DALLAS teams

Adam Rittenberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Finalists for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award: TCU's Trevone Boykin, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Clemson's Deshaun Watson.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Are Cowboys' playoff odds overstated?

There's no questioning the improvement Tony Romo provides for Dallas' offense. But Football Outsiders doesn't think the Cowboys can make up a two-game deficit in six weeks. Playoff projections (Insider)

AP Photo/Brandon Wade

Some Panthers still support Greg Hardy

Going into Sunday's game against the Panthers, it's apparent Greg Hardy still has the respect of some of his former teammates. Said OLB Thomas Davis: "Greg Hardy is a guy that you flat-out want on your football team." Story

Rangers looking like AL West favorite

Texas will likely hold steady this offseason but, with a few tweaks, the team is expected to once again be the class of its division in 2016, Jim Bowden writes. MLB status check (Insider)

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports
2hJake Trotter

10 thoughts on Big 12's 2016 schedule

This year, the Big 12 wound up with a brutally backloaded schedule; next season, that won't be the case.

Andy Katz ESPN Senior Writer 

Washington, Texas and Gonzaga all have traversed the globe going from an opener in Asia to the Bahamas. None have any lingering effects of travel. Washington and Texas both said the hardest part of China trip was the air. Huskies said they wore masks on first day to deal with smog.

Andy Katz ESPN Senior Writer 

One thing Texas coach Shaka Smart brings wherever he goes is energy: Texas practice by far the loudest and most energetic of teams here at the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Can the Rangers land Jonathan Lucroy?

Texas reportedly tried to trade for the Milwaukee catcher at the deadline but was turned away. With a new GM at the helm for the Brewers, the Rangers may check again. MLB rumors roundup

The Palm Beach Post/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

Avoid Dez in fantasy

Tony Romo is back for Dallas and he was able to deliver a touchdown to Dez Bryant in Week 11, but Bryant will definitely be a name to fade in fantasy this week. The reason, of course, is that Carolina is on the slate, which means Bryant will be dealing with shadow coverage from Josh Norman. Fantasy 32 (Insider)

Kelly Kline/Getty
3hJeff Borzello

Big 12 early signing period superlatives

Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Iowa State and West Virginia were the Big 12's biggest winners during the early signing period.

ESPN Stats & Info

Cowboys down, but not out

Dallas is in a tough spot after getting a total of zero wins in seven combined starts from Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel. ESPN's Football Power Index isn't counting the Cowboys out of the playoffs just yet, though.

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Famed high flyers Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia have a friendly wager on who will finish the season with more dunks. Pachulia leads by a 3-1 margin at this point. "He's got it easy," Nowitzki said. "He just gets dump-offs and he's wide open. I've got to work for mine, so he's probably going to win that bet."

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Dallas jumps up the rankings

Tony Romo has returned and all is right again at Jerry World. The Cowboys are 3-0 this season when Romo starts (0-7 with other starting quarterbacks). NFL Power Rankings

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Only Morris Claiborne (hamstring), Ryan Russell (abdomen) are missing from practice. The players are in helmets and jerseys as they work through what is a "Thursday" practice in getting ready for the Panthers.

Norman an impact player in Carolina's secondary (0:55)
Can Romo resurrect the Cowboys' playoff hopes? (1:18)
NFL Power Rankings: AFC South on the rise (1:23)
Robert Turbin a clear handcuff in fantasy (1:21)