Whether you’ve reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt’s End:
*Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Cowboys’ draft class sucks. Can’t call it a bust yet, but you can say every player drafted back in April – except for Morris Claiborne – is a disappointment as Dallas heads into Game #10. Claiborne is tied for the team lead in interceptions with, um, 1, but was roasted for a touchdown and 5 penalties in Philly. As for the rest? 3rd-rounder Tyrone Crawford has 5 tackles and 0 sacks. 4th-rounders Kyle Wilber (2 tackles) and Matt Johnson (0 plays) have been next to non-existent. 5th-rounder Danny Coale is injured on the practice squad. 6th-rounder James Hanna has 1 catch for 10 yards and 7th-rounder Caleb McSurdy has been on injured reserve since August. Add them all together and the Cowboys’ 7 draft picks have produced 1 interception, 1 catch for 10 yards and 34 tackles. Grade: F.
*Not sure which Cowboys stat is more impossible to explain: Tony Romo being 20-3 in November, the team winning 7 straight pre-Thanksgiving Games since ’04 or winning 4 games this year and committing 13 penalties in 3 of them.
*Yes I’m surprised that Dez Bryant reached a “plea” that will go a long way toward getting his family violence charges dropped. If you’re a Cowboys fan, you’re happy. If you’re a regular citizen, you’re dismayed. The whole deal has the stench of a high-profile, deep-pocketed athlete getting preferential treatment. A disturbance occurs at which a distraught mom calls 911, swears her son grabbed her arms and hit her in the face with cap and wails about finally stopping all this, then the cops show up and witness bruising and swelling but, in the end, nothing happens other than anger management counseling? Sure. Okay.
*No doubt the Mavs will be a better basketball team once Dirk Nowitzki returns after Thanksgiving, but after watching them almost blow an 18-point lead in an ugly win over the winless Wizards you’ve got to think 43 wins and a 7th seed is a reasonable expectation.
*QUARTERBET: After a slow start to the season my wagering experiment is, well, working. Big time. Based on my premise that the NFL – more than ever – is a quarterback league, I’m betting $100 on every NFL game this season by simply picking the best quarterback. Regardless of the point spread, site of the game, etc. Thursday night Ryan Fitzpatrick (Bills) beat Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins) by 5 points as a 2.5-point favorite, raising the record of my 2012 Quarterbet Theorem to a sparkling 153-133-8. At $100 per game and with 10% juice included on all losses, my bottom line heading into Week 11: +$670. In case you’re playing along at home, this week take RG3 (-4) over Nick Foles; Aaron Rodgers (-3) over Matthew Stafford; Matt Ryan (-9.5) over Jon Skelton; Cam Newton (+2) over Josh Freeman; Tony Romo (-8) over Brandon Weeden; Sam Bradford (-3) over Mark Sanchez; Matt Schaub (-14.5) over Blaine Gabbert; Andy Dalton (-3) over Matt Cassel; Drew Brees (-6) over Carson Palmer; Tom Brady (-9) over Andrew Luck; Peyton Manning (-8) over Phillip Rivers and Joe Flacco over Byron Leftwich. Good luck!
*I am growing a mustache for Movember, to bring awareness to prostate cancer. I look ridiculous. Even more ridiculous than usual. I look like Larry Bird, sans the legendary shooting touch.
*Wait, so now 5hour Energy can kill you. Now they tell us?! After, that is, the company sold $2.7 million in product last year. Every single day.
*Cowboys’ cornerback Brandon Carr says Claiborne is the fastest defensive player and Miles Austin the speediest on offense. Until proven otherwise I’m a believer.
*Saw Bills’ running back Tashard Choice totally alligator-arm a perfect pass from Fitzpatrick Thursday night. I don’t miss him one bit.
*The Cowboys have had their challenges in attempting to replace Troy Aikman since the Hall-of-Fame quarterback retired in ’00. You know the roll call polluted by Quincy Carter, Ryan Leaf, Brad Johnson, etc. But next time you’re grousing about Tony Romo this or that, consider the Cleveland Browns’ saga. Since being re-born as a franchise in ’99 they’ve pilfered through 17 quarterbacks in search of the next Bernie Kosar. Ready? Tim Couch … Ty Detmer … Spergon Wynn … Doug Pederson … Kelly Holcomb … Jeff Garcia … Luke McCown … Trent Dilfer … Charlie Frye … Derek Anderson … Bruce Gradkowski … Ken Dorsey … Brady Quinn … Seneca Wallace … Jake Delhomme … Colt McCoy and now … 28-year-old rookie Brandon Weeden. Moral to the story: When you get a quarterback as good as Romo – warts and all – you don’t just give him away.
*High-school football playoffs start tonight in Texas. There are several teams in with losing records, like Bridgeport at 4-6. What the what?! Somewhere along the line we went plum crazy.
*I’ve been covering the Cowboys professionally in print or on radio or both since 1986 and I’ve never ever seen/experienced them so sensitive and thin-skinned about criticism. And no, it’s not an attractive trait. At all.
*You watch the Knicks off to a 6-0 start behind the guile of Jason Kidd and the guts of Tyson Chandler and it … honestly, pisses you off doesn’t it? Still wish the only championship team in Mavs’ history would have gotten the chance to defend its title. Instead, the undefeated Knicks visit AAC Wednesday night and we’ll all be reminded of what we once had, but will likely never get again.
*After all their travails, the Cowboys will be 7-5 after their 1st game in December. Same as last year.
*If you’re ever in Philly craving a cheesesteak, Pat’s > Geno’s. And it’s not even close.
*While I’ll admit – as I have all week – that Texas A&M is better and more relevant than I predicted, this “Johnny Manziel should win the Heisman!” clamor is non-sense. No freshman has ever won the award and, sorry, Manziel is not the best player on the nation’s best team. Isn’t that right Collin Klein?
*This weekend? Tonight it’s comedian Jim Norton at the Addison Improv, followed by a freaky night at The Fetish Ball inside Lizard Lounge. Saturday it’s tennis in the morning and my UFC 154 watch party at Baby Dolls Dallas at 9 p.m. Sunday morning it’s the Official Cowboys Pre-Game Show at 9 a.m. on the stadium’s West Plaza leading into Cowboys-Browns. Sunday night, a certain Sybil someone is twisting my arm to put up the Christmas tree. Whew. Don’t be a stranger.
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