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SATURDAY’S GAME IS ENOUGH TO MAKE A BROWN TURN BLUE

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It's enough to make a Brown blue.

Coming off a last-minute loss to the parity-prone New York Giants, the Cleveland Browns must beat the superb Cowboys in Dallas if they are to clinch an NFL playoff spot on Saturday.Not only will the Browns (9-4) have to stop Emmitt Smith, but they will have to worry about quarterback Troy Aikman - scheduled to start after missing the last two games with a knee injury.

The Browns also need a victory to remain a game behind AFC Central-leading Pittsburgh, or move into a tie with the Steelers should they lose to Philadelphia on Sunday. The Browns will play at Pittsburgh on Dec. 18.

Another thing the Browns will have to guard against is being behind at halftime. The Cowboys (11-2) are 8-0 when they've been ahead at intermission.

A victory or a tie for the NFC East-champion Cowboys would clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs.

In another Saturday game, Detroit will visit the New York Jets.

Sunday matchups will have San Francisco at San Diego, Chicago at Green Bay, Minnesota at Buffalo, Denver at the Los Angeles Raiders, Indianapolis at New England, the Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay, Cincinnati at the New York Giants, Washington at Arizona, Seattle at Houston, and New Orleans at Atlanta.

Kansas City will play at Miami on Monday night.

Lions at Jets

Art Monk of the Jets (6-7) needs one catch to set a record of 178 straight games with at least one reception. He should get it. Barry Sanders of the Lions (7-6) needs 406 yards to become the third rusher in NFL history to reach the 2,000 yards in a season. He won't get them, but he could pick up a big chunk.

At Kansas City, Mo., - Joe Montana's injured foot is getting better, and he may - just may - be ready for Kansas City's game Monday at Miami.

Meanwhile, in Denver, John Elway was only a limited participant in passing drills Friday, and his availability for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Raiders won't be known until gametime.

Elway is questionable because of a strained muscle behind his left knee.