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Dak delivered. And Dallas left no doubt.

Now, about those missed PATs…

Monday night’s massacre was by far the least competitive game of Super Wild Card Weekend. That’s a compliment to the Cowboys. Once Dallas got up 24-0, there was no chance that the Bucs would pull a Jaguar-esque comeback.

Whenever Brady retires, he will not retire undefeated against the Dallas Cowboys. And he will not retire unbruised by the Dallas Cowboys.

And this is significant, too. Unless Dallas lays a stink bomb in San Francisco, the Cowboys should have a relatively tranquil offseason, at least by Cowboy standards. Mike McCarthy can keep his parking spot. And Dak can keep doing Sleep Number Bed commercials.

Certainly, Prescott looked rested, refreshed and clear-eyed Monday night in Tampa. And let’s talk about Dak’s eyes. They did not wander lazily and blindly, as they often had in the previous seven games. Prescott’s peepers were locked in and focused throughout.

Yep, I picked the Bucs. I was wrong, and thus had to settle for a 5-1 record in the Wild Card round. But Monday morning I did lay out a path to victory for Dallas, and the Cowboys followed it like they had dropped bread crumbs all the way to Tampa.

Dallas checked all the boxes.

  • Put Brady on his back early and often—check
  • Put the Bucs in third and long, consistently–check
  • Strangle Tampa’s running game—check
  • Run the ball back at the Bucs—check
  • Don’t turn it over–check

OK, the Cowboys checked all the boxes except one. “Be clean on special teams.” Oops.

Now, about the GOAT. I’m not sure that was the last time we will see him in a football uniform. But I have a strong feeling it’s the last time we will see him in a Buccaneer’s uniform. Hello, Vegas?

Physically, there is no reason for him to retire, even though he’ll be 46 before the start of next season. Yes, he threw a very rare brain-dead red zone pick Monday night, but his arm has lost nothing. He just needs protection and a running game. Hello, Vegas?

Watching Bucs’ WR Russell Gage receiving intensive medical attention after suffering a neck injury late in the game was frighteningly familiar, was it not? As I type this at 5:37 a.m. Tuesday, Gage’s condition is encouraging. It still would not hurt to crank up the prayer machine again.

Finally for today, the Texans have wrapped up the interview process with Sean Payton. I think this may actually happen. More on that tomorrow.

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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.