Cowboys Vs. Patriots Means A Suspended Brady

IRVING - The Patriots 'more probably than not' deflated footballs. The Cowboys now 'more probably than not' have an inflated chance of beating a Tom Brady-less team on Oct. 11 at AT&T Stadium.

The NFL handed down its decision on Monday in the New England Patriots’ deflated-balls controversy. The Super Bowl champs have been fined $1 million and will forfeit a 2016 first-round pick and a 2017 fourth-round pick in the NFL Draft. But most critically, QB Tom Brady will be punished by missing the Patriots' first four games.

Brady will likely appeal the result of findings that state he “more probably than not’’ was involved in the deflation of game balls used in the AFC Championship Game win over the Colts . But pending that, his four-game ouster lasts through Oct. 11, which is Week 5 for the Dallas Cowboys but Game 4 for the Patriots, who will probably rely on young Jimmy Garoppolo as their starter in Brady's stead.

Garoppolo (a second-year second-rounder) would represent a major step down from the all-time-great Brady, so respected as a player that he grinned his way through claims that he knew nothing about the Patriots' gameballs being deflated (making them easier to throw, catch and carry). The NFL's Ted Wells investigation unearthed evidence that stongly suggested otherwise.

A Brady appeal will boomerang back to the governing body (commissioner Roger Goodell's office, essentially) that's already make the ruling. It's also worth nothing that the NFL decision almost certainly takes into consideration the magnitude of that Patriots-Cowboys game, a nationally-televised marquee outing for CBS.

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