IRVING, TEX. -- To their grandchildren sometime in the next century, Alec Gibson, Steve Cisowski and several dozen others drawn together in haste and bonded by exquisite memory can say: "The day our brand of pro football ended, the stock market took a 508-point free fall."
What's a little hyperbole among kin, especially when the reality of what happened the last three weeks was more than slightly bizarre.
"We have witnessed a phenomenon that may never again be seen," said the Cowboys' president and general manager, Tex Schramm.
Call him what you will, and long lines are forming behind both union basher and visionary at the moment, Schramm has seen a mindload of fantasy.
Nothing in his four decades of pro experience has hit Schramm like the reaction to that three-week adventure called Tex's League. It was fake football, like a Brooks Brothers label stamped on bib overalls, but customers by the thousands bought it.
Schramm also was stirring his thoughts an hour or so after left defensive end Gibson and his Washington buddies put a licking on right offensive tackle Cisowski and the Cowboys in the ultimate moment of Scab Season.
"Hey," Schramm suddenly said to a local reporter several yards away. "You didn't put Counterfeit Cowboys in quote marks."
That's right, the fellow admitted. He had meant to call a sham a sham.
"Well," Schramm shot back, "counterfeit did 60,000 tonight. Maybe you'd better determine what counterfeit is."
To be precise, 60,612 customers were witness to a game that went as far as possible to legitimize the NFL's strike-breaking tactic. This should have pleased Schramm, he being among the leaders who pulled it off.
Trouble is, proof that competitive football teams, like prefab houses, can be thrown together in a hurry was more cause for alarm to Schramm. The pure counterfeit guys, the Scabskins, had beaten a Cowboy outfit dotted with genuine gems.
For the most part, a Dallas defensive line that featured two fairly certain Hall of Famers -- Randy White and Ed (Too Tall) Jones -- got its helmet twisted by Redskins blockers plucked off the sporting unemployment roll.
Darrick Brilz? Gimme a break. For all I knew before kickoff Monday night, Darrick Brilz was a high-tech stock that got run over in that stampede on Wall Street.
Turns out Darrick Brilz knocked Mister Randy White out of the way enough times for Lionel Vital to gain 55 more yards than another future Hall of Famer, Tony Dorsett.
Moralists will begin preaching about unity always beating teams that breed dissension by demanding loyalty. Maybe so. The only team with no veterans crossing the picket line had one of three perfect records in Scab Season.
For Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs, General Manager Bobby Beathard and their aides, the satisfaction from Monday's victory will stay warm for a lifetime.
The Cowboys are one of the standards for excellence, and with good reason. They are expected to carve something lovely out of chaos. Two nights ago, with fewer tools and a far weaker foundation, Gibbs and Beathard beat Schramm and Tom Landry and thus joined them -- in the public's eye -- among sport's master builders.
The relative merits of management styles and replacement teams was not foremost among Schramm's worries. Neither were asterisks, whether individual records set during strike games should count.
"Play the way it falls," he said. "That's the way life is. I have no sympathy for everybody and anybody that wants to put it aside. We all played by the same rules."
Schramm went on: "The love affair between the fans in Dallas these three weeks and this team . . . "
You mean, he was interrupted, the love affair between the fans in Dallas and 45 Cowboys minus two.
"Yes," Schramm quietly admitted.
For reasons not close to totally clear, Cowboys fans rooted initially for every replacement player except two: quarterback Danny White and Dorsett. You would have thought Dorsett had maimed a busload of schoolchildren on the way to the ballpark so vile was his pregame welcome.
Then he fumbled twice, each time after being hit by the suddenly-legendary Alec Gibson. If Dorsett publicly says he wants to dig a hole and crawl inside this morning, there will be no shortage of shovels.
"The people here fell in love with youth and enthusiasm," Schramm said. "Players playing for the sake of winning, for the sake of playing football. And not a word about money."
That's a true ring. Fans are softies for the sort of unexpected competence the Scabskins showed. Some even suggest a Wednesday scrimmage this week at Redskin Park to see which team -- A or B -- meets the Jets Sunday in RFK Stadium.
To Washingtonians, the dream football exacta is the Redskins running toward glory and the Cowboys mired in confusion. That seems entirely possible for quite some time as the final 10 games unfold.
The Realskins are healthy. Every body, and everybody Coach Joe Gibbs wants to play can. The mood ought to be properly sober, what with trying to recoup finances by making the playoffs and sailing through them.