The NFL playoff run is in the home stretch and big games call for big players. None were bigger than the Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper against the Super Bowl Champions to essentially seal the division for his teams. Cooper was a much talked about acquisition at the trade deadline, some feeling that it was a waste of a draft pick, others thinking it was finally the Cowboys answer for a go to receiver. The latter were right. Cooper had the biggest game of his pro career in dismantling the Philadelphia Eagles. In the end, he hauled in 10 catches for 217 yards including 3 TD. The last TD the biggest in overtime, as the Cowboys possessed the ball for over 8 of the 10 minutes, the last play being Cooper going into the end zone. This following his two TDs in the 4th quarter when the game broke open. The Cowboys now have 2 games in hand plus the tiebreaker. May have knocked the Eagles out of the playoffs. Cooper stepped up in the big game, and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
College Football Conference Championship week separates the men from the boys. The playoff teams from the also-rans. What if a supposed also-ran has done nothing to be left out of the playoffs, but keeps getting that verdict. Another debate for another day. But the University of Central Florida (UCF) has beaten everybody on the schedule for two years. Including an SEC team. Many thought they might have dropped one this week, when starting quarterback McKenzie Milton was devastatingly injured in the season finally against South Florida. Enter Darriel Mack Jr. Playing a potent Memphis team (whose last two losses were UCF by one point and SEC bowl team Missouri), Mack put the team on his shoulders. Especially in the second half when UCF outscored the Memphis Tigers 37-3. Mack ended up with an astonishing 348 passing yards and 2 TD with no INT. Good enough. But he also ran for 59 yards and 4 more TD. Six TD total. The Knights are headed to the Fiesta Bowl and will get to play another SEC team. If they win, can we talk playoffs next year if they don't lose? Either way, Mack is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!