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NFL Places Dallas Cowboys On PUP List
DALLAS (CAP) - Citing the need to "prevent irreparable damage to a franchise steeped in tradition" as well as to the league as a whole, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has placed the Dallas Cowboys on the Physically Unable to Perform list, effectively ending the team's woeful season. Players are being encouraged to pursue other non-football related interests.
"You know, most of these guys never get a chance to truly enjoy fall because of the demands of an NFL schedule," said Goodell. "So to every player on the Cowboys, I say: take a load off. Go apple picking with the family, go watch your kid's soccer game - just, you know, stay off the football field for now.
"No, no, no, I'm not mad - really, I'm not," Goodell added. "But the league has an image to uphold and it's not fair to the other 31 franchises who try so doggone hard each week. It's jut not."
Teams who were scheduled to play the Cowboys throughout the rest of the season will be given automatic wins for those weeks and instead will play a game for charity. When the New Orleans Saints roll into Dallas on Thanksgiving, they will face off against the Greater Dallas Wheelchair Veterans Association.
"Oh, it'll be a good game, no doubt - certainly more of a challenge than if we'd actually played the Cowboys," said Saints head coach Sean Payton. "Nothing but clean hits from my guys, that's for sure. Guarantee chop blocks or anything below the knees will hurt us more than it hurts them. We'll give Dallas fans a good game, no worries."
The commissioner's office had considered other options prior to disabling the entire squad, including the possibility of bringing back the likes of Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin and Jay Novacek from the Superbowl team of the early '90s. Goodell said he figured that fielding a bunch of hobbled retirees would at least provide the same level of play and probably put more fans in the seats.
"And with a whole new generation watching Jimmy Johnson on TV thanks to Survivor, we figured it was win-win," said Goodell. "But something just ain't right about that boy since he got back from Nicaragua. He just babbles on and on about stuff that makes no sense - it's kind of like trying to hold a conversation with Troy Aikman, who clearly had one too many hits to the noggin."
Another option Goodell considered was allowing the Cowboys to play their games but taping them and not broadcasting them live. Then the network would air a sped-up version of the game while playing the Benny Hill theme music as an accompanying bed. "Watching Kitna's interceptions at triple speed is actually pretty entertaining," Goodell noted.
Meanwhile, owner Jerry Jones fired coach Wade Phillips and replaced him, at least temporarily, with a musty rag tied to a broom handle. He said the move is both symbolic and practical as he not only seeks to figuratively "mop up this mess" but also literally keep the locker room clean.
"And [Jason] Garrett best keep his mouth shut about not being promoted if he knows what's good for him," said Jones. "I've got enough cleaning supplies in the clubhouse to field a whole coaching staff - and don't think that I won't."
When asked why the winless Buffalo Bills are still being allowed to play, Goodell said it all comes down to expectations, "and nobody's expected anything from the Bills since 1999."
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