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Aikman will sit against Cardinals

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones makes the call, based on tests after the QB's ninth concussion.

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 7, 2000


IRVING, Texas -- Troy Aikman will follow owner Jerry Jones' directive not to suit up Sunday for the Cowboys' game at Arizona because of the medical risks associated with multiple concussions.

Jones said Wednesday that he decided to hold out Aikman, who Sunday was diagnosed with his ninth concussion, after three days of medical evaluations by the training staff and outside physicians.

Aikman said he still was having headaches because of the concussion in the season-opening 41-14 loss to Philadelphia. But he believed he could have practiced and been ready to play against the Cardinals.

"It's not easy (to sit out), but look at it logically," Aikman said. "It's probably the right decision, the smart decision. It's just difficult not to go out to play when you feel like you can play."

Jones and Aikman said there was no timetable for the quarterback's return.

"There is no doubt in my mind that this is the best thing, short term and long term, for Troy and for the team," Jones said.

Aikman missed two games last season after two concussions in eight days. "That is why there is some real caution right now," he said. "If I were to have another one, it's the medical opinion I'd be out 4-6 weeks minimum."

Randall Cunningham, whom the Cowboys acquired as a free agent during the off-season, will start his first game since October. After an All-Pro season in 1998 for Minnesota, Cunningham started the first six games before losing his job to Jeff George.

Rookie Clint Stoerner was signed from the practice squad to back up Cunningham, who took all the repetitions with the first-team offense Wednesday. He showed no ill effects from his sprained right thumb against the Eagles. "I thought he had a good practice," coach Dave Campo said.

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