Sad news, friends. You might want to keep some Kleenex handy. And you'll certainly want to sit down.

OK, deep breaths. Ready?

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The Dallas Cowboys are having major financial problems. It's true. Sniffle.

According to the Sports Business Journal, which I don't normally read - thanks for the heads-up, Google Alerts - the Cowboys are seeking to borrow an additional $350 million by Dec. 1. That just seems smart to me. If I know anything about the current economic climate, it's that credit lenders are flush and they're dying to give money away.

Here's the crux of the SBJ piece: "The club's proposed deal would refinance $126 million the team borrowed through the now-imploded auction-rate securities market, as well as add new debt to cover cost overruns at the team's $1.2 billion stadium that is set to open next year."

Depressing, right? If your neighbor can't make his mortgage payment, that's one thing. If GM and DHL cut thousands of jobs, that's a bummer, too. But when America's Team - the almighty Dallas Cowboys - can't finance a measly little $1 billion stadium without having to beg like hungry hobos, well, that really hits home. Next, we'll hear that the New York Yankees can't afford to overpay CC Sabathia. It's a cruel world.

That Dallas doesn't have a rainy day slush fund for just this sort of emergency is poor planning. Like the rest of us, the 'Boys will have to save money wherever possible now. Tony Romo could get a second job. Pacman Jones could stop making it rain and instead put that money into the club's coffers. T.O. - ever the team-first guy - could take a pay cut. There are sensible solutions here.

I tried calling Jerry Jones to offer my recommendations, but he couldn't be reached for comment. That's what happens when you don't have the money to pay your phone bill - they shut it off.

If you're like me (paranoid), now would be the time to don your gas mask and seal off your doors and windows with duct tape. Seems there's a terrible virus going around.

To wit: Andy Reid's talking points are spreading. Sixers head coach Mo Cheeks has already been infected. Here's what Cheeks said recently about getting Andre Iguodala back into the offensive flow: "I need to do a better job getting him more opportunities."

Sound like anyone we know?

Be careful out there, friends. You don't want to catch a case of the prepackaged cliches. There's no known cure.

During the beginning of the Beijing Olympics, some of The Inquirer staffers who were there to cover the event had trouble getting the news from home. The reason was that China's communist government initially blocked any number of Internet sites, including philly.com.

Is it possible that the Eagles are taking their technology cues from the Reds?

Unlike many organizations, the Eagles apparently don't trust the media to make responsible decisions with the Internet service provided in the Linc's press box. Perhaps to save us from ourselves, they employ a filter that precludes journalists from viewing a shocking assortment of Web sites. How Orwellian of them.

Naturally, all gambling and pornography pages are barred. No surprise there (though it's a touch disappointing). Curiously, the media are also prevented from accessing a staggering number of entirely reputable or innocuous sites.

Slate, Politico and The Nation are prohibited. Deadspin, Kissing Suzy Kolber and The Big Lead are all banned. Bleeding Green Nation is forbidden, and Top 100 Bloggers (which merely links to a number of blogs) is also off-limits. A few other sites that have been deemed verboten by the Eagles' manipulation machine: Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Google Finance, Gawker and AOL Instant Messenger.

Strangely, The 700 Level - one of the most critical, well-read local blogs - has not been blacklisted by the Eagles. That's a little like locking up your house before going to sleep but forgetting to retrieve the spare key from under the mat.

On a happier note, Eagles mouthpiece Dave Spadaro remains free to feed journalists (and all of you) a steady diet of propaganda on the team's Web site. I can hear the new fight song now: Fly, Eagles, fly, on the road to state-controlled media.

No biggie. I always found the First Amendment to be pie-in-the-sky, hysterical garbage, anyway.

During the World Series, I wrote about how Major League Baseball security commandeered an elevator at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., so commissioner Bud Selig wouldn't have to wait in line like the rest of the commoners. Seems that Selig started a trend. Following the Eagles-Giants game, a crowd was prevented from getting on an empty elevator because it was being held for NBC analyst John Madden. Seriously, he gets a private elevator, too? Outrageous. Where does it end, and who gets one next? . . . Prior to yesterday's 76ers-Jazz game, Andre Iguodala did a little playful trash-talking about former teammate Kyle Korver. "He's just an opponent now," Iguodala said. "We're going to bust his [backside]." Korver, of course, had a witty retort prepared: "We'll see what happens. I've never been in the visitors' locker room before." Take that, A.I. Faced!

Contact columnist John Gonzalez at 215-854-2813 or gonzalez@phillynews.com.