Crystal Ballin'

The Cowboys' so-far season summary: Lots of X's and O's -- alternating, until recently, with almost as many Xpletives and "Oh-No's!'' If you predicted Dallas would dive into December at 8-4, you are either a liar or a genius.

If you predicted the Cowboys would arrive at this point by following this path, you are either a liar. ...

Or a liar.

"There are some strange things happening. ... some 'unusuals','' said coach Bill Parcells -- and he said that way back on Tuesday, before Dallas' 23-20 win in New York likely put the Giants out of their misery.

Let's pretend we're back in Oxnard, penciling in prognostications for the Cowboys' 2006 season:

I PREDICT: Terrell Owens might attempt suicide -- and the incident will have nothing to do with the fact that he's not among the receiving league leaders .

I PREDICT: The Cowboys will be bouncing along at .500 when Drew Bledsoe gets benched -- and replaced by some Mexican kid who's never played before but nevertheless goes 5-1 as a starter.

I PREDICT: Mike Vanderjagt, the self-proclaimed "most accurate kicker in the history of football,'' will miss five field goals in the first 11 games, featuring a 1-for-5 effort outside of 40 yards. Then he'll get cut. And in the end, the Cowboys will have worked out as many kickers this year as they did in the mad kicking scramble of '05 -- but they'll beat the Giants because Martin Gramatica (another Hispanic hero?) kicks off the cobwebs in time to kick in New York.

I PREDICT: Greg Ellis will morph from a) disgruntled trade bait to b) key contributor at a position he's never played before to c) out for the season. ... and somehow, through it all, the Dallas defense will never miss a beat.

I PREDICT: Offensive assistant Todd Haley will have to deal with a rat. ... besides the one who wears No. 81.

I PREDICT: Larry Allen will leave and because of somebody named "Kyle Kozier,'' the finest offensive lineman in team history will not have his name uttered all season long.

I PREDICT: Marion Barber won't start -- but will lead the NFC in rushing TDs.

I PREDICT: Terrell Owens will appear on "Regis & Kelli'' to promote a book. A children's book. A children's book about sharing.

I PREDICT: Bill Parcells will mope through the first half of the season before becoming a regular Captain Kangaroo, hugging and kissing and befriending all the children around him.

I PREDICT: The Cowboys will go through free safeties like bullets go through Keith Davis.

I PREDICT: Our backup QB will be romantically linked with Jessica Simpson.

I PREDICT: The top draftee, Bobby Carpenter, won't record a noticeable tackle all year.

I PREDICT: The team MVP for the first half of the season will be the punter.

I PREDICT: Jason Witten will get semi-rich peddling pickle juice.

I PREDICT: Andre Gurode will easily rebound from having Albert Insanesworth use his face as a welcome mat.

I PREDICT: A happy Jerry Jones will turn so quiet that his Valley Ranch press conferences are outnumbered by those conducted by T.O.'s gum-smackin' publicist Lil' Kim.

I PREDICT: I'll get to type the words "Romophobia'' and "Tony Romorons'' -- but not for long.

I PREDICT: The Redskins will stink, the Eagles will stink, and when Dallas wins at New York on Dec. 3, the Giants will officially stink. Dallas' Xpletives and 'Oh-No's!'' will have been overcome, and the Cowboys -- overflowing with "unusuals'' -- will run away with the NFC East.

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