The Dallas Cowboys are an utter embarrassment to the DFW sports scene, and on Sunday they did nothing to change that stance. While I am admittedly not as nearly as invested in the NFL as I am in the Dallas Stars and the NHL it still entertaining to watch “America’s Team” find different ways to fail weekly. This Sunday, however, I noticed something that was unlike anything I had noticed before. It made me think what would happen if it were to happen to someone like Anton Khudobin or Jamie Benn.
With Dak Prescott sidelined due to a broken ankle, Andy Dalton has taken the helm for the Cowboys. On Sunday afternoon’s game against the unnamed football team from Washington, Dalton ran out of passing options and scrambled towards the middle of the field out of the end zone. Washington linebacker Jon Bostic then led, head first, into a hit on Dalton. Dalton lay seemingly unconscious if for only a moment. Bostic was swiftly ejected for the helmet to helmet hit, but that wasn’t the story here.
The story here is the aftermath, or lack there of. Not one single Cowboy made a push at Bostic. No one stuck up for Dalton or the blatant illegal hit that cost them their starting quarterback for the remainder of the game. At least. The Cowboys would go on to lose the game, without a fight.
Does the NFL need enforcers? Would that have changed the outlook of the game? Maybe not, but the NHL, and hockey overall, is specifically unique. Fighting is still allowed. It’s a tactic. To outsiders, fighting is a barbaric show of testosterone between two sometimes toothless men.
To hockey fans and purists, fighting is as big of a part of the game as scoring goals. A single fight can sway the entire momentum of a single game. Of a series. Of a championship. Fighting has been part of the game since the beginning. Before I go too far off from the point of the story I understand, fighting isn’t a part of the game in the NFL. That’s understandable.
What I don’t understand is how no one on the Cowboys stood up for the leader of their team in that moment.
Imagine if a guy like Ryan Reaves took a shot at our beloved Dobby and his helmet was sent flying, much like Dalton’s. Rolling on the grass. You’d have the cavalry on Reaves in a heartbeat. Jamie Oleksiak, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov. (Dobby’s bestie.) They would all be in the face of Reaves, gloves flying. Yard sale. Anarchy. Please see below.
The whole point of this story isn’t to compare sports, even if it may seem like it. The point is that hockey is special in that you are expected to stand up for your team. It’s part of the game. Part of the sport. Maybe the Cowboys just don’t have the fight in them. So Jerry Jones, I offer you Jamie “Chubbs” Benn. He is a serviceable captain as well as an enforcer. Benn stands up to the toughest of foes and never backs down when the occasion calls.
Actually, I think all the Cowboys could take a page out of Benn’s playbook. They don’t seem to be reading any playbooks.