FRISCO - As near as I can tell, my guy Colin Cowherd started this. But now my guy Michael Irvin is talking about it, too, and the gravitas of the idea of Dallas Cowboys movement involving QB Dak Prescott and QB Tom Brady is increasing.
UPDATE 1: Note that in the original writing of this story, I didn't say the odds of Brady being a Cowboy are "increasing'' - just that Irvin's mention of it is weighty.
Speaking on topic Friday on WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe,” NFL Network’s Irvin, - a legendary and plugged-in former Cowboy - shared a Super Bowl Week conversation that he termed "shocking'' that he had with “very significant people.”
From Irvin: “I am telling you right now, at the Super Bowl in Miami, some very significant people that I had conversations (with were) leaning in that same direction. It was shocking. I had a vodka cranberry in my hand and when they said it to me I put the drink down and said, ‘Let’s talk a little bit more about this.’
"I promise you, I had a conversation with people, I can’t tell you who, about that same scenario going down.”
The idea: The Cowboys could use the franchise tag on Prescott, trade him afterward and then sign Tom Brady.
Because this is a different kind of "heat.''
It is worth noting that after this story was published, Irvin responded on Twitter to clarify that his conversation was not with "Jerry [Jones] or anyone in the organization."
UPDATE 2: Various media outlets have blamed Irvin for not being clear from the outset that Jerry wasn't his cocktail-party source. But they've got it backward. It's not his job to identify in any way his source. Journalists should no better than that. Further, it's selling Michael way short to think his old connection across the league - this is a Pro Football Hall-of-Famer, a great communicator, everybody's "best friend'' and an NFL reporter - is just one guy who he used to work with.
Irvin appeared on 105.3 The Fan to make that very point ...
So was this just gossip over a vodka cranberry? Or maybe gossip after too many vodka cranberries? Did this come from some fun speculation from, say, Cowherd?
“Tom Brady,'' Cowherd said this week on his popular FS1 show "The Herd,'' "is NOT going to a team who has a legitimate franchise quarterback, he’s NOT going to a team with a bottom-10 offensive line, he’s NOT going to to a team without legitimate weapons, he’s NOT going to a team without a coach who has never won a division or without a good young coaching currently leading his division, and he’s not going to a small market. What’s left? The Steelers, the 49ers, the Bears and the Cowboys. The Steelers have Big Ben, the Niners have Garoppolo, and the Bears have their head coach, but my prediction is… THE COWBOYS.”
It's true that the future of the 42-year-old Brady, who wishes to continue a lengthy and stellar career featuring six Super Bowl wins, is in limbo. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is on-record as wishing him to return, and surely owner Robert Kraft is of the same mind.
Maybe Colin had himself a vodka cranberry. Or maybe what Cowherd is doing here is stirring up drama. And maybe Irvin is doing both.
But, hey, that's appropriate, as Brady himself surely enjoys doing the same - well, at least the "drama'' part. (I know nothing of his drinking habits.)
For Brady to move to the Dallas Cowboys, of course, something else monumental must happen: The Cowboys must dump all their meticulously formulated plans and change course on keeping Prescott.
"Dak vs. Dallas'' has been viewed by some as having "ominous'' tones. I have not seen it that way, as I know how close the parties were to finalizing a deal in September that would've made Prescott a "top-five-paid'' QB in the $34 mil APY range. (Indeed, the new Jay Glazer story on Dallas keeping Dak - without him ever asking for $40 mil APY - lines up exactly as we've reported it.)
They almost got there then. Even with the March 10 application of a franchise tag, they can get there again, with the possibility of Dak withholding his services during the spring the only true dark cloud. ... unless of course, it is Dallas' (perfectly legal) intention to franchise him, get him to sign that tender, then deal him.
Which brings us to a poll, from another of my guys, 105.3 The Fan teammates Shan Shariff of "Shan & RJ.''
"Get Tom Brady'' represents an interesting idea to the almost 7,000 Cowboys fans who voted. But "Pay Dak $378 million'' represents the most popular, and frankly, most logical.
And finally, a third smart media member chimes in:
Long-time NFL guy Gary Myers, now my SI.com colleague, places his sensible bet.
There's your bet. Tom Brady is going to take his talents to ... the New England Patriots. And Dak stays in Dallas. At this moment, though, I might be a vodka cranberry on all of that, and not much more.
UPDATE 3: The next question is about whether the Jones family is wobbling at all regarding its long-standing commitment to Dak. There is no indication of that, and even Irvin is careful to say he thinks none of this Brady/Dak flip-flop is happening. But a cocktail-party conversation about it? That did happen. That's what he reported. And so we'll keep reporting on that and more.