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DEION CASE TO BE RULED ON BY FEDERAL JUDGE

     Deion Sanders' contested $35M contract with the Cowboys will
now be ruled on by U.S. District Court Judge David Doty,
according to Ed Werder of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  The NFL
reportedly told Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones they "would not attempt
to take the position" that Sanders can't  play against Atlanta
this weekend.  However, "they did not say for the rest of the
year."  Werder reports the league has prepared a 12-page brief
for Doty in which they contend Jones has spent $64M this season
in signing bonuses and base salaries for players while
"theoretically restricted" to a $37.1M salary cap.  Werder
reports the NFL "wants an expedited judgement" and the matter
"could be heard this week" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/24).  In Ft.
Worth, Josie Karp writes the league's arguments "stretched beyond
one $35 million player to focus on the way the Cowboys -- and
presumably other teams -- have used signing bonuses to obtain
more flexibility under the salary cap" (FORT WORTH STAR TELEGRAM,
10/24).  In Washington, Dave Sell reports if the league's
position is upheld and the Cowboys do not ask Sanders to
renegotiate, the Cowboys "would have to rework several contracts
or cut players" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/24).  Jerry Jones, on the
Sanders situation:  "Just because we get word from the NFL, we're
not going to not line up Deion Sanders on the football field.
He's going to walk out there and play.  And just because we get
word from the NFL that we're over the cap based on those
interpretations, we're not going to walk out of here and do any
meaningful thing to this roster.  So, they obviously aren't too
sure where they stand with their interpretations since they're
going all over the map here" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 10/24).
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