The Mavericks did, in fact, snap their four-game losing streak by defeating defending champions Golden State … only to lose to Detroit, because of course. It was a similar story for the United States Men’s National Team, who triumphed (by defeating Iran to advance to the knockout stage) and then disappointed (a 3-1 defeat by the Netherlands). No such mixed feelings with the Cowboys; they dominated Indianapolis 54-19 on the strength of some unsung contributors.
Here’s what I’m watching this week:
Monday, 12/5 through ??—The Odell Beckham Jr. sweepstakes heat up—The Internet/TV sets everywhere
I’m growing as weary of writing this item as you probably are reading it, but this week may finally resolve the lingering question of whether the Cowboys’ public pursuit of the three-time Pro Bowler pays off. Beckham is scheduled to be in Dallas today to meet with team brass, with Jerry Jones assuring anxious Cowboys fans everywhere that Beckham has “a busy day” (it’s actually at least two) and that he “could possibly do something uncomfortable with him” in regard to offering a generous contract despite Beckham coming off an ACL tear. Will the week conclude with Beckham wearing a star on his helmet?
Tuesday, 12/6—Stars versus Maple Leafs—7:30 p.m., ESPN+/Hulu
The same rules apply to the Stars facing Auston Matthews as they do Connor McDavid: Miro Heiskanen versus one of the game’s generational centers is appointment viewing. This one comes with the bonus of being a better game, too, as Dallas is first in the Central Division, while Toronto sits second in the Atlantic. Possible Stanley Cup preview? Too early to say—and not just because the Maple Leafs are always up for a Cowboys-esque letdown come playoff time.
Saturday, 12/10—Will Max Duggan win the Heisman Trophy?—7 p.m., ESPN
TCU came up short in Saturday’s Big 12 championship game against Kansas State, but that didn’t prevent the Horned Frogs from earning a spot in the College Football Playoff. Will the same hold true for their star quarterback taking home college football’s most coveted award? The betting odds don’t favor it—USC’s Caleb Williams remains a comfortable favorite—but the public margins narrowed after the Trojans lost on Friday in a far less competitive game than TCU played Saturday afternoon. If nothing else, it should earn Duggan a trip to New York as a finalist. Not bad for a guy who didn’t even hold the starting job to begin the season.