Jerry Jones gave his veteran players a little reminder of how much winning means to him.

The Cowboys owner called a group of players into his office Monday and spoke for about 20 minutes. With the team needing a victory over the Giants on Sunday to make the playoffs, it's easy to guess what he spoke about.

"I don't think anyone has ever questioned how passionate Jerry is about the Cowboys and how passionate he is about winning," QB Troy Aikman said. "It was reiterated for those that maybe didn't know that."

Aikman--who joined Dallas in 1989, the same year Jones bought the team--said he doesn't remember the owner ever holding such a gathering.

"Jerry got his point across," S Darren Woodson said, smiling. "It was his meeting."

"It was needed," DL Alonzo Spellman said. "It starts at the top. Jerry is unbelievable in how he takes care of business. It was a good thing."

BILLS LOVE JETS, HATE FISH: The Bills were big Jets fans Monday night.

With most Bills players watching the game on TV, New York's thrilling 38-31 win at Miami gave Buffalo its 10th playoff berth in the last 12 seasons.

"It's a great feeling, it's what you work for every time you go to training camp," Bills FB Sam Gash said yesterday. "You always want to make the playoffs and make it to the Super Bowl. The first step of our goal is complete."

The next step for Buffalo (10-5) comes Sunday when it hosts AFC East champion Indianapolis (13-2).

"We know right now that we'll have to focus this week on the Colts, but it's good to savor this for at least for one day," said DE Marcellus Wiley.

MUHAMMAD FACES CHARGES: Colts DB Steve Muhammad faces a March 21 hearing in connection with charges he beat his pregnant wife days before she died of labor complications. The rookie and his lawyer, Jim Voyles Jr., refused comment yesterday after a judge set the date for the second pretrial hearing.

Muhammad is free on a $30,000 bond and has been playing for the Colts after missing three games in the weeks after his wife's death.