IRVING, TEX., SEPT. 18 -- Fullback Alonzo Highsmith, who was obtained in a trade from the Houston Oilers but has yet to play a down for the Dallas Cowboys, will get his chance on Sunday against the Washington Redskins, Coach Jimmy Johnson said today.
Highsmith, who started all 16 games for the Oilers last season, was dismayed he didn't get into Sunday's 28-7 loss to the New York Giants.
"I thought I was going to get to play and I was ready," Highsmith said.
Johnson tried to put aside rumors that Highsmith has knee problems.
"We're disappointed Alonzo didn't get a lot of action," Johnson said. "We anticipated playing him a lot more against the Giants. We'll make sure Alonzo gets into the lineup about half the time against the Redskins. He's healthy but he doesn't know the entire offense. He hasn't run a pass route in three years. He's obviously rusty."
Quarterback Troy Aikman was upset because Johnson yanked him in the second half after Lawrence Taylor returned an interception 11 yards for a touchdown. Steve Walsh came in and threw an interception.
"I didn't feel like a change was in order," Aikman said. "I was throwing the ball well."
Johnson reiterated today that Aikman is the team's quarterback of the future.
"Troy is the key guy," he said. "Troy and I are fine. More was made out of him coming out of the game than should have been. The media played it up. I thought he did a good job. He could have had an outstanding game if the receivers held onto the ball."
Johnson also said rookie wide receiver Alexander Wright, who returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown against the Giants, would play more.
"It's in our best interest to give players like Wright some experience," Johnson said. "We will have to pay our dues while we get some of our young players experience and are getting on the same page."
Johnson said he thinks "Wright will be a big-time receiver. The longer we hold him out, the longer it will take for us to be a good football team."
The Cowboys' trip to Washington last year brought fond memories -- theirs only victory of the season.
Asked about it, Johnson said "my memory doesn't work that far back. I only remember last Sunday."
The oddsmakers didn't remember either. The Cowboys are 14-point underdogs.
"They beat us fair and square," said Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs. "And I think they have a lot better team this year."