Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has backed off a statement that he would like to see all-pro CB Deion Sanders in a Dallas uniform for the rest of his career.

Injuries, a return to baseball and salary cap concerns have left Sanders's future with the Cowboys in question.

"There are a lot of factors that will come into play on what Deion's future is with the Dallas Cowboys," Jones was quoted as saying in the Dallas Morning News yesterday. "I don't have a handle on that at this time."

* SOUTH OF BORDER: The Colts will play the Steelers in Mexico City in August as part of the league's American Bowl series. The game will be played at the 112,000-seat Azteca Stadium. The exact date has not been determined.

* PROMOTION: The Jets promoted RBs coach Maurice Carthon to assistant head coach. Carthon, 39, will remain in charge of running backs.

* HONORED: Vikings WR Cris Carter is the first recipient of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, honoring the memory of the league's all-time rushing leader. Carter, a seven-time Pro Bowl choice, was cited for his work with inner-city schoolchildren and other community activities.