DALLAS — Professional sports teams live by the mantra "next man up." And that adage holds no truer now that COVID-19 cases mount for both the Dallas Cowboys and the Mavericks.
For the Cowboys, three players Micah Parsons, Anthony Brown and Tyron Smith have been ruled out for Saturday's game against the Eagles. All three have entered the NFL's COVID protocols.
"We've assembled a team that I think can actually make a run for the Super Bowl and now we are in trouble," said Cowboys fan Mark Engle.
Every main U.S. professional sports league has protocols when a player tests positive. Quarantines are a standard 10 days.
"No pun intended [the infections] are a game changer for many teams as they enter playoff seasons," said Dr. Mark Casanova who is with the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Taskforce. "Omicron tends to set in much faster. The incubation period is much shorter," he said.
The Mavericks are also dealing with the spike. Head coach Jason Kidd and players Kristaps Porzingis and Boban Marjanovic are all out for the near future.
"It's an opportunity to play the players that haven't been able to play. I'm always a silver lining kind of person," said Dallas sports fan Jennifer Steckmann.
The latest spike in infections is also a reminder that nobody is truly immune from the virus, including people like professional athletes who some look up to.
"We may all think we are superman and superwoman but there is heck of lot of kryptonite around," said Dr. Casanova.