SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The Dallas Cowboys have Heisman Trophy winner Eddie
He's been poised since the Houston Oilers made him their first-round
pick in the 1996 draft but his eyes widen as he considers tonight's
scrimmage against the Cowboys at Austin's Burger Field.
It's the next serious test of his progress in the pros.
``I kind of got my feet wet in minicamp, but this means you're getting
everything wet, going against the Super Bowl champions,'' George said.
``I'm really anxious to see what it's all about. I just want to continue
learning and get better.''
George, the Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State, capped Tuesday
morning's scrimmage with a bullish 60-yard touchdown run that brought
cheers from fans and players.
``The big fella showed he's got some speed didn't he?'' running backs
coach Sherman Smith said.
In four days of workouts, George has shown speed and toughness. He hopes
he's ready for the Cowboys.
``When I was in college watching the pros, you'd see these crushing
blows, and you're squirming in your chair,'' George said. ``Now I'm out
there running, and hopefully I won't get hit too hard, but if it
happens, hopefully I'll get up and be ready for the next play.''
At 6-foot-3, 232 pounds, George has delivered a few blows, too.
``You don't want to make a mistake or be embarrassed,'' he said. ``You
want to do the best you can do and compete. The speed of everything is
the difference. I'm going to have to get used to that.
``In college, the hole would open for a second and then close. It's
faster than that here. I'll have to get used to that.''
When asked if he would seek Cowboys' autographs, he laughed.
``I might do that,'' he said. ``It will be an experience, something I
can tell my children that I scrimmaged and played a preseason against
one of the best teams in NFL history.''
Earl Campbell was the 1977 Heisman Trophy winner and the Oilers' first
pick in 1978. He led the NFL in rushing his first three seasons, but
George isn't expected to carry such a load.
``We've got Rodney Thomas and Ronnie Harmon so there's no pressure on
him to come in and be the savior of this team or to help us get a
running game going because we've already got that,'' Smith said. ``He's
just a part that's going to make us better.''
George has remained composed throughout training camp, despite the
attention he's received.
``I can only be the next Eddie George,'' George said. ``I can't pattern
myself after any other running back. I'm just going to work hard and try
to live up to my own expectations.''
He has lived up to Smith's expectations.
``He has the skills, and physically he knows he has the speed and power,
so I've told him not to try to dance because that's not what he does,''
Smith said. ``He's learning every day what he needs to do.''
Smith also is telling the long-striding George to make his cut and go
``In our running game, he'll have to make cuts and react,'' Smith said.
``Rodney Thomas has feet where he can make three or four cuts in a small
``Eddie is a long strider. He's got to make one cut then he's got to
George certainly got the message in his touchdown run Tuesday.
``You can see why he won the Heisman Trophy,'' Smith said.
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