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Tumbling Tumbleweed: Rolling with Nate

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NFL news is like a ghost town. The trails are so dusty that even the big news agencies are spitting mud, thirsting for that watering hole, that wellspring of activity called June 1st cuts. Until then, if youâ€â"¢re looking for football topics, barring any stupid-human pet tricks, youâ€â"¢re probably going to have to bed down with some minor player maneuverings, team analysis ad nauseam, how itâ€â"¢s not about T.O. being greedy or self-centered, how Jevon Walkerâ€â"¢s not bothered by Brett Favreâ€â"¢s criticism, or How-to: The Art of Speed-bike Triple Gainers.

For the Dallas-delirious, itâ€â"¢s worse. This is the price for having all but one veteran player under contract, the price for staffing players of character and the price for exhausting the canteen with talk of all the draft picks and all the possibilities; all good problems to have if not for unquenchable thirsts.

The word on the Cowboys today amounts to this: Parcells wants Marcus Spears to lose ten pounds before camp, while the former 88â€â"¢s, Drew Pearson & Michael Irvin, both think Dallas can contend for the Super Bowl this season with their new additions (in Mikeâ€â"¢s case, only if Philly does not avoid collapse). And, because itâ€â"¢s become increasingly difficult to bash the ‘boys and their faithful with new controversy, any such attempts surrounding Chris Canty quickly dried up, the media must rely on an old piece of bait in the form of one Nate Newton and his details on how football excellence translates into trucking excellence. Nate, Nate, Nate. We were this close to getting past all of that.

The story, an act of seeming desperation, derives from one interviewerâ€â"¢s one question: Why? (Although it's the definitive one to ask aside from breaching the code-of-silence surrounding the dropping of the soap—I once asked an ex-con acquaintance about this, letâ€â"¢s just say there were no admissions nor any summary denials on his part), and when Nateâ€â"¢s answer hit the wire, it ran like a three-legged horse around the news circuit. It leaves me asking: Are people still riding this pony?

Are the trails so dry, the town so abandoned? Is this newsworthy? (The wind howls and stirs up devils in the dust, tumbleweed tumbles by). Perhaps Iâ€â"¢m not objective enough but this story reeks of old politics from the media, â€Å"Yes, Dallas youâ€â"¢ve come a long way, but least not forget from whence you came. HOF Committee, take note.” File Nateâ€â"¢s exploits under Hollywood Henderson, Michael Irvin, and Mark Tuinei & Bullet Bob Hayes (R.I.P.) and letâ€â"¢s mosey on. In the immortal words of Chris Cornell: â€Å"Follow me into the desert, as thirsty as you are…”

Happy trails.