But remarkably, most of those with bunkmates like it that way. "Nate wants Tony Tolbert," says Dalrymple. "Harper and Irvin want to be together. Clayton Holmes and Kenny Gant. Johnston and Stepnoski. And Emmitt has to be with Tommie Agee."
As trainer Kevin O'Neill makes his rounds, knocking on doors and checking names off his list, the evening slowly winds to a close. There are security guards stationed by most of the exits. Nobody wants a repeat of the night the Cowboys spent before the game on Thanksgiving, when somebody pulled the fire alarm at the team's hotel in Dallas, at 5:30 a.m. For at least one player, though, it was a sign of good things to come on the field: Garrett, starting his first game as a Cowboy, slept through the chaos.
O'Neill determines that every player is where he should be now, except for Smith, who is still embroiled in a fierce game of dominoes in Haley's room. Smith is wearing a Pennsylvania State Trooper cap, given to him by one of the team's escorts on the trip to the hotel, and he's vowing victory or death.
At 11:15 two young women in jeans as tight as apple skins get off the elevator. A security guard confronts them. "Oh, is this 14?" asks one. They try to peer down the hallway. Nothing doing. "I thought we were on 15." The guard escorts them back whence they came. Another elevator car stops, the doors open and a couple of drunks shout curses. The doors close, and there is silence once more.
At 11:30 Smith walks in his socks down the hallway toward his room, muttering to himself. A more important game lies ahead for him and the Cowboys.