Now that Tony Romo is done with his girlfriend, his golfing and his goofs, hopefully he can start concentrating on his gift:
A new wide receiver.
While I was out on vacation, the Dallas Cowboys' quarterback dumped Jessica Simpson, created a buzz with this extremely unfunny video and finished second in a celebrity golf tournament. Tonight, after the finale of Spike TV's 4th and Long, Romo will have a new target as one of the show's four remaining players survives to get a cool door prize:
A spot on the team's roster heading into next week's training camp in San Antonio.
But, seriously, does a novelty-act free agent have any chance of making the Cowboys' final roster?
In a word: no friggin' way.
I've watched a couple episodes of the show and, I'll admit, it's been better than I expected. Brainchild Michael Irvin has been predictably both dramatic and demonstrative, there have been cameos by Troy Aikman and Deion Sanders and the competition has been grueling, gruesome and mostly believable.
Overall, I give the show a thumbs up. Tonight's winner, however, won't be a Cowboy come September.
With HBO training its Hard Knocks cameras on the Bengals, look for Jerry to milk the winner into some decent publicity and marketing. Having a 5-foot-7 kid named "Matchbox" cover punts would be catchy, but after last year's special teams implosion can the Cowboys really afford to sacrifice substance for style?
Seems Hawkins - by far the show's best player - has signed for the season with the Montreal Alouettes, meaning the best bet is former North Carolina receiver/basketball player Jesse "Hollywood" Holley. At 6-foot-3 he's a good athlete, but if he beats out Manny Johnson or Isaiah Stanback the whole Cowboys' scouting department should be canned. Right?
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At the end of the 9 p.m. finale, owner Jerry Jones congratulates his newest player on the field inside Cowboys Stadium:
"Clear your Sunday afternoon calendar," Jones tells the winner, "because you are going to be spending it out here with a big star on your helmet."
It's not exactly getting a Bachelor rose or Donald Trump's "You're fired!", but finally Irvin gets to deliver his climactic zinger:
"The Cowboys CAN use you!"