Seeing DeMarcus Ware and DeMarco Murray limping off the field last night prompted visions of the Dallas Cowboys circa 2012 — a solid team that suffered too many injuries and finished up 8-8 for the year and missed the playoffs.
To make matters worse, we’ve run out of players whose names begin with DeMarc.
Fortunately, a handful of no-name backups filled the holes and helped the Dallas Cowboys send the Washington Redskins and RG Roman Numerals back home to Washington D.C., where being shut down is commonplace.
Final score: 31-16.
Defensive end Kyle Wilber’s boring first name didn’t stop him from filling in admirably for DeMarcus.
Wilber’s sack, strip, and fumble recovery at the Redskins 4-yard line in the fourth quarter set up a Cowboys touchdown that iced the game.
Wilber’s backstory is unique. Raised by wolves in Montana, his upbringing instilled a fierce and aggressive approach to his gridiron play, which more than compensates for his still-lingering tendency to mark his territory during team meetings.
Of course, not all replacements were stars. Ninth-string running back Joseph Randle took over for DeMarco, which is like substituting Spam for prime rib. Player stats claim Randle and Murray are both 6 feet tall, but Randle looks tiny on the field compared to Murray.
Randle scored a touchdown from the one-yard line but was stuffed by two Redskins and would have been driven backward 99 yards for a safety if the bearded wonder-rookie Travis Frederick hadn’t pushed the whole pile into the end zone on his own.
But Randle knows about obstacles and how to overcome them. He was once deemed too small to play peewee football (he was 20 at the time).
After the game, Jerry Jones noted the “falloff” in the running game after DeMarco DeParted.
Randle’s 11 rushes for 17 yards is more like a “falloff into the deepest darkest abyss imaginable.” The Cowboys would be better off bringing Walt Garrison out of retirement.
Oh wait, this week’s column is about praising heroic youngsters. Forget all that stuff about Randle. Let’s talk Dwayne Harris. The sixth-round pick of 2011 returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown at a crucial time in last night’s game. Later, while on the punting team, he ran downfield and made a great tackle.
Harris also returned a kickoff 90 yards, made $50,000 short-selling stocks on his iPhone during a timeout, and composed a sonata at halftime.
Speaking of unusual backstories, Harris grew up a determined if confused young man on an Amish lilypad farm in Las Vegas. He took the movie Forrest Gump literally and honored the man by running back and forth across the United States several times and growing a beard that made Frederick’s look like a ninth-grader’s peach fuzz.
Upon learning that Gump was actually a metaphorical and metonymical parable, he said, “I’ll be darned.” Then he found a dictionary and while perusing the “P” section for “parable” he came across the word “punt” and said, “I’d like to run one of those back for a touchdown on Sunday Night Football when I grow up.”