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The Cowboys’ top offseason emphasis was cutting down on penalties and other sloppy mental mistakes. But Saturday night in Denver, Dallas committed 17 accepted penalties for 172 yards, including 9-65 in the first half alone. Plus, first round draft pick Tyler Smith was twice called for holding. The Mike McCarthy death watch is underway.

The Texans’ running game was non-existent last season. So it was encouraging to watch rookie RB Dameon Pierce motor for 49 yards on just five carries in a 17-13 preseason win over the Saints. Pierce busted a 20-yarder to spark a Houston TD drive.

It could have been worse for the Jets. It could have been way worse. There’s a chance that quarterback Zach Wilson will be available for the regular season opener, despite the right knee injury he suffered Friday against the Eagles. Wilson has a bone bruise and a torn meniscus that will require arthroscopic surgery.

I had fun watching football Saturday. Random observations:

All three Steeler QBs (Trubisky, Rudolph and Pickett) looked very sharp. And there’s no question that Kenny Boy has some “it” factor going for him.

While Sam Darnold threw a nifty TD pass against the Commanders, Baker Mayfield will be the man in Carolina. He is locked in.

Mahomes is amazing. He played for one drive, completing six of seven attempts to six different receivers and a touchdown. Day over.

The playing surface at Soldier Field in Chicago was disgraceful. The NFLPA has every right and reason to be outraged.

Switching to baseball, Astros righthander Lance McCullers Jr. pitched six scoreless innings in Houston’s 8-0 shutout of the A’s. It was McCullers’ first major league start of the season after spending months rehabbing arm trouble. If he’s now sound, the Astros are even more imposing.

Twelve straight wins for the Dodgers. That is their longest streak since 1976.

One more thing before I bid you a happy Sunday. John Calipari is a jackass.

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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.