I'm fairly sure that Bob Dylan isn't a Cowboys fan, but never have the troubadour's words seemed more prophetic in my tiny little sports universe than they do right now.
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kiddin' you
I remember reading Pro Football Prospectus where Football Outsiders pointed out that the Cowboys had been very fortunate in not suffering the types of injuries that were plaguing other teams. They warned that Dallas' luck was not likely to continue given the law of averages. Of course I dismissed their points by telling myself that we suffered fewer injuries because we had better conditioning, better trainers and a better offensive line than most teams. Now, every time the injury report comes over the wire or I see a Jason Witten headed into the locker room for X-rays, I hear the faint and creepy voice of Aaron Schatz in my ear: "I told you so...I toooooold you sooooo."
And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
And now you find out you're gonna have to get used to it
So...here we are. Possibly missing Romo, Witten, Felix, Kosier, Pacman, Newman, Williams, Henry, Watkins, Spencer and McBriar. I'm covering a small 2A high school team in central Texas right now who would have to forfeit if they had that many injuries. We're a traveling MASH unit, and now we've got to fight through it. But how? Well, the best way to fight through injuries (suspensions in Adam's case) is to have depth, but there's little we can do about that now. So how do you compete in an NFL where every team is relishing the chance to kick you when you're down? The answer is to go conservative, a game plan that was perfected last week. Shorten the game. Limit mistakes. Capitalize on every opportunity. But most of all...get healthy. Injuries don't go away just because Brett Favre calls you or because everyone thinks you're the toughest SOB in the league and so you should be able to play through broken ribs. Have a seat, get some rest, and come back when you're healthy...soon, but when you're healthy.
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose
Early voting polls show Johnson with a slim lead over Bollinger, although Bollinger's numbers with the undecideds have seen a slight up-tick this week. It's the topic du jour. Seemingly everyone has an opinion as to who the Cowboys starting quarterback should be against the Giants. I heard Norm asking a caller this morning which QB gave the Cowboys the best chance to win the game. I wanted to call and ask Norm whether he would rather get punched in neck or kicked in the nuts or ask him whether I should pick 42 or 47 for my Mega Ball Number in the week's lotto. My preference? Johnson, he's already shown he can drive this bus. The bigger point is that it doesn't really matter, for two reasons:
1) If you're calling on either of those guys to make big plays that will win you this game, then, in my opinion, you've already lost; and
2) We have already lost. At least in most minds. Due to our recent struggles and comments about getting to the bye week, expectations for Dallas in this game are almost none. Would I love to get a win? More than anything. I despise NY with all of my being. But I'm also enjoying the feeling of heading into a game that won't crush me if we lose.
This is part of a running series I'll be doing with Dylan and the Cowboys. In the coming weeks we'll tackle the following topics:
"Which Sucks More: Empire Burlesque or Cory Proctor?"
"Just Like a Woman: An Analysis of Barbie Carpenter."
"A Mumbling Retrospective: Joe Avezzano Sings Blood on the Tracks"
(For the record, the answers are: punched in the neck and 47)