I come not to bury Keith as a "thug,'' or as someone who "deserves'' to have absorbed bullet wounds twice in the span of three years. But nor do I come to praise him for being tough enough, or cool enough, to wear a "battle scar'' on the back of his head, the result of last weekend's apparent drive-by shooting.
This is less a football matter than it is a legal matter; even if there is anything besides bad luck and coincidence that has placed Keith Davis in oddly vulnerable, potentially lethal situations twice in three years (and keep in mind, you and I consider it bad luck to have two FLAT TIRES in three years), it doesn't figure to affect Keith's status as a Cowboy. Coach Bill Parcells knew exactly what he was in for when he dismissed Davis from the team three years ago for being in yet another "wrong place at the wrong time'' -- a strip club where he was shot -- and he knew even more when he eventually invited Davis back and allowed him a start job last season.
So like you, I want everything to be OK. I want everything to be square. And screw Ben Roethlisberger wearing a helmet while on a motorcycle; I'm suggesting Keith Davis wear a helmet while driving the Impala.
Anyway, I bet Parcells wants to ask some questions. I assume police do. And I know I do. For instance:
1) Keith is saying something about returning from Shreveport in time to attend church. Does that jive with being in the car at 5 a.m.? "Shreveport. ... and then church''? Given that they go together like "Lance Armstrong'' and "comedy at the ESPYs,'' does it ring true at all?
2) Police say the gunshots unloaded into the rear of the car suggest that the shooter wasn't trying to kill Davis. OK, but don't the gunshots that reached his head and thigh scream otherwise?
3) There is the suggestion that the 2003 strip-club incident and this incident are completely unrelated. What are the odds of that being true?
4) Police were very slow and very reluctant to ID the "other person'' in Davis' car. I immediately knew that meant it was a woman. Which police have now confirmed. Why the slowness? Why the reluctance? And who is she? I mean, unless she's, say, Barbara Bush, why the hush-hush?
5) In fact, why do both the Davis shooting cases seem so similar in at least one regard: The slow pace at which details were released? In the 2003 case, some reports still insist the establishment was a "nightclub'' when it was in fact a "strip club.'' Davis still insists he was there at 2:15 a.m. to "pick up a friend,'' yet at the same time, as the story goes, he ended up in a dispute while protecting his girlfriend. Was she the "friend" being picked up? What was she doing at a strip club? Is she the same woman from this case?
6) And then the logical follow-up question to Keith's passenger: Honey, are you SURE you don't know the shooter?
7) Oh, yeah. ... do carjackers generally strike vehicles traveling at 65 MPH on an open interstate? Do they generally fill the car body full of holes? And if they shoot the driver in the head, do they enjoy jacking a car that just crashed into a wall because the fellow in the driver's seat is dead?
8) And more on the nature of carjacking: Davis says he pulled over after being shot. If so, why didn't the carjackers pull over as well, and claim their prize? If it's a carjacking, why didn't they jack? Why did they keep driving?
9) And one more: There has got to be an easier way to steal a car than to attempt murder on the driver of a moving vehicle. Right?
10) And this question is for you, and me, the Cowboys fan who wants to believe that Keith Davis is completely innocent, that he truly learned a behavioral lesson from Parcells when he was released, that strip clubs are no longer his thing, that his laughing off the incident is "gallows humor'' and not "I'm-Indestructable'' naivete, that he doesn't hang with the "wrong element,'' that this shooting really did happen the way he says and where he says, and that he is simply a victim of lighting striking twice:
If this had happened to a Giants safety, an Eagles safety or a Redskins safety, would you and I believe it then?
Or maybe better put: As much as we might believe Keith. ... if he asked us, tonight, to ride shotgun with him on a drive to Harry Hines Blvd., Shreveport, or church. ... how many MPH would we speed in the opposite direction?
I'm not attacking Keith Davis. I'm glad he's alive, I'm glad he's planning on being ready for camp, and pending Parcells' Good Housekeeping Approval on answers to some of the above questions, I'm glad he'll be competing for a starting job.
Most of all, I'm glad Keith's body doesn't have any more holes. ... and befuddled by the fact that his story does.