LOS ANGELES -- The NFL doesn't allow gambling, but its teams sure have made some risky rolls of the dice this season.
And, all of a sudden, a few of those gambles are going belly-up:
The Minnesota Vikings apparently parted ways with disgruntled receiver Randy Moss on Monday, less than a month after trading for him.
The Dallas Cowboys, who opted to keep embattled coach Wade Phillips, are a 1-6 disaster desperately watching their season go down the drain.
And the Washington Redskins are in code-red damage-control mode after Donovan McNabb, the league's most notable off-season acquisition, was benched Sunday in favor of lowly Rex Grossman.
The biggest shocker is the Moss fiasco, which is still in limbo because, despite several reports he had been waived and that coach Brad Childress informed his players the receiver wouldn't be back, Moss was not listed on Monday's waiver wire. That could happen before the team convenes for its next practice Wednesday.
That said, the Rent-a-Randy experiment blew up in the immediate aftermath of Minnesota's 28-18 loss at New England on Sunday. That's when Moss stepped to the podium and delivered a rambling monologue in which he lavished praise on his old team, the Patriots, and criticized his new one for ignoring his advice about how to prepare for the game.
"You have six days to prepare for a team and on the seventh day, that's Sunday, meaning today, I guess they come over to me and say, 'Dang, Moss, you were right about a couple plays and a couple schemes that they were going to run.'
"It hurts as a player that you put a lot of hard work in all week and toward the end of the week, Sunday, when you get on the field, that is when they acknowledge the hard work you have put in all week."
The Vikings had given New England a third-round pick for Moss, who did not return to Minnesota with them after the game. That's another strike against Childress, whose grip on his job seems to be slipping by the day.
Vikings linebacker Ben Leber told the Minneapolis Star Tribune the coach didn't give the players a reason for the decision to cut ties with the receiver. But Leber did seem surprised about Moss' comments after the game.
"It was just, 'Wow,' " Leber told the newspaper. "Just because it sounded like it was unprompted and sounded like he wanted to get some stuff off his chest. He certainly has every right to do that. I don't think that's the way to do it."
In Dallas, Phillips isn't just focused on the way to do things, but the way to re-do them.
He told reporters Monday that after watching the video of Sunday's home loss to Jacksonville, he determined the Cowboys need a refresher on fundamentals, and therefore he's putting them back in training-camp mode. He didn't specify precisely what that means, but said he had the support of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
"Running, blocking, tackling, catching, covering, throwing -- we're not as good as we were," Phillips said. "Every detail has to be covered. We have to be more precise in some of these things. I've said it before but we're going to stress it even more -- not right, but exactly right."
The Cowboys only have two new starters from a team that was 11-5 last season, winning the NFC East and a playoff game. Quarterback Tony Romo is out because of a broken collarbone, but replacement Jon Kitna was hardly Dallas' biggest problem Sunday. Three of his four intercepted passes were deflections off the hands of receivers.
"I'm distraught to say the least," Phillips said. "It was embarrassing, I thought, the way we played, the way we coached. We didn't give ourselves a chance to win the game. It's very painful at this point in the season to be where we are.
"I thought we'd come out and really play with a lot of passion and so forth, and we didn't. It fooled me that we didn't. I thought we were going to be ready and we weren't."
Evidently, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan didn't think McNabb was ready, or able, to run the team's two-minute offense with no timeouts against Detroit. He said Monday the Pro Bowl quarterback didn't have the "cardiovascular endurance" to stay on the field with the game on the line.
McNabb looked fine during the game and even had a 36-yard run. And replacing him was a disaster. On his first snap, Grossman was hit, fumbled and watched rookie Ndamukong Suh scoop up the loose ball and return it for a touchdown.
Asked what was the response in the huddle when Grossman entered the game, guard Kory Lichtensteiger told reporters: "We were kind of questioning what was going on. But that's not our job, to figure out what the coaches were thinking."
As the dust settles, the Redskins are left to figure out something else: What is McNabb thinking? And what is going on?
"For him to be pulled like that, it's definitely a shocker to a lot of us," cornerback DeAngelo Hall said Monday. "It does raise the interesting point: After the season, will he be here or not?"
That's the thing about these gambles. Easy come, easy go.