Wake Up Tyson Thompson

IRVING, Texas - Rookie running back Tyson Thompson clearly has the potential for "the big play.''

At the same time, people close to the Irving native want to make certain he doesn't also come up with "the big head.''

I mentioned this to Thompson during the first week of the season, after he'd officially made the Cowboys roster. He laughed it off. But it is an easy trap to fall into. ... and the combination of a missed meeting on the Friday before the Giants game and some missed assignments in Saturday's walk-through is raising the concerns of Cowboys insiders and those close to TT.

"I'm having dinner with him this week,'' Thompson's agent, Scott Casterline, tells me. "He's with the right head coach in Bill Parcells. He's with the right position coach in Anthony Lynn. And he's with me. This will not be a problem.''

Casterline will undoubtedly remind Thompson that Home Depots across America are filled with talented athletes who missed meetings and blew assignments.

And Tyson himself needs to look around: With Julius Jones unavailable against the Giants, someone else had the chance to be a star. TT was to get the first crack at it. Instead, the dog-housed rookie got three carries and played a supplementary role to Anthony Thomas (21 carries for 47 yards) and fellow rookie Marion Barber (11 carries for 30 yards).

That's 32 carries, kid. YOUR 32 carries.

***

Meanwhile, Cowboys critics (and even some spoiled Cowboys followers) are labeling that 16-13 OT win as "ugly.''

In this NFL, is there really any such thing as an "ugly win''? Isn't playing terrific defense, allowing only one TD to a team that scored 42 the previous week, moving into first place in the NFC East, simply gorgeous?

Coach Parcells said this week that he's "saddled with not if you win, but how you win. That's my problem. I'm saddled with how you win. Some coaches aren't saddled with that. Unfortunately, I am."

That's fine. The coach is "saddled'' with a desire for perfection. But you? To call an NFL victory "ugly'' is to break up with Cindy Crawford because you don't like her mole.

***

Not meaning to make light of the unfortunate Ken Hamlin situation, but. ...

You know the story: Hamlin, the Seahawks safety, will miss Sunday's Seattle-Dallas game because of a skull fracture. Tragic? Of course.

Except that according to reports, Hamlin brought the injury upon himself by insisting on engaging in a bar brawl. Witnesses say that long after the initial conflict between Hamlin was cooled by security people. Hamlin lit his own fuse again, going after the men who had conflicted with him. And it was at that time that Hamlin was apparently hit with the most convenient weapon the other fellas could find:

A street sign.

Now again, with all due sympathy:

Wouldn't there be a Steven Wrightish/George Carlinesque irony to the story if the street sign used in the brawl was a STOP sign?

And are y'all still so certain that engaging in partying isn't more wisely done in the privacy of the Cowboys' White House or the Vikings' Love Boat? (As long as the locals steal a slogan: "What Goes On On Lake Minnetonka Stays On Lake Minnetonka.)

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