As the great coach Tony D'Amato once said, life is this game of inches, and so is football.
*"In either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One half-second too slow, too fast, you don't quite catch it."
*So, as long as there is one game left in this 2011 NFL season, the moment that the inches did not add up for the Cowboys almost cannot be beleaguered enough. It's the third-and-five play late against in the Giants in Week 14, when Tony Romo just barely missed a streaking Miles Austin for what would've been a game-sealing touchdown.
Over on the NFL.com mother ship, there's a full breakdown with replays of what happened, or almost happened, and how it changed the course of the season. It's probably safe to say if Austin had caught the ball, the New York Giants would not be in the Super Bowl. A loss to the Cowboys would've put them down two games in the NFC East with three to play.
A few ideas are floated as to just what threw off the play by those few inches, including Austin's claim that he lost the ball in the lights, which caused him to slow down.
Or was it just a simple over-throw by Romo?
Or, as Michael Irvin suggests, was it Austin's problem hamstring that kept him from making that much-needed final burst of speed?
Maybe it was fate. After all, the Cowboys had driven themselves into position to kick a game-tying field goal at the end, but it was blocked by Jason Pierre-Paul.
But, had Bailey's kick been just a few inches higher - or L.P. Ladoueur's been able to hold his ground just a few inches more . . .
"The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break of the game, every minute, every second."