You Can Handle the Truth

IRVING, Texas -- Not all truths are self-evident. Sometimes, things need to be spelled out for folks. ... and then spelled out again. Today I spell out three Cowboys-related issues. Knowing that your system is about to be L-tryptophanied (Happy Turkey Day!), I'll do so s-l-o-w-l-y.

1. BRETT FAVRE IS NOT PAUL BUNYAN: The "Monday Night Football'' guys did it again with Brett, canonizing him. ... during a loss in which his offense sputtered, at home, against a clownish Vikings team, with Brett himself misfiring for two interceptions, one of which was returned by Minny for a decisive score.

Otherwise, though, Favre was terrific!

Nevertheless, we get breathless reports on the incredible size of Brett's hands. ("He could palm five hundred watermelons,'' I swear John Madden will report next time Favre is on TV.) And we get mathematically wobbly Jugs-gun assessments of Brett's fastball. Al Michaels swore that a Favre TD pass -- during which Favre was pursued by an army of angry 300-pound men -- traveled at 66 MPH. ... and that such a throw with a pigskin is the equivalent of a baseball being thrown 98 MPH.

I'm surprised Ted Koppel didn't break in with a special "Nightline'' report on this phenomenon! This seems ridiculous on the surface. But such tripe gets so much play that 12 hours later, there is ESPN Radio suggesting that most NFL teams would be better off with the exciting erratic Favre at QB than with whatever stiff they're presently employing.

And yes, ESPN reported, that includes the Cowboys and Drew Bledsoe.

I won't make an argument here for Bledsoe being superior to Favre. Heck, I guess I'd welcome Brett Favre in Dallas.

With those marvelous hands and those marvelous arms, he could probably fly here without an airplane. And then throw a football over that mountain. And then, to cap it off, ride off into the sunset aboard Babe The Blue Ox.

2. THE '05 COWBOYS ARE NOT THE '93 COWBOYS: I know, this seems self-evident. But again, it is not.

There remain those who are cynical about what this year's Cowboys have done, and will do. As best I can figure, their cynicism is borne of a recollection of what greatness truly is. Or, should I say, WAS.

The 1993 Cowboys are what greatest WAS. Cynics -- and up until recently, I was in this camp -- must realize that in this NFL, the Cowboys are "only so good.'' ... and that "only so good'' is "good enough.''

Want the two consistently best teams in the NFC? I might nominate Seattle and Dallas. Want to know who was sweating bullets to outlast the NFC's consistently worst team? That would be Seattle and Dallas, narrow winners this year over the hapless 49ers.

Some team very much like this year's Dallas Cowboys is going to the Super Bowl. Why not your team?

3. REGGIE BUSH IS NOT EMMITT SMITH: In this space, we've poked fun at the knee-jerkers who watch Marion Barber run for two TDs and immediately confuse him with Marion Motley. And the knee-jerkers who watch Samkon Gado score three TDs and immediately compare him to Christian Okoye. (Hey, they're both from Nigeria; doesn't that mean they're the same?) Now we get USC's Reggie Bush, brilliant for his career, even more brilliant Saturday against Fresno State, maybe sealing the Heisman Trophy for himself. And is it enough for Reggie Bush to be Reggie Bush? Or, even, for talent scouts to make logical comparisons to previous fine backs in order to evaluate his abilities?

Nope. Somebody sat down with Gale Sayers to ask him about the "obvious'' similarities. Somebody else said he is very much like OJ Simpson and Marcus Allen. ("Obvious,'' because they all are Trojans.) And then there's my man Michael Irvin, who pole-vaulted way over the top on this one. Irvin expectorated so many legendary RB names in one breath that I couldn't scribble them all down. ... but I did hear the name "Emmitt Smith'' in there somewhere.

Fellas: A guy has a certain style. Scouts need that style to be definable. And if you keep screaming that one guy is, all by himself, the next Sayers AND is the next Simpson AND is the next Allen AND is the next Emmitt. ... Well, the next thing you know, somebody is going to believe he's also the next Brett Favre.

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