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Jan. 10, 1997


By Mac McKinnon

Cowboys deserve better

than media dish out

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The season for the Dallas Cowboys is over. As most people know, they
were defeated by the Carolina Panthers 26-17 Sunday.

I, unlike many people in the media, am not going to bash the Cowboys. I
write now not to bury them, but to praise them.

In spite of all the bad publicity, I believe most of the Cowboys are
good people. There are some who have made human mistakes. I don't
support what those people have done, but who are we to judge?

If we're going to get down on them, what about all the people in show
business who have done far worse things but never get exposed to the
negative publicity? That list would be long and probably suprising to
many who don't pay attention to such things.

Pro football is entertainment just like the movies and television. As
we all know, there's a lot of money involved, and when people have too
much money and too much free time, trouble can take place.

That's not always the case, and I'm not one to advocate lower salaries
for people in entertainment. Many know how to handle it and make good
use of their money and fame.

Good examples of that are Troy Aikman, Moose Johnston and Emmitt Smith.
And there are many others in the Cowboy organization who are also really
top professionals.

I've gotten tired - to overuse an expression by Michael Irvin - of all
the Cowboy bashing going on in the Dallas media and national media as
well. It seems like everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon of any team
when they are doing well and then curse that bandwagon when a wheel runs

Let's face it. The Cowboys have helped make great careers for many a
media person, and it's popular to criticize those on top. Every team the
Cowboys face is out to knock off the king of the hill, and that's where
the Cowboys have been for years.

It's difficult to stay on top. The Cowboys and their organization
should be admired for what they have done. Sure, they've had a few
problems this year, but when you think back on the schedule they've had,
the injuries and the fact everybody wants to dethrone them, I believe
they did a great job.

Change a few plays and the Cowboys would be in the NFC championship
game. But it didn't work out that way, and I'm proud to be a fan of the
Cowboys. Don't forget that other teams have the same problems with
players getting in trouble. You just don't hear about it as much because
Dallas has a higher profile than other teams.

Everybody wants to over-analyze this situation and wonder if this is
the end of the Cowboys. Don't bet on it. There's still a lot of talent
and a great organization and the Boys will be back. Let's get off their
back and let them enjoy the off-season and get ready for next year.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mac McKinnon is editor and publisher of the Pecos
Enterprise. His column appears on Friday.


Are Neanderthals

still among us?

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We've all met people who strike us as stuck at a lower rung on the
evolutionary ladder - he louts who relentlessly tailgate, the boors who
turn every conversation back to themselves, the cavemen on "Men Behaving

But as divergent as they may be from the norms of civilized society,
these specimens are still card-carrying members of the human species,
Homo sapiens sapiens.

In a startling discovery, though, anthropologists have discovered that
once upon a time - 27,000 to 53,000 years ago - on a faraway island, two
different hominid species may have coexisted. Anthropologist Susan Anton
of the University of Florida says she has found remains of Homo erectus
from that period in Java. If that is the case, it would be a
revolutionary finding because most experts believe Homo erectus, who
emerged from Africa 1.8 million years ago, died out roughly 200,000
years ago.

Anthropologists already know that modern humans, Homo sapiens,
coexisted for a time with Neanderthals, formally known as Homo sapiens
neanderthalensis. But the family ties there are a whole lot closer;
Neanderthals are but a subspecies away. For anthropologists, and Jean
Auel fans, the big mystery is the fate of the Neanderthals. Did they die
out? Did they interbreed with modern humans? Or did they just turn into
those creeps who won't stop jabbering during movies?

Still, Homo erectus is an entirely different story. If this finding is
verified, the theory that modern humans began in Africa will be given a
strong boost.

Yet the prospect that the two were neighbors awakens more than
scientific curiosity. Who could resist philosophical speculation? Homo
erectus had fire but not the language sk~is of modern humans. They had
rudimentary tools, not the more sophisticated tool kit of Homo sapiens.
they walked upright, but they had not yet invented art. When Homo
erectus looked at the newcomers, did they realize that they'd never keep
up with the Joneses.
-- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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