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Just Not Going Away

Sunday and the engine problems the next. And heaven have mercy, even the wife of an assistant coach finding a dead rat in her Mc-Salad. 

Crossing the Delaware couldn't have been wrought with this much strife. 

What next? 

You know, you shouldn't have asked. 

The Cowboys are unsure of just how long Glenn will be sidelined with that knee/quad condition that forced them to leave him behind this weekend. Will it be just this week? Maybe next? Longer? Who knows, and who knows if Patrick Crayton and rookie free agent Sam Hurd can continue to fill in as adequately as they did Sunday, combining to catch nine passes for 146 yards and one touchdown. 

The Cowboys are darn sure they will no longer worry about Coleman, released on the spot when he showed up for work Saturday morning, meaning it's now Roy Williams, Keith Davis, Pat Watkins and Abram Elam at safety, as it was here Sunday. Who knows if they can continue to mix and match their coverages as well as they did against the Cardinals, holding rookie quarterback Matt Leinart to 47.7 QB rating thanks mostly to two picks, no touchdowns and a 20-for-38, 216-yard passing performance. 

And now, as if all this other junk hasn't been enough, they must play the final seven games without arguably their first-half defensive MVP, Greg Ellis tearing his left Achilles and facing season-ending surgery. Who knows if they turn to first-round pick Bobby Carpenter, hand-picked to play left outside linebacker in the 3-4 before they even knew if Ellis could handle the switch, or if they hand the starting job back to last-year's eight-game starter Al Singleton, who Parcells kept on this 53-man roster just in case. Well, just in case has just arrived. 

And as if all that isn't enough to handle, who should come snooping around Texas Stadium next Sunday as the Cowboys return home for the first time in a month - and with a 5-4 record, trying to win two straight games this season for only the second time - but the Indianapolis Colts. That's Peyton Manning and them, the NFL's last undefeated team (9-0) this year. 


"That's the name of the game," veteran sage Aaron Glenn said of this team's apparent resiliency, having to deal with one thing after another. "Nothing is going to slow down 'cause you lose players. They are not going to stall the season." 

Yeah, but what about that loss last week? What about everyone outside The Ranch carping over that 4-4 record? 

"We were 4-4," Glenn said. "Why would we be down, only eight games into the season? There's no reason to. Come on, now. Ridiculous. There is not one team that thinks like that, and if you do, you shouldn't be in existence." 

The Cowboys still have a viable existence this 2006 season because they obviously have not gotten down on themselves; have not felt sorry for themselves; and have not allowed any external or intangible distractions to derail their focus. This team comes to play every week. Now it might not win every week, obviously, but the effort has always been there - even through this grind of a three-game road trip, their reward now being a game over .500 with five of the last seven at home, including the next two. And with the first-place Giants (6-3) falling to Chicago on Sunday night, the Cowboys are now just one game back in the NFC East. 

They still are in the thick of this NFC thanks to three of the most improbable first three NFL starts an NFL quarterback can have, Romo proving beyond a shadow of a doubt Parcells' confidence in him was not misguided. And to think, all three were on the road. 

They are in this because of how hard Terrell Owens competes. No matter his problems, no matter his drops, he's still grinding out there every play, at times even trying too hard. They are in this because of this defense, and say all that garbage everyone wants to say, but just remember, over the past two games the defense can't be charged with giving up more than just 24 points. Monsters of the Midway, maybe not. 

But shades of Freddy? No matter what, they just won't go away? 

"That was just such a tough loss," Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said of last Sunday's, "and it was to Washington on top of that. But we bounced back. Just

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