IRVING, Texas -- Guys are coming. Guys are going. Legends are growing. Legends are dying.
Let's take a tour through today's Who's Who:
Ross Verba, the veteran offensive lineman with an obviously superior pedigree than Mark Columbo -- and for that matter, better than some of the guys already employed by Dallas. Word is, though, that Verba -- considered by the Browns and other teams that have dealt with him to be a bit loony -- loonified the Cowboys, too. There is some reason the physically healthy Verba remains on the street, and the good people at Valley Ranch discovered it for themselves this week.
Meanwhile, Marc Columbo is a former elite-round Chicago Bear offensive lineman in discussions as of Wednesday morning to join the Cowboys and be a 10th lineman. Mark this down as an insurance policy, not as a sign of disgruntlement with existing blockers.
Anthony Thomas is gone. Something he did wrong? Oh, a few weeks ago when he expressed a view that maybe he belonged somewhere else, it got a reaction from Bill Parcells. But A-Train is gone mostly because the Cowboys hit home runs on a trio of guys younger and fresher than him. Arguably, A-Train wouldn't have made it out of training camp had Marion Barber been healthy then. And now he gets his "maybe-I-should-be-elsewhere'' wish.
Willie Pile is a little wobbly, so the Cowboys bring in another wave of safeties in old friends Tony Dixon and Lynn Scott. Pile being hurt -- and for that matter, cornerback Anthony Henry, too -- is reason enough to grab some depth in the defensive backfield. But we get the distinct impression that Dixon and Scott will be immediately helpful on special teams, where the Cowboys believe they still have some coverage flaws.
Tedy Bruschi isn't dead. Wellington Mara is dead. Brett Favre might as well be dead. But they will live on forever in the minds and hearts of the networks, who over the weekend immortalized each of them in a way that made them seem bigger than the sport, nay, bigger than the whole planet.
Bruschi is a neat story; but when he blew off an ESPN interview with Suzy Kolber at game's end, it was almost as if he was saying, "Enough about be already!" Favre threw five interceptions in a seven-point loss at Cincy, and ended the game with a clownishly zany fake-spike/scramble/underhanded toss/accidental cartwheel.
Nevertheless, the broadcasting world continues to insist that Favre is "THE REASON'' Green Bay only lost by a TD. Baloney. And then there is Mr. Mara, the Giants' patriarch, who passed away last week. A good man? OK. A great man? If you say so. "The greatest man who ever lived?'' That's what I'm now being told. By the time ESPN's Mike Patrick and Chris Berman got hold of the microphone late Sunday, one of them (we were getting audible blur by that time) actually said, "Every person who ever met Mr. Mara loved him! LOVED HIM!!''
Um, OK. Maybe someday, everyone will say that about Ross Verba.