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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Friday, June 2, 2000

Cowboys officially divorced from Deion

AP Sports Writer
IRVING, Texas, June 2, 2000 - The Dallas Cowboys early today released Deion Sanders, leaving the star cornerback and punt returner free to pursue a possible deal with the Washington Redskins and saving the Texas team millions of dollars.

If Sanders had not returned to free agent status, he would have received a guaranteed $23.5 million from the Cowboys over the next two years.

Dallas' decision was announced on the team's Web site.

"Deion was a great player for us," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a prepared statement. "He was a major contributor in our Super Bowl team and he has been a major contributor to the success we've had in recent years. But because of salary-cap reasons, we just can't afford to keep him under his current contract."

The Cowboys now say Sanders, 32, will count $2.2 million against their salary cap this year and $3.2 million against the 2001 cap.

Besides Washington, Tampa Bay and Denver have also expressed interest in Sanders. But Jones said he was not ruling out trying to re-sign Sanders to a restructured contract.

"I think that's still a possibility," said Jones. "The door is still open for that to happen and I wouldn't necessarily rule that out."

But Sanders has indicated since the end of last season that he anticipated being a free agent and wants to play for a team that can win the Super Bowl. He was reportedly seeking a multiyear contract with a signing bonus of at least $8 million.

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who has already signed several prominent free agents, has indicated that he would be willing to do whatever is necessary to sign Sanders.

In deciding not to exercise their option on the remaining four years of Sanders' contract, the Cowboys said the move was strictly for salary cap reasons.

And the Cowboys said that whatever team Sanders joins, he has already proven he can aid in a turnaround, since he helped both Dallas and the San Francisco 49ers win the Super Bowl in his first season with each team.

Sanders, who has been especially talkative when he's the subject, hasn't been talking publicly about what will happen.

"I'm not going to talk about football," Sanders told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, refusing to comment on "where I'm going or what I'm going to do."

The player's agent, Eugene Parker, did not return phone messages left by The Associated Press.

Jones and his Cowboys' staff, including new head coach Dave Campo, are in Las Vegas, where they are expected to stay until Saturday.

When Sanders arrived in Dallas at the start of the 1995 season, his five-year, $35 million contract was the richest in free-agent history. Jones said then that the deal was designed to get the league's best cornerback as well as a player that could return kicks and play offense.

Sanders last year signed a five-year, $51.5 million contract, $5.4 million of which is counting against the Dallas salary cap over the next two years even after the cut.

Now regaining his status as one of the NFL's top free agents, Sanders is more likely to get his market value because of his failed baseball comeback with Cincinnati this spring.

Athletic program start-ups continue

PECOS, June 2, 2000 -- Registration for the last of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah summer athletic programs to get started this year will be next Monday and Tuesday, after tennis, golf and basketball programs started up this week.

Registration for the summer track program is set for Monday from 8 a.m. to noon. Practice will begin Tuesday and run weekdays from 8 a.m. to 12 noon through June 30.

Varsity girls track coach Lily Talamantez will be the instructor, and the program is open to students between the ages of 7 and 18. Track meet dates will be in the upcoming days.

Summer weightlifting and volleyball also get underway on Tuesday. Weightlifting will be daily from 6 to 8 p.m. at the PHS field house, and will run throughout June and July with the exception of the Fourth of July weekend. Head football coach Gary Grubbs will be the supervisor.

Volleyball will run on even-numbered weekdays through July 6 from 6 to 9 p.m., along with even numbered weeknights from July 18 through July 28. Becky Granado will be the instructor for the course and students can sign up the first day they participate.

The annual summer clinic for seventh and eighth graders will be the week of July 17 and the ninth grader clinic will be the weeks of July 24, both running from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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