The lasting image of last week's 24-0 pasting of the Eagles comes from Felix Jones's 49-yard game-sealing touchdown in the third quarter. The image is that of 313-pound tackle Doug Free beating the lightning fast Jones downfield and making one last block to help him into the end zone. It was great hustle from Free and we won't be seeing a replay of it on Sunday night.
Marc Colombo has recovered from the ankle surgery that forced him to miss the final seven games of the regular season and will slide back into his starting role on the right side of the offensive line. It's hard to argue with that choice on the face of it. Colombo is a solid player who doesn't deserve to lose his starting role simply because of injury. Still, you have to wonder about the timing of such a move.
The Cowboys have been playing so well and clicking on so many cylinders that it seems awfully dangerous to monkey around with the way things are working. Swapping out Free for Colombo may be a relatively minor move, but it's a move that means you won't be taking the field with the same unit that's been effective for the last three weeks. If Colombo is an upgrade over Free -- we aren't sold on that particular point -- is he a big enough one that the change needs to be made right now?
Call us superstitious if you must, but the answer is that the move isn't worth it. The Cowboys have come so far this season in erasing the bad mojo that's been built up over the last 13 years that it just doesn't make any sense to change things now.
A new stadium, a slightly humbler approach to the game and the change from relying on the likes of Terrell Owens to the plucky underdog stylings of Miles Austin have clearly pleased the football gods. Ride the crest of that wave, ride Doug Free and reap the rewards.