Celebrity NFL picks: In this case, ‘Big D’ stands for ‘Big Drama’

Sal DeFilippo

Celebrity Picks

Lance Burton, Monte Carlo master magician (8-10)
Titans -7 ½ vs. Chiefs
Lions +8 ½ at Texans
Patriots -3 vs. Broncos
Anthony Crivello, star of "Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular" (14-4)
49ers +10 ½ at Giants
Jets -3 at Raiders
Packers +1 vs. Colts
Carrot Top, Luxor headliner (8-9-1)
Buccaneers -10 ½ vs. Seahawks
Dolphins -3 vs. Ravens
Panthers-Saints over 44 1/2
Danny Gans, Mirage headliner (7-11)
Bears -3 vs. Vikings
Giants -10 ½ vs. 49ers
Jets -3 at Raiders
Oscar Goodman, mayor of Las Vegas (8-10)
Bears –3 vs. Vikings
Colts –1 at Packers
Jets -3 at Raiders
Kevin Janison, KVBC meteorologist (10-8)
Texans -8 ½ vs. Lions
Redskins-Browns under 43
Colts-Packers over 47 1/2
Wayne Newton, "Mr. Las Vegas" (9-9)
Texans -8 ½ vs. Lions
Giants-49ers over 45
Packers +1 vs. Colts

What a bizarre week in Big D.

It began Sunday with their fierce battle against the Arizona Cardinals. Trailing by 10 with less than three minutes remaining, Marion Barber cut through the Cardinals defense for a 70-yard touchdown reception to pull the Cowboys within a field goal.

Dallas held Arizona and forced a punt with less than a minute remaining, and on a third-and-11 play Tony Romo connected with Jason Witten for a 30-yard gain. Dallas hurried to the line of scrimmage and spiked the ball to stop the clock with four seconds left. In the process, an injured Arizona player was unable to leave the field, forcing an offsides penalty that gave the Cowboys an extra five yards. Nick Folk made a 52-yard field goal to force an overtime period.

Dallas won the toss and appeared poised to cap a great comeback win. However, the Cowboys stalled on offense, and was forced to punt – or at least, that was that plan. The Cardinals blocked the kick and returned it for a touchdown, marking the first game in NFL history decided by a blocked-kick return in overtime.

A tough loss, but not nearly as tough as the news that came out of Cowboys country in the aftermath. Romo suffered a broken pinky and was presumed to be out for several weeks. Dallas’ star rookie running back, Felix Jones, was injured and will miss a few weeks. Adam Jones, the defensive artist formerly known as Pacman, was suspended, and apparently isn’t going to return, not even if he tosses one-dollar bills all over Texas Stadium. Two linebackers are out with injuries, as is reserve receiver and kicker returner Sam Hurd. Oh yeah, the punter whose kick was blocked – he had his foot broken on the play and is out for the year.

From bad, to worse. But the next day, things went back to good – or at least better. Dallas made a trade for Detroit wide receiver Roy Williams. This makes for one of the great matchups in practice, when he can be defended by Dallas safety Roy Williams. You can never have too many Roy Williamses, after all.

And then reports began to surface that Romo, despite his broken finger, is eager to play this weekend – perhaps after a conversation with Brett Favre, where Favre suggested that Romo play through the injury.

This is comical and confusing. Having Favre tell someone to play instead of sitting out with an injury is like having Jared tell you to eat at Subway. Favre has the longest consecutive game streak of any quarterback in NFL history, and by a wide margin. Why he felt the need to apparently inspire Romo to get tough is the confusing part. Not surprisingly. However, the Jets don’t play the Cowboys this season. If they did, I imagine Favre might have suggested season-ending surgery for the Dallas signal-caller.

One thing is certain: I’m not ready to hit the bench, after consecutive unbeaten weeks against the spread. My 3-0 weekend puts the season mark at 11-6-1. This week, I’ll try to keep things rolling with the Steelers -9 ½ at the Bengals, the Colts-Packers over 47 ½ and the Patriots-Broncos over 46 ½.


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