Sanders a $35m Cowboy

American football

Two games, two victories, but for Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, the best news of the nascent NFL season is that he will have to part with $35m (pounds 22.5m). That is the sum that has secured the services of Deion Sanders, the outstanding cornerback whose appearance in a San Francisco 49er shirt last season did most to deprive the Cowboys of a third successive Super Bowl.

Jones will regard it as money well spent if Sanders repeats the feat this year, but the amount involved has raised eyebrows throughout the league. Sanders, whose commitments as a professional baseball player mean he is unlikely to play football for a month, will receive a signing bonus of around $13m (an NFL record) for a seven-year deal. He could have got more elsewhere, he told a news conference yesterday, "but I truly want to be a Dallas Cowboy".

The 49ers, normally among the league's most generous employers, led the tut-tutting. "We feel that it was not only inappropriate and irresponsible to match that offer, we feel that had we done so, it would have had a very destructive effect on the 49er team chemistry and the financial structure and sanity of this organisation," Carmen Policy, the 49ers president, said.

Without Sanders, the Cowboys beat Denver 31-21, while the 49ers dispatched Atlanta with customary ease. The two already appear destined for a fourth consecutive confrontation in the NFC championship game, with Sanders' new home shifting the odds significantly in the Cowboys' favour.

The new era in Philadelphia has begun much as the old one ended, with Randall Cunningham benched. The Eagles starting quarterback was pulled from the game in Arizona early in the second quarter. Cunningham, who had completed three of eight passes, was replaced by Rodney Peete, who inspred a 31-19 win, the Eagles' first under Ray Rhodes. If that surprised fans in Philadelphia, it did not compare to the amazement in Cincinnati and St Louis, both unbeaten after two games.

NFL: New England 3 Miami 20; Washington 8 Oakland 20; Houston 17 Pittsburgh 34; San Francisco 41 Atlanta 10; Dallas 31 Denver 21; NY Jets 24 Indianapolis 27 (ot); San Diego 14 Seattle 10; Minnesota 20 Detroit 10; Buffalo 31 Carolina 9; Kansas City 20 NY Giants 17 (ot); Cleveland 22 Tampa Bay 6; Arizona 19 Philadelphia 31.

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week