Eighth cut may be last for Laufenberg, onetime Redskin folk hero


AUSTIN, Texas -- Babe Laufenberg's summer and possibly his career ended yesterday.

The Dallas Cowboys waived Laufenberg, the eighth time the veteran quarterback and cult hero has been released in his seven-year NFL career.

The surprise for Laufenberg was not being cut. The surprise was that it didn't come sooner.

"To tell you the truth, I felt like I had been cut three days into camp," said Laufenberg, who played for the Washington Redskins from 1982 to '85. "That's when the shock hit.

"Today was like pulling the plug on the patient -- and I was definitely dying."

Laufenberg reported to camp July 14 and expected to battle Cliff Stoudt for backup quarterback behind Troy Aikman.

Said Johnson: "It was nothing Babe did or didn't do. It was the performance of Cliff Stoudt. He's been very impressive. That made the decision for us."

Laufenberg built a cult following in Washington, San Diego and Dallas for his quick wit, if not his quarterbacking skills. He spent three seasons in the NFL before he took a snap and two more years before he started a game.

The Cowboys signed Laufenberg in 1989 as a veteran influence off the field for rookies Aikman and Steve Walsh. But when the Cowboys needed him on the field, Laufenberg failed to produce.

When Aikman suffered a shoulder injury on the opening series of the Philadelphia game in December, Laufenberg stepped in but completed only 13 of 36 passes for 140 yards with four interceptions in a 17-3 loss.

Then with the Cowboys needing a victory to secure a playoff spot in the season finale against Atlanta, Laufenberg started and completed only 10 of 24 passes for 129 yards and two interceptions in a 26-7 loss.

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