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Davis would like to make Steelers pay for overlooking him

August 27, 1997

IRVING, Texas (AP) _ Billy Davis was right there in the Pittsburgh Steelers backyard, a hometown Pitt Panther waiting to be taken by his favorite NFL team.

Never happened. And now this young receiver and special teams star of the Dallas Cowboys would like to make them pay. Big time. This Sunday.

``I want to do well to pay Pittsburgh back for not showing any interest in me,″ Davis said. ``There’s no vendetta. It’s just going to be show and tell. I want to show them I can still do the same things I was doing when they saw me at Pitt.″

Davis, the receiving star of the Cowboys training camp, will be Dallas’ third receiver, behind Michael Irvin and Anthony Miller. At Pitt, Davis was fifth on the Panthers’ all-time receiving list with 1,800 yards. He had 51 receptions his senior season and caught 10 passes for 135 yards in a game against Rutgers.

``A lot of quality receivers came out of college in 1995, but I fit the mold the Steelers liked,″ Davis said. ``That is what was disheartening. I think the Steelers only gave me a halfway look. They just weren’t interested.″

Davis was the only free agent rookie to make the Cowboys in 1995 and spent the season making big plays on special teams.

Last year, he missed three games with a broken foot but still was tied for third on the team in special teams tackles. He has yet to catch a pass during a regular season NFL game. He was sensational during the Cowboys’ 2-2 preseason, catching 23 passes for 403 yards and three touchdowns.

``Billy Davis had a great training camp,″ quarterback Troy Aikman said. ``I have all the confidence in the world in him. He’ll be jumping into our three-receiver sets and I think he’ll do a good job. He was all over the field in the preseason. He deserves his big chance.″

This is a big year for Davis because he’s a restricted free agent.

``I think my tenacity is one of my strong points,″ he said. ``I wasn’t taken seriously when I came out of college. But I showed in the Dallas camp I belonged. Now, I’ll let my actions speak.″

Davis has good speed and runs precise routes which are so important in Dallas’ timing offense. Deion Sanders showed last year that not being able to run correct routes hurts.

``I got a good chance in training camp this year because Sanders was gone and Miller was hurt,″ Davis said. ``It gave me a chance to get my timing down with Troy and show the coaches what I could do. I feel very comfortable on the field now.″

Davis was asked if he has a big ticket list for Sunday’s game. He shook his head.

``I’ve severed all my ties in Pittsburgh,″ he said.

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