In the spirit of the Oscars last night, I decided to give out some sports awards of my own for the last year or so, focused on our local favorites. So without further ado…
Best Actor: Tony Romo. Oh sure, you thought this award should be reserved for Dez or DeMarco. Or maybe even Monta Ellis, Tyler Seguin or Jamie Benn. All are worthy candidates, but the truth is, most prognosticators had the Cowboys left for dead before the season even started last fall. Yes, Romo had an incredible offensive line in front of him in 2014, and DeMarco ran well behind that line while Dez caught seemingly everything thrown his way. But what Romo proved is what the great ones do – excel when talent is around them and make the entire team better.
Best Supporting Actor: Tie – Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley. Everyone points to the obvious suspects of Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray (and rightfully so) as the main catalysts for the Cowboys’ success last season. But none of it would have happened if not for clutch catches by Williams and Beasley at key moments of the season. Will Murray be back in 2015? Who knows? Be thankful that Dez will probably have his full compliment of wideouts around him though.
Best Director: Rick Carlisle. He continues to prove why he’s the best head coach currently in Dallas-Ft. Worth, and that is saying something with the job that Jason Garrett did in 2014 and Lindy Ruff, who remains one of the most underrated coaches in hockey. There’s a reason that Larry Bird quickly became a Carlisle fan when he joined the Celtics as a young pup in 1984; Bird saw a basketball mind much like his own – smart, calculating and patient. The moves that the Mavericks have made to improve the roster are great but the real reason the team has a shot to make a run is Carlisle.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jerry Jones. Whoda thunk that Jerry would finally be responsible for putting together a team that could challenge for a Super Bowl, especially with a no-name defense. The key for Jerry is that he is finally listening to his scouts and confidants. The hiring of Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli and working with Jason Garrett to let them run their side of the ball has been truly key. And he actually found a way to keep both of them for another season, which is flat-out amazing.
Joint award — Best Costume Design and Best Achievement in Visual Effects (or funnest team to watch): TCU Football. The new white helmet in 2014 matched with the purple home jersey is the best new look in the Big 12 and perhaps all of college football. Oh yeah, it helps when you go 12-1 while boat racing a quality SEC team in your bowl game.
Best Cinematography: Jason Witten. Twelve seasons in the league and he still makes it look so easy. The man simply gets open, no matter the situation. Even when the other team knows he’s probably the target, there he is catching another first down.
Best Achievement is Sound Mixing (sounded like a good way to give out a chemistry award, so this is it): The before-mentioned Cowboys offensive line. I’ve always said that the Cowboys could select nothing but offensive and defensive linemen in the draft and I would be happy. It starts in the trenches and this is where the Cowboys are excelling these days. Is there anything more beautiful than watching Zack Martin running out in front of a screen pass and leveling a linebacker? No, there isn’t.
Best Prediction on Which Team will be Next to Win a Title in Dallas: Mavericks. Simple reasons, really — the roster, the probable seeding, the coach. I like this group and its potential to possibly win another Finals in the next year or two. The key (at least in 2015) will be Rajon Rondo. If he finds his way (health-wise too) and meshes with this team the way he did in Boston, this team can go far.