Sportwriters today are talking about how the Dallas Cowboys kept Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt hogtied on Sunday, limiting the man-beast to a measly four tackles and no sacks.
While that may be true, Watt was successful in knocking Off Asides for a loss.
Watt started the game lined up on the left side of the defensive line, away from the Cowboys’ best offensive lineman Tyron Smith.
OFF ASIDES (to roomful of friends): “Ha, Watt is supposed to be the best defensive player in the league but the Texans won’t even line him up against Smith. Mark my words, Smith would destroy that clown.”
The Cowboys had a chance to draft Watt in the first round in 2011. Instead, owner Jerry Jones wanted to rebuild the offensive line to protect quarterback Tony Romo and open up the running game. Smith was the first step in that direction. Jones isn’t known as a football genius, but the Smith decision is hard to second guess.
Smith has played in a Pro Bowl. Watt has done even better — he was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. Both are on their way to great careers.
Later in yesterday’s game, Watt lined up against Smith. Off Asides started to point out this matchup to his friends, but they were talking about something and not paying attention. Good thing, Watt knocked Smith aside like a rag doll.
The Cowboys have spent three first round draft picks on offensive linemen in recent years. The team boasts one of the league’s strongest front fives. Smith is the bad-assest of our bad asses.
In the third quarter, Watt lined up against Smith again. Off Asides figured since Watt had gotten the best of Smith earlier, it was now Smith’s turn to shine.
OFF ASIDES: “Watch this! Smith is going to maul Watt.”
As soon as those words were uttered, heard, and acknowledged by everyone present, Watt blew right past Smith. Our star lineman never laid a hand on the Texan. Watt barreled toward Romo intent on sending the quarterback and his bad back heading for the showers, if not the hospital.
But before you could say “concussion protocol,” Romo juked Watt. The defensive lineman grabbed at air. Then Romo heaved a 43-yard yard touchdown pass to give the Cowboys a 10-7 lead.
The room filled with cheers.
Off Asides hoped everyone had forgotten its boast about Smith mauling Watt.
Unfortunately, an invention called instant replay ruined that hope.
Over and over again the TV showed Watt blowing past Smith.
FRIEND: “What was that you said before the play, something about Smith?”
Everyone had a good laugh. Hardee har har. Yuk yuk.
On the bright side, the Cowboys did enough to win 20-17 in overtime. The Cowboys are now 4-1 — there’s no other NFL team with a better record. Who would have predicted that a month ago?
As for Smith, well, everybody whiffs now and then. If Off Asides were being truthful, this column was a whiff as well. Nothing particularly funny or insightful, no obscure references to washed up actors, no stream of conscious displays of quirky neuroses.
Hilarity did not ensue.
But just you wait, Smith and Off Asides are both going to kick some ass next week.