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Sullivan: Lee's Well-Deserved All-Pro, Jaylon Smith's Expectations & More

Some of the thoughts that run through an oversized, bald head:

• Would be shocked if three of the four home teams didn't win this week, Patriots-Steelers in the AFC, Cowboys-Falcons in the NFC. For whatever reason, that bye week has become more of an advantage the last two or three years. Those teams are reasonably healthy, none more so than Dallas, and the extra six or seven days to game plan is ginormous. Only Kansas City may come up short.

• Sean Lee being named to the All-Pro team was beyond deserving and further illustrates what a joke the Pro Bowl voting process has become. Of the 50 voters, 41 had Lee on their First Team. Of the entire league. If the Cowboys win the Super Bowl, the player I'm going to be the happiest for is Jason Witten. Second, though, is Lee. Both have been great to deal with over the years. Both are much more intense than most realize, too. Much different backgrounds, upbringings, yet I always find myself telling folks how similar they are. I'd be willing to bet if you asked them which teammate they have most admired over their careers, they would pick each other, too.

• Everyone is talking about the possibility of the Patriots-Cowboys in the Super Bowl, which would break all the ratings records, but the Steelers look pretty lethal at the moment. And it's not like cold weather in Foxboro in the AFC Championship Game would be a shock for Pittsburgh. Also, seems like the Falcons are kind of under the radar. They could outscore anyone in the league in terms of a 40-38 kind of win. They aren't winning any 21-20 games.

• Cole Beasley led the Cowboys with 833 receiving yards, which are the fewest for the team leader since 2003, when Terry Glenn led the corps with 754. While that seems like forever and a decade ago, there was a 21-year-old rookie tight end who finished that season with 35 receptions for 347 yards and a touchdown. Yes, Jason Witten.

• Go back and look at the 2013 NFL Draft. It's a mess. We're talking not that far off from the 2000 NBA Draft, where the best player is arguably Hedo Turkoglu or Michael Redd. For those who recall, the Cowboys were absolutely crucified over the coals for trading down in the first round and taking Travis Frederick. Well, he's one of two from the class to be named to three Pro Bowls along with Bears guard Kyle Long. The top players after four years, along with Frederick, are Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. If he can stay healthy, Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu could be a consideration, too.

• The wild-card weekend has become a bore of late, nine of the 12 games the last three seasons have been double-digit decisions. Not a fan of adding postseason berths, either, although I know Jerry Jones is. I kind of like that 20 teams stay home; makes the regular season so much more meaningful. When I was growing up, 16 of the 23 NBA and NHL teams qualified for the playoffs. That's ridiculous. The NFL makes it hard, outside of the lame eight divisions where you have situations like 7-9 Seattle hosting and beating 11-5 New Orleans six years ago. Can't believe that epic Marshawn Lynch run was that long ago.

• Honestly, without any research, think of the top-five individual NFL plays you've seen. Talking about games you remember watching. That Lynch run would be in there. The James Harrison Super Bowl interception return has to be first. Barry Sanders had that run against the Patriots during my freshman year of college, which we were actually listening to on the radio because they never sold out home games back then. Saw it that night on SportsCenter. That Tony Romo play with the snap going like four feet over his head and still running for the first down, that was pretty sick. And give me Bo Jackson's 90-plus yard run when he jumped over some dude. Maybe against the Bengals.

• There's no reason to dive into this with any more words than needed so here goes, and trust me on this: There is a 0.0 percent chance that Tony Romo plays for the Cowboys next season. Not 0.1 mind you. Seems like a lot of folks don't realize that, which is kind of stunning. Also, no team is trading a young, talented player for him. At best, probably a conditional third-round pick if he's not released.

• I do not think Jaylon Smith will be the team's best defensive player next season. I do think he will be in 2018. And yes, he's going to be 100 percent when training camp rolls around, probably even before that, but the team will proceed with super-duper caution.

• That Giants-Packers game was everything an NFL game could be in terms of how nothing really matters until it matters. At one point in the first half, the Giants had nearly 200 total yards while the Packers had less than 10, yet New York only led 6-0. Have to take advantage

Check out Jeff Sullivan's column each week in *Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine. Find out more at You can also follow Jeff on Twitter, @SullyBaldHead, or email him at*


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