"It's ironic," said DeBerg, who has played for five NFL teams, including the Cowboys. "I was prepared to retire, thinking my career was over, and now I'm on a team with a chance to win the whole thing."
Injuries to Marino and Mitchell forced the Dolphins to sign DeBerg and Hugh Millen, who was with the Cowboys until they signed Bernie Kosar on Nov. 10.
Kosar led the Cowboys to a victory over Phoenix but couldn't get the offense clicking in a 27-14 loss to Atlanta last Sunday.
Dallas is 7-3 and tied with the New York Giants atop the NFC East. The Dolphins are 8-2 and tied with Buffalo atop the AFC East.
Aikman comes into the game (Channel 3, 3 p.m.) with the running wraps on after his experience three weeks ago in a 31-9 victory over the Giants. He
went down in a heap when his left hamstring went out.
"I have confidence I can go full speed if I stay in the pocket," Aikman said. "I just want to make sure I don't take off on a scramble. I have to be smart about it. I hope I remember that on game day."
The Cowboys desperately needed Aikman's return because of the condition of running back Emmitt Smith, listed as doubtful with a bruised right thigh muscle. Dallas lost two games at the start of the season when Smith was holding out in a bitter contract hassle with owner Jerry Jones.
Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson was to rule shortly before the 3 p.m. kickoff whether Smith would play. He's pronounced Aikman healthy this week.
"I'll probably have a little rust, and I hope I can get our passing game back where it was," Aikman said.
CARDINALS. Phoenix quarterback Steve Beuerlein, who sat out two games
because of a knee sprain, will start Sunday against the New York Giants.
Cardinals coach Joe Bugel told the players Tuesday, but reserve Chris Chandler said offensive coordinator Jerry Rhome mentioned to him last week that Beuerlein probably would start.
Chandler started 13 games in 1992, but Beuerlein beat him out during the preseason, when Chandler was slowed by a sprained ankle.
Beuerlein passed for 1,595 yards and nine touchdowns in 7 1/2 games before being injured in the second half against New Orleans Oct. 31.
AWARDS. For the second time in three weeks, John Elway is the AFC's offensive player of the week after his nearly flawless performance against Pittsburgh.
Elway completed 18 of 25 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown as the Broncos beat the Steelers, 37-13, on Sunday.
Safety Marcus Robertson of Houston, who had three interceptions against Cleveland, was the AFC defensive player.
Atlanta quarterback Bobby Hebert won NFC offensive honors by completing 24 of 32 passes for 315 yards in a 27-14 upset of Dallas. The NFC defensive player was Merton Hanks of San Francisco, who intercepted two passes against New Orleans, returning one 67 yards for a touchdown.
Punters Dale Hatcher of Miami and Sean Landeta of the Los Angeles Rams won special teams honors.