The Cowboys Pick Up the Pieces After the Valley Ranch Collapse

The accident at the Cowboys' practice facility leaves structures collapsed, questions unanswered and a life forever changed

The future for Behm is considerably more ominous.

"We can't give Rich his legs back," Irvin said. "All we can try to do is ease the worries in his mind."

Initially treated at Parkland Hospital, Behm has been moved to a rehab facility and has a target of going home next month. The good news: His job—intricate research, a meticulous editing of college football videos and preparation of draftable players' highlight packages—awaits his return.

It took the tragic collapse of their Valley Ranch practice
facility to make the Cowboys look like a unified team.
It took the tragic collapse of their Valley Ranch practice facility to make the Cowboys look like a unified team.

Said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at Sting, "The only thing bigger than Michael Irvin's personality is Rich Behm's heart."

Phillips attended the fund-raiser, as did Cowboys Jason Witten, Greg Ellis and Tony Romo. Each has visited Behm in the hospital. All sympathize with the reality of raising from a wheelchair two boys (8 and 6 years old) and a 7-week-old daughter.

"He's a friend, someone I talked to every day in the locker room," Ware said. "He's always there, telling me I need to get bigger and stronger. Now it's my turn, to help motivate him to do the same."

In addition to the check from his charity, Irvin rustled up another $100,000 in the collection plate at Sting. The mother of Baltimore Ravens receiver Mark Clayton offered $5,000 on behalf of her son's foundation. Every donation bin in the building was stuffed with cash. Ellis announced that the Cowboys would match the night's donation total. I even heard that another NFL owner gave Jones a $25,000 check in Behm's name.

And, of course, a trust fund has been established at local Bank of America branches.

"I hear a lot of fans say 'we' won three Super Bowls," Irvin implored. "If you're going to be a part of our family during the good times, I ask you be here in the bad times as well. One of 'we' needs your help."

There'll be plenty of time for federal investigators to lay blame for the accident; lawsuits against the Cowboys, manufacturers, construction companies and even the NFL are certainly forthcoming.

For now, we can answer one question.

When Irvin first entered Behm's hospital room, the scout was asking about his boys. He doesn't have to inquire about his 'Boys. They're right by his side.

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