The Philadelphia Eagles cut quarterback Jeff Kemp and three other players today to meet the NFL deadline for a 47-man roster limit.

In addition to Kemp, Eagles coach Rich Kotite dropped wide receivers Floyd Dixon and Kenny Jackson and rookie linebacker Ephesians Bartley, a ninth-round draft pick from Florida.The Eagles also announced that running back Thomas Sanders, who was listed as physically unable to perform, had passed his physical and was waived by the club.

Kemp, who was signed as a free agent after both Randall Cunningham and Jim McMahon were injured last season, failed in his bid to edge David Archer as the team's third quarterback.

"I wasn't shocked, but I know things will work out," the 12-year veteran said. "I've played for and helped four teams now, and I ended last season winning games. So when the need comes, I'm sure someone is going to call."

"There are disappointments and trying things that happen in life. In perspective, this is very small."

Last season, Kemp played in victories over Houston and the New York Giants and started the final regular-season victory over the eventual Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins.

There wer no major surprises today when the Dallas Cowboys cut 14 players. The biggest name was center Dale Hellestrae, who has six years of NFL experience.

Also released were wide receivers Gerald Alphin, Tony Lomack, and Derrick Shepard; running backs Michael Beasley and Chuck Weatherspoon; linebackers Reggie Cooper and Maurice Crum; tight ends Chad Fortune and Fullon Wacasey; quarterbacks Jason Garrett and Craig Kupp; defensive end Kevin Harris, and guard Tom Myslinski.

The Minnesota Vikings released running back Darrin Nelson and placed guard Todd Kalis on injured reserve today, two of the 15 player moves they made to reach the 47-man regular-season roster limit.

Others cut included linebackers Mark Dusbabek, David Bavaro and Ed McDaniel; tight ends Brent Novoselsky and Mike Jones; defensive backs Darren Hughes, Mike Mayes and Solomon Wilcots; receivers Carl Parker, Terry Obee and Joe Randolph; guard Scott Adams, and running back Chuck Evans.

Nelson, 33, made a successful return to the Vikings last season after playing sparingly in 1989 and 1990 for San Diego where he went as an offshoot of 1989's Herschel Walker trade.

He ranks in the Vikings' all-time top 10 in 12 categories, including No. 1 in combined net yards (9,734), kickoff return yards (2,993) and kickoff returns (130). He has rushed for 4,437 yards in an NFL career that began in 1982, when he was Minnesota's first-round draft pick out of Stanford.

That move left the Vikings with only three running backs - Terry Allen, Roger Craig and converted receiver Joe West. There is a possibility that Nelson could be brought back to the team if he clears waivers.

One of the heroes of the New York Jets' surge to the playoffs last year, was released by the team in an injury settlement today.

Johnny Hector, a 9-year veteran running back, has a groin injury that will keep him sidelined for at least a month. Rather than place him on injured reserve now, which would make him ineligible for the season, the Jets waived Hector. They hope he clears waivers so they can re-sign him.

Hector rushed for 132 yards as the Jets beat Miami in the 1991 season finale to make the playoffs.

Also cut today were offensive lineman Mike Haight, a 1986 first-round draft choice; quarterback Troy Taylor, the Jets' backup to Ken O'Brien the last two seasons; defensive lineman Bill Pickel, a Plan B acquisition last year who was with the Raiders for eight seasons, winning one Super Bowl; and defensive back Tony Stargell, a 1990 third-rounder who started every game as a rookie and six games last season.

Others cut were linebackers Troy Johnson, Rickey Andrews and Keo Coleman; tight end Pat Beach; running back Leroy Kinard; defensive back R.J. Kors; receiver Reggie Moore; and defensive lineman Wayne Wicka.

In addition to quarterback Mike Tomczack, who started seven games for Green Bays last season, the Packers also waived Scott Stephen, who had been a starter at outside linebacker the last two years; wide receiver Perry Kemp, a three-year starter who held out for part of training camp; and running back Greg Bell, a former 1,000-yard rusher with Buffalo and the Los Angeles Rams.

Stephen said the Packers never told him his job was in jeopardy.

"They wanted to see more out of me and I wanted to see more out of myself," he said. "I didn't show them what they wanted to see."

Others cut were running back Steve Avery, defensive end Sebastian Barrie, tight ends Jerry Evans and Darryl Ingram, linebacker Mike McDonald, defensive lineman Frank Kmet, offensive tackle David Viaene, offensive lineman Louis Cheek and safety Charles Washington.

Offensive lineman Joe Garten and wide receiver Charles Wilson were place on injured reserve, both with ankle injuries.