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There is not one rational reason to pick the Cowboys to beat the Bucs in tonight’s NFL opener.

Not one.

Tampa Bay returns every single starter from last year’s SB winner. The Bucs didn’t really even know what they were doing until the final third of last season. COVID chaos, new quarterback, new culture and some new roster moves slowed their progress. They appeared to be a flawed football team until the day they became unbeatable. And then that was that.

Ask the Chiefs.

Barring a rash of injuries, the Bucs will be better this year than they were last season. Much better. I didn’t say they “can” be better.  I said they will be better.

There is reason to think the Cowboys will be better than they were a year ago. One would hope so. Certainly, the defense will be better. How could it not be? That was literally one of the worst defenses in NFL history. Le Pew.

At least in the preseason, it appeared that new DC Dan Quinn has removed some of the stink. All eleven defenders generally lined up in the right place. Yes, that represented progress.

But is it realistic to think that the Dallas D will go from historically awful to even pretty good immediately?  And in a first game? Against the defending champs?  That’s not rational.

I’m a Dak guy. I was honking Dak at Mississippi State before anyone else was. But he’s going to be rusty. Period. I don’t care how good you are, or how cool you are, or how hard you have prepared, you are not gonna be ready for NFL game speed when you haven’t seen it in almost a year. And that would be true if you were facing the Eagles. The Bucs are the top fuel dragsters of the NFL, especially on defense.

Ask the Chiefs. Mahomes had no chance in the SB. None. Yes, KC was playing with a decimated offensive line.

But this Cowboy offensive line is hurting as well, particularly with Zack Martin unavailable. The five guys who will start in the O-Line tonight spent virtually no time playing together in the preseason. Cohesion and coordination are everything up front.

So you can forget about a lot of deep-drop passes from Dak. He’s gonna have to grab it and chuck it. That to a large degree will negate what is admittedly a very good Dallas WR corps.

Running game? Zeke? That’s gonna be rough sledding, too, with the Bucs packing the box with as many as eight guys. Dallas has to gain positive yardage on first downs to have a ghost of a chance of getting this game into the fourth quarter. Good luck with that.

Ask yourself. Are the Cowboys better than their Buc counterparts in any position group on either side of the ball?

I think you know the answer to that question.

There is not one rational reason to pick the Cowboys.

But you’re thinking, now is when Coach is gonna say, “Despite that, I just have a gut feeling Dallas is gonna win,” right?

There is not one rational reason to pick the Cowboys.  So I am not going to.

The name of this company is Radically Rational.

Oh, just hell no.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.