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COWBOYS STILL TRYING TO LAND STAR PLAYERS

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For $85 at the Dallas Cowboys kickoff luncheon, you got pep talks from Jerry Jones and Barry Switzer, a 20-second speech from Tom Landry and an introduction to the 1995 players.

You didn't get Deion Sanders or Darrin Smith.A film entitled "Ready for Glory" got the less-than-capacity crowd going Tuesday, although the end was a downer for the faithful with the announcement of the score of last year's NFC championship game: San Francisco 38, Dallas 28.

Sanders, of course, helped contribute to the loss with an interception of Troy Aikman.

Jones has been trying to court Sanders away from the 49ers, but made no reference to him before the luncheon crowd.

The owner did allow that he "will go down trying to do anything I can for this team, even if it takes conniving and hustling."

Smith is a holdout linebacker who is asking between $300,000 and $400,000 more than Jones is willing to pay. Godfrey Myles will start in Smith's place on Monday night against the New York Giants. Jones has said the contract situation is at an impasse.

Jones has been known for his surprises at the luncheon. In his rookie year, Emmitt Smith stepped from behind a curtain to announce he had been signed.

At least coach Switzer provided some Oklahoma-style emotional fireworks for the crowd, saying, "Most teams wish they could be in Phoenix for the Super Bowl. The Cowboys know they belong there."

Landry was on hand to receive a "Legends" award from the NFL Alumni Association.

"I have nothing but the best wishes for the Cowboys," Landry said. "I have no question they will be in the hunt before it's all over."

With that short talk, he left the podium.