Sports Outside the Beltway

Cowboys Off to Great Start

Mickey Spagnola notes that the Cowboys have finished the first phase of camp — their first preseason game is tonight– with no incidents. Compared to the past several years, that’s really something:

There were no major injuries. Yeah, yeah, I know Terry Glenn had his right knee scoped to remove a cyst from the back of his kneecap. But he’ll be back before you know it. OK, Ellis and Isaiah Stanback can’t seem to get back into practice, but they might not be far away from returning – maybe like 290 miles.

Because it’s not as if Mike Sherrard broke his leg. It’s not as if Troy Aikman needed back surgery. It’s not as if Dwayne Goodrich tore his Achilles or even Mike Lucky his ACL.

Hey, even Marcus Spears made it through the first of his three training camps without spraining his MCL and missing like two to three weeks of practice.

There were no incidents. Terrell Owens was a choirboy. He did, to our knowledge, everything he was told. His missed practices because of sore legs and back spasms that went unchallenged, and never once did you detect a contentious relationship with the head coach, the offensive coordinator or the wide receiver coach. Best he could do this summer was appear in full Spiderman regalia, mask sock included, before Wednesday’s final practice.

Kidding me?

Why, no one got stabbed in the neck with barber shears. No one had to be talked off the ledge of quitting. No one had their position coach brush his pancakes rudely off the dining hall table because he was overweight. No rookie showed up late for camp or has yet to be caught with a woman in his Mexico City hotel room after curfew. No one had to be bailed out of jail.

There were no veteran holdouts, no suspensions and, granted it was only 16 days here, but only three guys were even cut – a fifth quarterback, the rookie free-agent punter who was behind a Pro Bowler and just Wednesday after the walk-through, no-chance tight end Andy Thorn. La-de-dah.

The starting quarterback did not get released, nor was he secretly whisked out of camp when few were looking, still trying to eat his Cheerios as he was making his way to the get-away car. The backup quarterback did not slug the starting quarterback, nor did he get traded on an off-day, and in fact, you know what, there hasn’t even been on off-day yet, and won’t be until Sunday. The kickers for the first time in three camps haven’t been an issue. No torn quad this last day of camp. And charting kicks became boring, since Martin Gramatica had only one bad day, missing like two of his five kicks, and rookie Nick Folk missed his first kick of camp Monday, and only by a sliver. Where’s Mr. Most Accurate Kicker In NFL History when you need him?

Knock on wood.

Oh: The first game that counts, against the New York Giants, is exactly one month away.

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