Former Redskins running back Timmy Smith is making another comeback bid, this time in the training camp of the Dallas Cowboys.
For one afternoon in his brief NFL career, Smith was a superman in cleats and a helmet. On Jan. 31, 1988, he set a Super Bowl record with 204 yards rushing as the Redskins routed the Denver Broncos, 42-10.
"It was a great day and it meant a ring and you can't ever take it away from me," Smith said. But Smith went from record-smashing fame to the bench the next year when an extra 25 pounds killed his quickness. He finished the season with 470 yards on 155 carries and wasn't protected under Plan B free agency.
The San Diego Chargers signed and released him in 1989. He was a flop in a tryout with the Miami Dolphins. Finally, the talent-desperate Cowboys signed him. Smith made $300 a week in the Dallas minicamps trying to impress the coaches.
"Everything is in the past," said Smith, 26. "I'm young and I still have healthy legs. I've got another chance. I can't ask for more."
The Cowboys moved Smith to fullback, and he has impressed Coach Jimmy Johnson. "He looked good in a scrimmage even though he hasn't learned all of our plays from that position," Johnson said. "He showed some quickness.
"We had heard he had an attitude problem but we haven't seen that here. He's real attentive in meetings and takes a lot of notes. I've been impressed."
Bengals: Quarterback Boomer Esiason said the pressure of trying to return to the Super Bowl last year eventually got to the team, which stumbled to an 8-8 record after going 12-4 in 1988. "As the season went on I began to wonder if we all shouldn't have been committed . . . to a psycho ward," Esiason said as the Bengals rookies and quarterbacks opened camp at Wilmington (Ohio) College. "The expectations were so high last year. We never reached them."
The team faces several questions, among them whether fullback Ickey Woods and right tackle Jim Walter have recovered from knee injuries.
Broncos: Signed linebacker Mark Munford.
Jets: Agreed to terms with wide receiver Rob Moore, quarterback Troy Taylor, cornerbacks Robert McWright and Tony Stargell, and linebacker Basil Proctor.
Oilers: Agreed to terms with defensive end Willie Peguese.
Seahawks: Signed veteran safety Nesby Glasgow, 33, and waived tight end Rodd Olson.