeks to prepare for the debut that counts.

"I'm not concerned," Campo said. "I'm not happy with the score, but it's not the No. 1 goal. There's going to be individual performances that were good."

Dallas showed little of the new offense it's breaking in, unless the new plan emphasizes linebacker-turned-fullback Robert Thomas. Thomas caught three of Troy Aikman's six completions for 21 yards.

Aikman's first possession ended when he lost a fumble on a blind-side sack after left tackle Flozell Adams missed a block.

Pee Wee grid, flag football sign-ups on

PECOS, July 31, 2000 -- Registration is continuing through Aug. 18 for the new Pecos Eagle  Pee Wee Football program for elementary-age players, while an adult flag  football tournament to benefit the program will hold sign-ups through Aug. 24.

Sign-ups for the Pee Wee football program are continuing through Aug. 18 at the Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department, at the old Pecos High School gym. For further information, call 447-9776.

Entry fee for the program is $20 per player. Coaches and parents involved are hoping to have eight teams total in the 3-4 and 5-6 grade divisions when registration ends. The player draft will be held on Aug. 19, and workouts will be held for the next three weeks, before the start of regular season play on Sept. 9.

Registration for the flag football tournament will run through Aug. 24, with the tournament itself set for Aug. 26-27 at the Pecos High School football practice field. Entry fee for the tournament is $125 per team.

Tournament organizer Jesse Solis said there would be no roster limits on the teams entered and awards would be given to the first and second place finishers, with all-tournament and MVP trophies depending on the number of teams entered. For further information, call Solis at 447-3757 or 447-9685.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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