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What if?

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Not much going on today, at least we have a minicamp coming up this weekend, so we should get some news out of that. While we wait, Mickey Spags has decided to go back in time and review the five critical plays that cost the Cowboys a 13-3 record, finishing instead 9-7. Actually, the Mick cheats, he gives us four regular season plays then a multiple choice answer for the Seahawks playoff game. I give him credit for that, though. It would’ve been easy for the playoff game to write: Romo bobble. ‘Nuff said. But he brought up some other interesting plays from that game, one that I hadn’t thought about for a while - the Terry Glenn fumble at our own goal line that resulted in a safety and gave the Seahawks the momentum.

Playing the "What if?" game is fun, but ultimately its usually pointless. I’m a big believer that when it comes to sports, unless a play occurs in the very last part of the game, it can’t be the deciding factor in a win or loss. Why? Because of the Butterfly Effect. Basically, it’s Chaos Theory, something I find fascinating. As applied to sports, I think of it this way: What happens on one play absolutely affects all plays that follow. If you change the results on one play in a game, it changes the results of every play that follows. So you could say about a hypothetical game, we dropped an easy TD pass at the end of the first half and ended up losing by four points. If we had just gotten the TD we would have won! But would you? Maybe, but by scoring a TD you changed the dynamics of what followed. Maybe the other team has to change its strategy down the stretch because now they are behind in the game. Or you may become more conservative as a team, because you have the lead, and this actually causes you to lose later even though you got the TD.

Not that any of this is important in terms of sports; it’s just something that fascinates me. Even if Romo holds the ball and we make that FG, could our defense hold them from scoring in the final minute? We’ll never know. Or if they gave Witten the first down on the play before, who’s to say that Dallas doesn’t fumble the center/QB exchange on the next play and we never get a chance to attempt a FG. Sure, some outcomes are more probable than others, depending on what you change, but none of them are absolute. Chaos Theory, baby!

I always assumed Troy Aikman got out of the game because of his concussion problems. And with all the talk about concussions lately by the NFL, someone decided to talk to Troy about the subject. Turns out, Troy says it was his back, not his head, that forced him out.

"I think people got the impression that Steve Young and I were forced out by concussions," he said. "For me, it was more my back."

Troy also said he isn’t experiencing any post-concussion symptoms, although he does get migraines. But he’s been getting those since childhood.

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