It's been a furious time to be a Cowboy fan. As I was telling Brandon W, my emotions have ranged from depression to shock to jubilation. We've got baseball playoffs going on and a young hockey prospect dying unexpectedly but that's all back page compared to the shenanigans of the 'Boys. The Cowboys have been running the sports world for the past week or so. ESPN and the NFL Network owe a debt of gratitude to America's Team.
Follow me as I recap the last week in my world.
Oct. 8: CBS 11 reports Pacman Jones is involved in an altercation. Tuna Helper is concerned at first but brushes it off as a minor incident.
Oct. 9: The DMN reports Terence Newman might be out for a while. Tuna Helper repeats the famous scene in "Christmas Story." Awww fudge! Except he doesn't say fudge.
Oct. 10: Newman is definitely out for the month. Tuna Helper is slurring his words from all of the spirits he's drinking to numb the pain.
Oct. 12: Tuna Helper saunters to the local bar to watch the Cowboys-Cardinals game. After two pitchers, a kickoff return for a touchdown, a 55-yard bomb to Crayton, three fumbles and a punt block, he watches in horror as the 'Boys fall 30-24 to the Cards. He is obviously disappointed. He drinks the last pitcher so fast that he starts hallucinating that he's playing thumb wars with Bob Lilly. He loses in that as well.
Oct. 13: Tuna Helper wakes to several text messages. They all read "Romo out for four weeks." He's in a state of shock. His tongue won't shake. His mouth won't move. He feels like this is some cruel joke being played on him, like he's a character in some episode of X-Files. The truth is out there. Somewhere. But does it have to involve Romo's pinkie?
Oct. 14: Life turns from an episode of X-Files to "Nightmare on Elm Street." Pick a movie. He learns that Felix Jones might possibly be out for two to four weeks and our punter might be lost for the season. His head is spinning. Must. Sit. Down. Then he finds out Sam Hurd might be done for the season. Oh lordy. Pacman is indefinitely suspended. Oh geez. The liquor is coarsing through his veins now. And then some good news. Roy Williams traded to Cowboys. He backs off the ledge. Which is a good thing cause he only lives on the second floor. He's gleeful about the acquistion.
After enduring this week, and wallowing in all the worst case scenarios that came true this week, I've decided to try and dwell on the positive from Sunday's game, our standing in the league and our upcoming challenges. A lot of things have gone wrong for us recently. But not everything. We're still in a solid position to accomplish our goals. This is an obvious attempt to be optimistic about our team so it feels over-the-top than good. That's what I'm aiming for.
It was a hard-fought game and we came up with the short end of the stick. But we played hard. We just didn't play smart. We were up 14-7 with a chance to go up 21-7 but we gave up a big 3rd and 17 that seemed to rob us of momentum. We stopped the run and we dominated time of possession. Despite being down by 10 with less than 4 minutes to go, we scored 10 points and forced overtime. We might've won if it weren't for Romo's broken pinkie and our horrid special teams. Our main threats -- Jason Witten and T.O. -- were held in check but role players like Patrick Crayton and Miles Austin came up big. And, whew, what a beast Marion Barber is. Bodes well for our upcoming games. We're going to need Barber. He seems ready.
Thanks to the Rams and the Browns we didn't slip further down in our division Sunday. We're right back where we were at the beginning of the week. One game out of first. Only four teams in the league have better records than us. We're part of a host of 4-2 teams. We're still in the thick of it.
The injury bug didn't just bite our team. He dug in and laid eggs. The carnage is everywhere. Newman. Williams. Romo. Felix Jones. Hurd. Spencer. Man. What a sight. But look again. Most of them should be back by the bye if not sooner. We still have star players like MB3, Ware, T.O. and Witten. We'll need them more than ever now.
Pacman Jones and the Dynamic Duo
I use that Pacman moniker cause I'm mad at him. What a waste of talent and waste of our time. His suspension definitely hurts. But here's the silver lining: Jerry Jones was prepared and structured the deal to benefit us. Now that he's been suspended we get a pick back. Plus, he used this new infusion of picks to structure a deal for Roy Williams. What a clever hockey puck Jerry is. We're really green in the secondary. But we still have the dynamic duo of Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick. I suspect they'll struggle but then again what if they don't? Or what if they do and then the turn it around in time enough to make a playoff run? I get the feeling these two got the cojones and the chutzpah to hold their own.
Jason Garrett and Brad Johnson
You're getting paid a lot of money to be a genuis Red Baron. Time to be one. Brad's got a pretty solid resume. He has the experience for the job. We don't need you to set the world on fire. Just be solid, don't turn over the ball and keep the machine humming.
Man. We talked over and over about getting a second receiver to compliment T.O. We even talked about the possibility of getting Williams. But now that he's here, it's almost unbelievable. It helps that he's from my neck of the woods. But it also helps that he's big, fast, makes plays and has great hands. He has the capability to do big things in our offense as a No. 2 receiver and even bigger things as the No. 1 receiver once T.O. retires, gets too old or loses his mind. And he's playing Sunday.
There's a stream of negativity surrounding our team right now. Don't believe me? Go watch ESPN or just read this article which is filled with childish glee as the writer exclaims "I told you so!" So here's the counterbalance. A little postivity to balance it out. Am I drinking the Kool-Aid heavy here? Hell yeah. And it's red, and I have a red liquid mustache on my face, and it's in an old mayonnaise jar and I've got specks of red all over my shirt.
I don't want you to avoid reality. But every now and then we all need to hear what went right and might go right. We'll be hearing about what went wrong for a long time. Trust me.
Now hand me that spatula and that sugar so I can stir this Kool-Aid up right.