Randall Cunningham is screaming green neon in shoulder pads, a hodgepodge of scrambled legs and arms. He leaps over cornerbacks with the greatest of ease -- and occasionally a linebacker as well. He darts, wiggles and squirms. He shakes, rattles and rolls.

You don't stop him, you control him. You cross your fingers. And for all of that athleticism he also is Tonka truck tough: He has started 65 of the Philadelphia Eagles' last 66 nonstrike games.

Cunningham had a chance to become the first quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. But he finished with 942, slowed the last two weeks by a swollen knee that could have sidelined him. "I don't care. Nobody is going to take my job," he said.

Almost everyone has his favorite Cunningham exploit. Perhaps even some of the Washington Redskins do. Cunningham and the Redskins will meet for the third time this season in an NFC wild-card game on Saturday in Philadelphia.

The Buffalo Bills' Bruce Smith certainly respects Cunningham. Said the defensive end who sometimes has found himself chasing at Cunningham's heels: "Somebody should put together a videotape. No one drives me crazy the way Randall Cunningham does."

Here is a sample of Cunningham's dips and moves this season:

Nov. 4, at New England: With none of his receivers open, Cunningham took off running to the left. He bounced to the outside of a rookie linebacker, then nearly leaped over a Patriots defensive back about 25 yards downfield near the sideline. The only thing that stopped Cunningham from hurdling him was that his feet became tangled in the defensive back's shoulder pads.

"When I came into the league, people said I would have to work twice as hard and be twice as good because I'm black," Cunningham said. "That's true, but I have never settled for less. I have always wanted to be the best, so the fact that I was black . . . that was on my mind when I first came into the league, but I didn't need any extra motivation. I work hard and I expect the people around me to work hard. That's how you make it in life.

"There are a lot of different black issues in terms of being black in the NFL that I could get into. I'm going to try to stay away from that. We {black quarterbacks} know what we have to do and I'll leave it at that for now."

Dec. 2 at Buffalo: Facing a third and 14 from the 5-yard line, Cunningham soon found himself in trouble in his end zone. From one side came linebacker Cornelius Bennett, from the blind side came Smith, his arm extended like a meathook. Quickly, Cunningham ducked down into a semi-fetal position, escaping both. He ran left, then threw across his body. It was a tight, 58-yard spiral against a 22 mph wind. The ball landed right in the hands of wide receiver Fred Barnett, who ran the rest of the way for a 95-yard touchdown.

Television analysts "like {Joe} Theismann and {John} Madden and {Terry} Bradshaw, they give me the credit that's due," said Cunningham, adding he sometimes thinks his talent is overshadowed by the presence of 49ers quarterback Joe Montana.

"I think the situation here in Philadelphia is different than the one in San Francisco because we haven't won a Super Bowl. No one will ever consider me better than him because he's won so many and maybe they are right. Of course I respect Joe Montana and I think he is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. But I would agree that his presence alone -- no matter what kind of season he has, good or bad -- takes away from me. I would agree with that, yes.

"At the same time we have a lot of unique players here and I think we are the team of the 1990s, where they were the team of the 1980s. More respect will come to me when I win more games. You look at Magic Johnson: He makes the players around him a lot better. The players around me, we all work together the same way. I think this year I'm getting more respect throughout the league from the players and media."

On Dec. 16, at home against Green Bay: Again, Cunningham took another giant leap over a player, this time after running 17 yards. Packers cornerback Mark Lee was waiting for him at the goal line. But Cunningham jumped over him, landing in the end zone. He got right up and pointed to a crowd that was at first stunned, then crazed.

"I still think people take what I do for granted," said Cunningham. "If I jump over someone, people expect me to jump over someone. They say, 'Oh, that's Randall just jumping over somebody. Ho-hum.' There aren't very many quarterbacks that can do what I do.

"And I think I'm getting better and better. I haven't reached my peak yet. I've worked a lot more on my mechanics and the little things so I can throw more efficiently. I don't throw off balance any more like I used to.

"When you love the game, nothing is going to keep you out of the game or the end zone. I've been busted up before but I refuse to stay down. If my leg swells up I don't care. I get my treatment and I keep playing. I don't want anybody to have my job and I'm not going to give it up very easily."

One of the other things that enables him to play so well, Cunningham said, is the creative offense of Coach Buddy Ryan. Cunningham has openly campaigned for owner Norman Braman to renew Ryan's contract, which expires at the end of the season.

"Buddy is a coach who will stick his neck out and is willing to lose his job to win," said Cunningham. "I react to that and I think we all do. We realize what he's trying to do and we'll kill for him. In a way, Buddy makes me do what I do.

"That man loves his players and he cares about his players. We go out and fight his battles and play his style of football. I play his style of football."

Cunningham's style of football, right now anyway, is a unique and creative force in the NFL.