Cowboys might have something. "I mean, the guy is in the weight room every day at 6:30 a.m.," Rivera marveled. "He did extra lifting, extra running, he always did more than he was asked."
As you might expect, Colombo, a bright young man who has his degree from Boston College, is grateful about his second chance. "It feels great," he was saying following last week's win over Houston. "This is a true blessing. I fought very hard to get back here, and now I just want to help my team."
Colombo is already doing that by making people forget he's out there. "I know how well he's doing," says quarterback Drew Bledsoe, "because when I watch our offensive film, his guy doesn't get noticed much. I just don't worry about him."
There is also something a lot of us still don't know about Marc Colombo. We know that he is tall and smart and hard-working. Apparently he is also tough to the point of being nasty, a trait much sought-after in offensive tackles.
"Colombo?" defensive end Chris Canty repeats. "He is nasty, now. He wants to mess up the guy in front of him."
"Kick-ass attitude," reports Bledsoe. "I knew we were on to something the first week of training camp. We had three or four fights, and he was in two of them."
"If you tear his left arm off," offers Rivera, "he'll try to beat you with it."
OK, too much information, but we're starting to get the picture.
This is a good time for the Cowboys not to be worried about a tackle. The next couple of games offer Michael Strahan from the Giants and Carolina's Julius Peppers. They've been known to send tackles into a collective shell, and take the quarterback with them.
You never know how these things work out. The year Colombo was the 29th pick in the draft, Buffalo took Texas' Mike Williams fourth overall. He's now on his second team, and injured reserve, and he hasn't played like the fourth pick. On the other hand, while the Bears were drafting Colombo in round one, the Eagles were finding Brian Westbrook and Michael Lewis and Sheldon Brown in round two. The Steelers were drafting Antwaan Randle-El and the Broncos, Clinton Portis.
Colombo is signed through this season, but at this rate you'd think the Cowboys would want to keep him. And it sounds like he feels like he's found a football home.
"I do," he says directly. "This is an unbelievable football city. This team took a chance on me, and I hope it keeps paying off."
It's not where you start, after all, it's where you finish. The Cowboys and Marc Colombo both hope he's not finished yet.