Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
This has been an eventful off season in the NFL so far and something tells me there will be more surprises. Here are just a few very unscientific but bold predictions for the upcoming season. These predictions are my own. Feel free to disagree at your leisure – it is still as of this moment a free country. Or, add your own in the comments section. Something tells me that we will all need a well developed sense of humor this coming year.
1. Bowing to immense pressure from almost no one except 10 Congressmen with apparently no more pressing issues in the country to deal with, the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins changes its name to the Washington Lawmakers. Their offense becomes hopelessly gridlocked and finishes last in the league.
2. Unable to find anyone who can play guard at the NFL level, Bill Callahan decides to go with a 3-man line consisting of Travis Frederick at center with Tyron Smith and Doug Free on each side of him at a new “Guarckle” position he has invented. Not surprisingly, it is somewhat ineffective as the Cowboys are unable to develop any running game and Tony Romo is sacked a record 147 times and loses his spleen and one kidney, but no one inside Valley Ranch holds Callahan responsible for the issues. “Just needs better players to work with”, Jerry Jones is overheard saying.
3. Miles Austin simultaneously pulls both hamstrings on the first day of training camp getting out of his car. He misses all of training camp and the first four games, tries to come back week five but lasts only one series before re-injuring himself and being placed on IR. Stephen Jones calls it another successful season for Austin and offers him a big extension.
4. Hours before the kickoff of the season opener against the Giants, the Cowboys finally announce that a Capuchin monkey fitted with a tiny headset will call plays by striking brightly colored lights on a keyboard, but it forces the Cowboys to simplify the playbook and surprisingly their offense improves on almost every important measure over Garrett’s play calling.
5. The Cowboys finish with the worst record in the league in 2013 but are excited about the potential of having the first pick in the 2014 draft. However, immediately after the final game in the 2013 season, Stephen Jones engineers an immediate trade of the first overall pick to the 49ers for three 7th round picks and a 1998 Buick Le Sabre. Confronted by the media, Stephen declares, “We got the better of that deal according to our charts. Now, we can go out and draft the best long snapper, the best punter, AND the best holder in the draft”.
6. The Super Bowl is played in New York in February between the Patriots and the Seahawks. The area is hit with a massive blizzard and the scoreless game is finally called midway through the 3rd quarter when the Patriots bench is partially buried in an avalanche. Fearing something might happen to Tom Brady, the NFL stops the game and awards Lombardi trophies to both teams.
7. Midway through the season, Tony Romo is forced to have another cyst removed from his back. However, the “cyst” is later identified as Jason Pierre-Paul of the Giants. The Giants announce they are happy to have JPP back.
8. Continuing their quest to transform the team into the New England Patriots, Head Coach Jason Garrett is asked to wear sleeveless hoodies to all games in 2013 and consider changing his first name to Bill.
9. Stephen Jones is reprimanded by the league when he tries to renegotiate a contract for a player he hasn’t drafted yet thinking that would somehow help the Cowboys get under the salary cap. “It’s always worked before. We were just trying to get ahead of the game”, Jones sniffs when the move is questioned. “Does the NFL know who my daddy is?”, he asks incredulously.
10. Here’s a real one! The Cowboys put all the pieces together and finish 11-5 with the #1 rated offense and #5 rated defense in the league. They not only earn a playoff berth but return to the Super Bowl and defeat the New England Patriots 38-28 to win their 6th World Championship. Tony Romo is voted MVP of the game but is sued by PETA for stomping on and badly injuring the monkey that has been living on his back for so many years (and apparently now calling plays).
Can’t wait for training camp to start! Go Cowboys!