Whether you've reached the end of your rope or merely the end of your week, welcome to Whitt's End:
*I know one practice doesn't make a career and, as Bill Parcells says, let's hold off on shipping that bust to Canton, but Cowboys' first-round draft pick Tyron Smith looks like a beast. Athletic. Strong. Long arms. Quick feet. The entire package. Brad Sham comparing him to Larry Allen. Yes, already.
*With the trade deadline looming Sunday and with manager Ron Washington begging for reinforcements, the Rangers have to do something. Right? Padres' pitcher Heath Bell would give Texas an 8th-inning setup guy, but he might also be a psychological burden to suddenly iffy closer Neftali Feliz.
*Cowboys are desperate for help at safety. We know this. Painful to watch as players like Dawan Landry, Danieal Manning and Eric Weddle sign with other teams. Heard from another Cowboys' source this morning, however, that they are "lurking" in the cornerback Nnamdi Asomughu sweepstakes. If not him, then who? As of right now they are starting at safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and Barry Church.
*So now former U.S. President George W. Bush says his apparent lack of reaction to the first news of the Sept. 11 2001 attacks was a conscious decision to project an aura of calm in a crisis. So next time you get a call that your house is on fire, just sit there. Motionless. Dumbfounded. It'll project calm. Yeah, right. Laughing. My. Ass. Off.
*In case you ever forget the name of your favorite sport, head coach Jason Garrett is there with relentless reminders. I'll set the number of times he says "football" in a given press conference at 20. Take the over and by the end of the season you'll be a rich man.
*Remember that one time when a bunch of biased commenters accused Radio Station A of stealing every idea from Radio Station B, then B turned around and played softball a week after A? That was cool. And then remember that other time when Station B gloated about covering Cowboys' Training Camp -- starting Aug. 1! -- after A had already been doing it for five days? That was even cooler.
*Former Cowboys' receiver Roy Williams hooking on with former offensive coordinator Mike Martz in Chicago. Don't care where he goes, just glad his untimely drops and awkward quotes won't be dragging Dallas down anymore. In 40 games with the Cowboys, Williams managed 94 catches for 1,324 yards and 13 touchdowns. In other words, in 2 1/2 years in Dallas Williams put together, combined, one good year.
*You can say it stinks and is overrun with tourists, and you'd be right. Still, wish Dallas had something half as magnetic as San Antonio's Riverwalk.
*Went to a Dallas Vigilantes game last week. Not bad. Not football. But not bad.
*If you're into haunted houses, stay at Menger Hotel. Seriously, the bar just has a creepy vibe.
*I initially thought safety AOA suffered a major knee injury in Thursday afternoon's practice. He hobbled off, putting no weight on his left leg. Post-practice diagnois? A cramp. Whew.
*If you're coming down to San Antonio via I-35 and you don't take the 130 bypass around Austin you're a dang fool. Our capitol is fun and all, but it has some of the worst traffic in the nation.
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*The impact of the NFL's new collective bargaining agreement is immediate, and wrenching. This year's No. 9 pick, Smith, signs a 4-year, $12 million contract with the Cowboys. Last year's No. 9, C.J. Spiller, got a 5-year deal worth $25 million from the Bills. By my horrible sportswriter's math, being the No. 9 pick is a job that pays $2 million less per year in 2011 than in 2010.
*To my surprise, most Cowboys -- including linebacker Victor Butler -- don't know Led Zeppelin. Some think it's a he. Others know the band, but can't name any songs. I guess it'd be like me getting a pop quiz on the library of Lil' Wayne.
*Still waiting for veteran Dez Bryant to ask a rookie to carry his shoulder pads. For the record, Texas Tech rookie free-agent receiver Lyle Leong said he'd be "honored" to do so.
*This weekend? Back to Dallas Saturday to appear at Vandergriff Honda in Arlington 11-1 and play some tennis, then back here to San Antonio Sunday for a week of uninterrupted Cowboys Camp. Don't be a stranger.