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Totally Random

Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, bottom, lies on the ground as teammates Anthony Henry (42), Ken Hamlin (26) and Jay Ratliff (90) check on him.

At 8-5 and in second place in the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys are in position to clinch a wild card playoff berth -- making them disappointments in the mind of one of the greatest Cowboys of them all, Emmitt Smith.

Calling the Cowboys “mediocre,” Smith told the Dallas Morning News, “I saw this team being a lot better than it is. Chemistry has a lot to do with it. And for some reason, the chemistry of the Cowboys has been thrown off a little bit.

"Either there’s too much salt in the gumbo or not enough meat in the gumbo. Something’s wrong. Whatever it is, they need to get it corrected. It’s just been kind of a ‘blah’ season for me.”

Trivia time

How many consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons did Smith have during his NFL career?

This guy takes the cake

Add food metaphors: Home-field advantage in the NFL isn’t what it used to be, and here is what Washington Redskins wide receiver Antwaan Randle El said about the success road teams have had in the league this season:

“Some guys love playing away, like myself. . . . It’s like going in somebody’s house and taking their cake off the table and they’re sitting right there looking at you and there’s nothing they can do.”

A rookie mistake

After 33 years without winning a division title, the Arizona Cardinals weren’t sure how to act Sunday when they finally broke that streak with a 34-10 triumph over the St. Louis Rams.

“My coach was like, 'Act like you’ve been there before, act like you’ve been there before,' " Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett told the Associated Press. “I said, ‘Coach, I ain’t been there before; I don’t know how to act right now.' ”

Dockett was born in 1981 -- six years after the Cardinals last won a division championship.
 
Trivia answer

Eleven.
 
And finally

Not one for understatement, or prudent statement, disgruntled New York Knick Stephon Marbury described his current predicament this way:

"I got shot in the head by my own guys in the foxhole. And they didn't even give me an honorable death."

Reflecting on Marbury’s remarks, David Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote: "Shooting. Foxhole. Honorable death. Sports was so much simpler when we only threw people under a bus."

-- Mike Penner

Photo: Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, bottom, lies on the ground as teammates Anthony Henry (42), Ken Hamlin (26) and Jay Ratliff (90) check on him during a Nov. 27 game against the Seattle Seahawks in Irving, Texas. Credit: Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press

 
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