Cowboys Pass IQ Test

IRVING, Texas -- There is something to be said for having a brain to go with all that brawn. In fact, in this NFL, if you are like Sunday's Cowboys -- at least seemingly capable of performing simple math -- you come across like a regular Norman Einstein.

Yeah, I said "Norman Einstein.'' That's the name long-time Cowboys nemesis Joe Theismann invoked when displaying his own definition of the word "genius.'' And from old-timer Theismann to the modern time's Vikings (and their Love Boat, complete with bootylicious versions of Julie McCoy), it does seem the collective IQ of football teams generally add up to about the same total as your garden-variety Cardinals-Browns thrillathon.

So I pay at least a little attention to the Wall Street Journal report that attempts to add up Wonderlic scores by teams. You've heard of the Wonderlic Test, right? It measures intellect. ... or at least common sense. Writes the WSJ: "The exam, the Wonderlic Personnel Test, has been given to millions of job seekers in dozens of fields, and across the broader population the average score is 21. We found that the Rams offense averaged a 27, putting their scores on par with those of chemists and engineers. The first five players the Detroit Lions picked in the 2005 draft had an average of just above 28, while the Dallas Cowboys' three quarterbacks posted a mind-boggling average of 39, which puts them squarely in the company of the mental elite.''

Ah, the mentally elite! And didn't we look smart in this 16-13 OT victory over the visiting Giants, a win that shoots Dallas to 4-2 and atop the NFC East!

Smart enough to make sure our kid RBs didn't fumble while the Giants' did. Smart enough to employ both new interior lineman Jason Ferguson and incumbent La'Roi Glover, who subtlely was among the players of the game. Smart enough to stick with kicker Jose Cortez long enough to allow him a recovery from Larry Allen's early-season swat to here win the game with a 45-yard boot. Smart enough to spend the big dough on Anthony Henry, who forced a pair of critical takeaways. Smart enough to do the same to acquire NFL Comeback of the Year candidate Drew Bledsoe, who completed 26-of-37 passes for 312 yards (and a 93.1 QB rating). Smart enough to have stuck with a couple of reduced-role veterans in pass rusher Greg Ellis and offensive lineman Torrin Tucker, both of whom jumped back into the spotlight Sunday. Smart enough to know that "ball-control'' doesn't have to mean "conservative,'' as Dallas held the ball for 40-minutes-plus for the second straight week. Smart enough to employ other insurance policies that made tolerable the injury absence of top offensive weapon Julius Jones.

Oh, and smart enough to admit that the mistakes were mistakes. Said safety Roy Williams of the late game-tying TD catch by Jeremy Shockey: "I take all the blame for that.''

Oh, and smart enough to admit that in addition to being smart, and good, and. ... a little bit lucky. Said coach Bill Parcells: "I feel pretty fortunate to win that. ... I would consider ourselves fortunate today."

Remember, by Parcells' own admission, this was not a very mentally sharp team a year ago. Remember? Something about how "I try to put things in their hands, but they're too stupid''?

But this year's Cowboys? As of this moment (and I reserve the right to change my evaluation weekly), this year's Cowboys are Wonderlic wonders.

Of course, the Wonderlic Test isn't the be-all and end-all. Not when a sample question reads like this:

When rope is selling at $.10 a foot, how many feet can you buy for sixty cents?

Getting those questions correct might make you, in my book, something short than "the mental elite.'' In my book, getting those questions right qualifies you to pooper-scoop after my dog. But if the Cowboys are smart enough to handle all these tests -- to not trip over 6 feet of metaphoric rope -- they are way ahead of the intellectual curve in this dopey league.

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