The stretch run and fantasy playoffs are upon us, which, coincidently and unfortunately, means this is my last column of the season.
Your roster should be almost completely set at this point. You know who you can count on and who you can't from week to week, but it's the fringe players who will end up making the difference. Watch the injury reports and churn the bottom of your roster looking for matchups.
A friend of mine asked me who I thought the best cornerback in the NFL was Sunday night during the Cowboys game. I turned to him and said, "When he's healthy, it has to be Terence Newman. His interceptions are low, but that is only because offenses don't bother looking to his side of the field."
On the play following my response, Newman promptly got burned on a 15-yard crossing route.
Daunte Culpepper is a weird guy.
In the past he has fired his agent, become his own agent, declared himself 80 percent healthy, declared himself 100 percent healthy, tried to package himself with Randy Moss and most recently, decided he is ready to return to football.
His fickle personality aside, however, he is a serviceable quarterback, which leads me to ask a question: Why hasn't he been signed to a roster during a season that has seen more high profile QB injuries than any in recent memory?
Regular readers of this column may remember my feelings toward playing NFL games abroad: Don't do it.
I wrote a column saying just that before the Giants-Dolphins game in London last season. A few weeks later, I found myself on a British Airways flight to London, which gave me a chance to talk to some genuine Brits about their feelings regarding the NFL in Europe. Mostly the reaction was, "They played a game over here?" followed by, "Why?"
I sat in disbelief Sunday evening of what had just happened. Monday morning I began rationalizing.
Maybe this is the adversity the Cowboys needed to check their egos. Maybe it is time to deal for a wideout that will help Terrell Owens play through the problems he's obviously having. Maybe it's time to threaten benching Tony Romo if he doesn't fix his lackluster, turnover-filled performances. Well maybe not; the loss should be enough to jar these guys into action and Romo needs to be on the field, even if he is showing gaping holes in his leadership abilities.
Last weekend was a dark one for zebras everywhere.
Ed Hochuli's apology wasn't exactly well received by anyone in the football world, and the NFL's stern, "grading down" retribution was amazingly empty for all the San Diego faithful.
These guys do have tough jobs and have been defended by many because they have to get every call they make on every play right. But come on, they are getting paid, and it's not the only job where people get yelled at for every single mistake they make. Everyone gets upset when a waiter screws up their order.
And with a mighty pop, down went the rest of the NFL season. Well not really, but it's how many media outlets are playing New England Patriots' Tom Brady's season-ending knee injury.
It does hurt Patriot fans and Brady owners, but the league is bigger than one person and at least now we get to see if New England head coach Bill Belichick is the genius everyone in Boston thinks he is.