DEC 4 JIMMY PREDICTS Jimmy Johnson's predictions to open NFL Week 13, in short-hand?
'No' on the Eagles, 'Yes' on the Super Bowl Cowboys.
To be more specific: The "no'' is about Dallas catching the one-loss Eagles in the NFC East race. But the "yes'' is about what the Cowboys, who enter the weekend with a record of 8-3 and are favored to beat the Colts at home on Sunday night, can ultimately do even as a wild card.
Said Jimmy of the Cowboys: "They're not going to catch Philadelphia (in the NFC East), but (starting) in the wild card round, I think they’re good enough to make it all the way.”
DEC 4 NFC RACE The Washington Commanders are going into the locker room against the New York Giants tied at 13-all ... and the Eagles have a lead over the Titans ... all part of NFL Week 13 as the Cowboys watch ... and rest up for the nightcap, with the Colt visiting here at AT&T Stadium.
The Commanders started the game off with a bang after forcing Giants quarterback Daniel Jones to fumble on the fourth play of the game. Jonathan Allen forced his second fumble of the year and it set Washington up nicely in New York territory.
Taylor Heinicke and the offense helped tack on a field goal on the ensuing drive. And on the team's next offensive possession, Heinicke found wide receiver Terry McLaurin for a 19-yard touchdown. However, Washington's 10-0 lead going into the second quarter quickly vanished.
The Giants put together consecutive scoring drives of their own. The first came on a 48-yard field goal from Graham Gano and the second came on a 13-yard rushing touchdown from Saquon Barkley.
Washington retook a lead on the next drive on a 42-yard field goal from Slye, leading to the two-minute warning. New York also led a drive deep into Washington territory, and kicked a chip shot field goal to tie the game.
The Giants are 7-4, Washington enters the weekend at 7-5 ... Philly is 10-1 and in first place in the division, with Dallas at 8-3.
DEC 3 OBJ NOT BUFFALO WINGS The Buffalo Bills' Odell Beckham Jr. visit is official as of Saturday night, and dinner is served.
The first course: A fried goat cheese salad.
The second course: A Cajun seafood pasta (a smart fit for the Louisiana native Beckham).
The third course: Steak au poivre, described as “Peppercorn-encrusted angus prime tenderloin filet with Brandy cream sauce.
The fourth course: "Gooey butter cake with Bourbon ice cream'' or "Red velvet cake.''
Gumbo and BBQ at Dak Prescott's house, anybody?
DEC 1 STILL NO DIGGS OR GALLUP Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is making it clear that the Dallas illness bug still isn't going away ... and for Michael Gallup and Trevon Diggs it means a second straight day of absence from practice here at The Star.
They will be involved in meetings virtually ... which might also be the case for Terence Steele, who was not present for the media-open portion of the Thursday workout at Dallas preps for the Sunday night visit from the Colts.
NOV 30 TYRON AND WASHINGTON UPDATE It was an upbeat Wednesday here inside The Star for the Dallas Cowboys as they prep for Sunday night's visit from the Colts ...
With both Tyron Smith and James Washington on track to return to the roster.
Washington's 21-day window was activated on Wednesday; we're told that could soon also happen for Tyron, sources telling CowboysSI.com that the Dec. 11 visit from the Houston Texans could be his target to make his 2022 in-game debut.
Of course, even on a most upbeat day, nothing's perfect.
And along those lines ... Trevon Diggs and Michael Gallup both get DNPs due to illness.
NOV 29 OBJ PREDICTION COMES TRUE! We stated our position on this early Sunday morning, when Adam Schefter of ESPN tried to create a "splash'' with a report about OBJ that isn't really a "report'' at all.
We said the phrasing of Schefter's "news'' would be framed a certain way by the audience ... a way Schefter knew it would be framed.
Even though the frame is crooked.
And now, on Monday? Schefter quoting an anonymous “NFL exec” on what the Las Vegas odds should be regarding where he signs, and quoting the invisible person saying "It sounds like OBJ to Dallas'' ... has taken on a life of its own.
But a meme. Well done, Adam. We suppose.
'NOV 28 OBJ ODD ODDS How can you tell when we’ve reached a saturation point on the pursuit of OBJ?
When ESPN is quoting an anonymous “NFL exec” on what the Las Vegas odds should be regarding where he signs.
Adam Schefter writes, “Here’s what one executive on a team linked to Odell Beckham Jr. said this weekend about a potential landing spot for the free-agent WR: ‘It sounds like it will be Dallas. If you’re in Vegas, your 2-1 favorite is the Cowboys and everyone else is 5- or 6-1.”
This, we suppose, is an effort to cover every angle of the story. But in another sense, it’s “sound and fury” stuff.
The guy is anonymous, the guy couches his “insight” with the words “sounds like,” and he and Schefter can also get off this “prediction” by saying one of the “5-1 teams” simply pulled off the upset …
Even though it maybe never have been an upset at all.
At this point, there remain more questions than answers, and that includes the reports - obviously leaking from the OBJ camp - that he's "cleared to play.'' ... when fact is, the Cowboys and the other suitors don't even know that yet.
NOV 24 VON DOWN Von Miller is the centerpiece of what the Buffalo Bills do in so many ways, including that team's jousting with the Dallas Cowboys in the recruitment of Odell Beckham Jr ... But for this moment, in the Thanksgiving game at Detroit, that last listed ability to contribute is in limbo.
Miller has been carted off the field in the first half of the Bills at Lions game with what is believed to be a knee injury. He's done for the day at the Bills start the second half with a 17-14 lead.
NOV 22 WARE AND WOODSON ADVANCE DeMarcus Ware is a semifinalist for the second time and Darren Woodson a semifinalist for the seventh time as both Cowboys legends advance one step nearer to immortality in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Hall released its group of 28 on Tuesday. Five first-year eligible nominees are among the 28 Modern-Era Player semifinalists for the Class of 2023. Ware and Woodson are among the group of 19 players who were semifinalists a year ago.
The final announcement on who's in will come early in 2023.
NOV 22 RAMS RETIREMENT RUMOR Is Matthew Stafford done?
The DFW product has his Super Bowl, but now his Los Angeles are struggling, a 27-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints marking the Rams' fourth loss in a row ... and back-to-back concussion protocol weeks raising questions about the future of Stafford's career.
On Monday, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport discussed what lies ahead for Stafford and the Rams on Pat McAfee's show.
“I don’t know what his decision is going to be,” Rapoport said. “I think he will be back, but I don’t know. I think the health of the team overall goes into it ...''
Health, or a lack thereof, has been a major talking point for a Rams team that has struggled to stay healthy. They are down multiple offensive lineman, star receiver Cooper Kupp is on IR and Stafford - beyond the concussion concerns - entered the season with a bum shoulder that has impacted his season.
Stafford, who played in high school here in Dallas at Highland Park High, turns 35 in February 2023, and all told, this seems a viable conversation piece for him, his family and the Rams.
NOV 19 KELLEN - AGAIN? The Dallas Cowboys have become accustomed to it. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is a constant when it comes to being mentioned as a potential head coach candidates. ... young, old, no matter.
And it's happening again, with NFL.com’s list of young coaches to watch having two Cowboys names appear.
What NFL.com says about Moore, 34: "Moore is highly regarded for his football IQ and creativity. And he was busy last January, interviewing with the Jaguars, Broncos, Dolphins and Vikings for their head coaching jobs. (The Eagles interviewed Moore the previous year, too.) Like many really young coaches, Moore has a lot to learn in terms of the whole picture of running a program. He would need a good plan for his staff and to surround himself with experienced people. But the tools are there.''
And one more guy, D-line coach Aden Durde, 43, is on the list as a "futures'' candidate. Durde, as Cowboys fans know, is from Great Britain and has gained the rest of fellow coaches and players.
We've seen all sorts of speculation about coordinator Dan Quinn leaving/not leaving Dallas, and what that might mean to Durde. We'll gently remind, "Remember Where We Live'' and say that the speculation is a) very premature and b) tends to skip past the powerful presence of Joe Whitt Jr. on the Dallas staff.
Stay tuned ...
NOV 18 COMMANDERS TO HONOR VIRGINIA SHOOTING VICTIMS Days after a shooting claimed the lives of three University of Virginia football players, the Washington Commanders are set to wear a helmet decal honoring them Sunday against the Houston Texans.
Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D'Sean Perry were killed in a shooting last Sunday night by a former Virginia football player. Running back Mike Hollins and another student were shot, but are nursing injuries.
NOV 15 OBJ Odell Beckham Jr. is on the Dallas Cowboys radar. And that shouldn't change just because CeeDee Lamb had a standout performance in Sunday's OT loss at Green Bay ... right?
Right, says Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
"I don't think so,'' Jones told 105.3 The Fan when asked of a change in approach. "I will say that was the best game I've ever seen (Lamb) play. But a talent like Odell is additive. With Beckham, the whole nature is that he can get us substantively above where we are.
"We'll see where that is."
Well, we will see where that is if he chooses Dallas from his list of five preferences. (Or is it "two preferences''?
But this much is true: Lamb is on the record as being a big fan of OBJ, and joins the chorus of voices here at The Star, in the locker room and beyond, in supporting the Beckham courtship.
CeeDee’s endorsement of an alluring master plan: “Why wouldn’t you want to add more firepower to the offense? I feel like we had three No. 1 receivers in my rookie year. Why not get back to that?”
NOV 15 OBJ LAWSUIT Odell Beckham Jr. has filed a lawsuit against Nike that alleges the shoe giant owes him $20 million from an endorsement deal gone bad.
Yes, that's the same $20 million number that OBJ is reportedly seeking, in terms of an annual salary, from the Dallas Cowboys and other suitors.
What did Nike do wrong?
“Today, I’m taking a stand not just for me, but to set a precedent for all athletes who have dedicated their life to the sport they love — especially those who don’t have the means to stand up for themselves,” Beckham writes. “We are held responsible for fulfilling our obligations under our contracts, but we also have to hold powerful companies like Nike accountable for honoring their commitments too.”
The lawsuit alleges that Beckham “has suffered damages of $20,625,000 plus prejudgment interest.”
NOV 12 OBJ FINAL 5? The OBJ Sweepstakes - in the eyes of free agent Odell Beckham Jr. himself - reportedly includes the Dallas Cowboys and four other teams … and the five wish-list finalists, not coincidentally, are five teams with five of the NFL’s best records.
And more: ESPN is reporting that in addition to narrowing his list of prospective teams, he’s also got a target date: He now has medical clearance to play following his lengthy knee rehab and plans a decision by the end of November.
The five teams: The Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. … all of which happen to be leading playoff contenders.
NOV 12 OBJ VISITS WITH GM Great news ... except the visit wasn't (yet) with the Dallas Cowboys GM.
According to Bills standout Von Miller, that visit has occurred by phone in Buffalo.
I’ve had him on the phone with the general manager,'' Miller said this week. "(Buffalo GM Brandon) Beane sees it the same way that I see it.
"The ball is in OBJ’s court.''
This is the first bit of clarity offered regarding the recruiting of the two-time All-Pro receiver Beckham, who is reportedly on the verge of getting medical clearance to play again after a lengthy knee rehab.
The Dallas Cowboys have joined the Bills in talking openly about plans to recruit Beckham, with Dallas COO Stephen Jones saying the Cowboys will make a "compelling case'' that could include a multi-year contract offer to the 30-year old star.
And the Cowboys locker room, led by Dak Prescott and Micah Parsons, seem to be in on the effort as well.
Beckham could also have the San Francisco 49ers, the New York Giants and others on his list as he searches for a place he can call "home,'' as he recently put it.
It is the opinion (biased as it might be) of Cowboys icon Michael Irvin that OBJ will excel in a spotlight city like Dallas; indeed, Irvin is all-but-predicting that's what's going to happen. But the spotlight is also on in Buffalo because of the quality of the football team, among other reasons.
Can OBJ be at "home'' in Buffalo?
In a visit on The Pivot Podcast, Miller - who left the "spotlight'' with the Los Angeles Rams to come here - reiterated his feelings on the subject.
“I wouldn’t try to get him to come here if we didn’t have a chance,” said Miller.
NOV 11 'FINAL' PRACTICE INJURY REPORT - ZEKE AND/OR TONY? Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday continues to maintain that he expects Ezekiel Elliott (knee) to play Sunday at Green Bay:
“I do,'' Jones tells 105.3 The Fan. "Everything I’ve seen, I watched him yesterday, I think he’s on go.”
There is reason for that optimism, because in fact, as coach Mike McCarthy told us on Friday, Elliott had a “good day of practice” Thursday and "did everything. ... he took all of his reps in the team period.''
But our understanding is that Dallas is being patient here, waiting to see how Zeke gets through Friday and Saturday. And if he cannot go?
"Tony Pollard,'' McCarthy said with authority, "is a man.''
And, of course, so is Elliott. Stay tuned. ...
And Friday version is ...
Zeke is officially "questionable.''
NOV 10 HERE’S TYRON! "Baby steps,'' All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith calls them as he rehabs after what happened to his hamstring - which was "ripped off the bone'' back before the start of the season.
And now? He's still on IR, of course, but he is here at practice on Thursday at The Star ... and he's stepping, alright, working on the cords with trainer Britt Brown.
Your FIRST LOOK from Inside The Star ...
"I don't have a game in mind but his progress is notable," said team owner Jerry Jones recently. "His work is intense. We are gonna see a lot of football out of Tyron. It'll be closer to the end of the year, but we're gonna see a lot of football."
And today? We saw a lot of Tyron.
Two names on the Dallas practice/injury report, Anthony Barr and Jake Ferguson. And in Green Bay, Aaron Jones is listed as "limited.''
NOV 9 O-LINE STUFF The Cowboys had some high-profile O-line fun on Wednesday here at The Star - and engaged in some under-the-radar O-line stuff as well.
Dallas signed two offensive tackles, George Moore and Alex Taylor, to the practice squad. Moore (6-6, 325) is from Oregon and went undrafted this year. He was recently with the Packers.
Taylor, 25 and undrafted in 2020 after finishing at South Carolina State, is an especially intriguing guy due to his 6-9, 300-pound frame. He's been with the Browns at the Bears.
Meanwhile, an attendee at the Wednesday workout as Dallas preps for Sunday at Green Bay was future Hall of Fame tackle Tyron Smith, who was in good spirits as he hopes to return to the field later in this calendar year after sustaining his serious hamstring tear.
NOV 9 ZEKE INVITES OBJ Ezekiel Elliott is now the first actual Cowboys player to speak (not type on Twitter) on the subject of Dallas trying to sign Odell Beckham Jr:
And Zeke is saying a mouthful.
“We know how explosive he can be,” Elliott said after Wednesday’s workout here inside The Star. “It’d be great to have him in Dallas … Another weapon in our repertoire.”
That’s on the field. And what about beyond that?
“I think he’d fit in great in our locker room,” said Elliott of the knee-rehabbing two-time All-Pro wideout. “I don’t know who wouldn’t fit in our locker room.”
NOV 8 AARON TALKS 'BIG MIKE' Much has been made of the friction that existed during Aaron Rodgers' time spent working with coach Mike McCarthy when both were central figures on the Green Bay Packers.
But lest you think they haven't grown to appreciate one another ...
"I can't wait to give Big Mike a big ol' hug,'' Rodgers said on "The Pat McAfee Show.'' I know it means a lot to him to come back.''
Indeed it does, as an emotional Cowboys coach McCarthy said this week in previewing Sunday's Cowboys at Packers meeting.
And, McCarthy noted, the legendary QB Rodgers is part of that emotion, in a positive way.