One of the more annoying traits of any good, self-promoting, self-serving and self-indulgent journalist is the ability to name-drop without fear of alienating a hotel full of people. It’s the, “Look how important I am — I exchanged five words with so and so...”
With that, it’s time to impress the masses with the “experts” that returned my messages on predictions for the 2015 Dallas Cowboys.
There is this gold from former NFL head coach Dan Reeves: “Mac, I’m not an analyst and I really know very little about Dallas to be able to give an opinion.”
Or this winner from Texas Rangers Hall of Fame play-by-play broadcaster Eric Nadel: “I don’t do predictions.”
And you can’t buy the brilliance from former NHL All-Star Jeremy Roenick: “Wow — I’m not really sure about that one.”
Actor Morris Chestnut, who played Ricky from the classic Boyz n the Hood, told me and R.J. Choppy and Shan Shariff on 105.3 The Fan on Thursday morning: “I think [the Cowboys] have the most things if you jell. You have the most complete team, in terms of being solid in the trenches and the line. The loss of [running back] DeMarco Murray may hurt you guys. And I’m excited about the Giants; every time we don’t look for them, they pop up and do something under Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning.”
Here are a sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew of predictions, from a range of WWE stars, baseball players, hockey people, football people, broadcasters, writers, reporters, columnists, radio people, dancers, etc.
Kurt Angle, former TNA and Olympic wrestler: Was never a Tony Romo fan until last year. It’s do or die, Cowboys/Tony. I think they will go to the Super Bowl. Will they win? I don’t know. Especially with the running back leaving. But I know they’re good enough to win the NFC championship. Don’t know if they can beat the Pats or Colts. My opinion.
Patrick Crayton, former Cowboys receiver: If the running game stays consistent, then 11-5. If you have to put it on Tony Romo, it may drop to 9-7. And the pass rush has to get to the quarterback. No. 1 key to defense is Sean Lee must stay on the field!
Booker T, WWE Wrestler: Is Romo still playing? Then they’re not going to do [expletive].
Marty Turco, former Dallas Stars goalie: Wild card, win one playoff game.
Babe Laufenberg, Dallas Cowboys radio color analyst: Sounds silly, but I don’t do predictions.
Steve Busby, Texas Rangers TV play-by-play man: I’m going to say 11-5.
Brian Baldinger, Fox Sports NFL analyst: 10-6, second in the NFC East.
Ted Madden, WFAA sports reporter: 11-5. Last year, everyone thought this team would suck, they go 12-4. This year everyone thinks they’ll be great... I guess I do, too.
Tim Love, celebrity chef: 11-5, finishing with six straight wins. Dallas wins the division and makes it to the NFC Championship Game.
David Watkins, NBC 5: 10-6
Chris Arnold, 105.3 The Fan radio host: 11-5, NFC East champs.
Larry Centers, ex-NFL running back: NFC East champions, provided Romo can remain healthy. No Romo, no bueno.
Pat Doney, NBC 5: 10-6. They lose in the Super Bowl to Baltimore.
Steve Dennis, ESPN 103.3 radio host: 11-5, division champs, lose in NFC title game.
Kelly Shoppach, former Brewer, Baylor and veteran MLB catcher: 11-5. Still a lot of questions. I’m definitely a homer, but 11-5, NFC title game loss. After Week 6 when all the pieces are back, we’ll know for sure then. It’s very hard to repeat career years. As over half of the offense did last year — but that’s my prediction.
Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN: 11-5, tied with the Eagles.
Mike Fisher, 105.3 The Fan: 11-5, win NFC East.
Albert Breer, NFL Network: 10-6. They need to survive September without Greg Hardy and Ro McClain, and working around Orlando Scandrick’s absence. Strength on the lines of scrimmage will keep them in every game, and Romo is in a great spot to have a huge year.
Mat McBriar, former Dallas Cowboys punter: G’day Mac. Hmmm... should win the East, right? [Sean] Lee makes them much better, but they’ll miss DeMarco.
John Denton, TCU color analyst: 10-6, losses to Seattle, Patriots, Philly twice, Green Bay and at Washington.
Tim MacMahon: ESPN.com: 11-5, NFC East title.
Trent Johnson, TCU men’s basketball coach: If they can get healthy and stay healthy, anything is possible.
Howard Bryant, ESPN The Magazine: 10 wins
Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports: Tony Romo will do something wrong, Jerry Jones will not cede power like he should have 15 years ago and status quo will reign, because the Cowboys are Groundhog Day without the happy ending.
Gabe Kapler, former Texas Rangers/MLB outfielder: 12-4. Win the NFC East. Win the NFC. Lose the Super Bowl to Indianapolis.
Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers general manager: No-win question for a New York Giants fans. I root for a number of guys I’ve met over there, though.
Mark Davis, conservative talk show host: A division-winning 12-4 repeat seems like a possibility. So does a mediocre 8-8. Split the difference and make it 10-6.
Eddie Gossage, Texas Motor Speedway president: 11-5. Not going to beat the Pats, Seahawks and Packers, for sure.
Randy Galloway, Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist: 10-6 and win the division.
Emily Jones, Texas Rangers reporter: 11-5, based on absolutely no research other than listening to the idiots like you on the radio.
Ralph Strangis, former longtime voice of Dallas Stars: At least 10 wins. Division champs.
Edward Egros, Fox 4 KDFW: 10-6
Todd Archer, ESPN NFL Nation: 17-0, look out, Dolphins. I’m kidding — 10-6.
Michael Young, former Texas Rangers infielder: 12-4. Domination. Toughest part is challenging road games late in the year.
Pat Forde, Yahoo! Sports: 10-6, wild card. Wins one playoff game and then takes an L.
Charles Davis, Fox Sports football analyst: 11-5, win NFC East.
Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports: 12-4. Super Bowl loss to New England.
R.J. Choppy, 105.3 The Fan radio host: 10-6. Not addressing the running game will be the biggest blunder of Jerry Jones’ era... and the Tennessee Volunteers will go 11-1.
Brad Sham, Dallas Cowboys radio voice: I think I weaseled out of this last year, so I will superstitiously choose the same weaselly path, with the proviso that I believe they are a strong playoff contender. Feel free to use the word “weasel” in print.
Chris Del Conte, TCU director of athletics: Picking the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl. 12-4.
Bob Sturm, 1310 The Ticket: 11-5, division title
Betsy Price, Fort Worth mayor: I think they will win the division and I hope they make it to the Super Bowl.
David Moore, Dallas Morning News: I said they would suck last season, so this year it’s 11-5.
Tim Brando, Fox Sports TV announcer: 9-7 and a wild-card season.
Chuck Cooperstein, Dallas Mavs radio voice: 11-5, lose to Seattle in NFC title game.
Kathryn Dunn, Former Miss Texas runner-up and current Dallas Mavs dancer: They will win the NFC East again, but I don’t know if it’s a Super Bowl year.
Lisa Guerrero, Inside Edition reporter and former Monday Night Football sideline reporter: Dude, judging by their offensive line, plus Dez Bryant and this improved D, THIS IS THE COWBOYS’ YEAR. And I love “Artsy Craftsy” Tony Romo, so obviously their record will be 14-2.
Caitlyn Beth, former Houston Texans cheerleader, model: I really don’t know because I don’t watch the Cowgirls. I’ll be nice and say 10-6.
Elizabeth Dinh, CBS Channel 11: Hoping for another good year; 12-4.
Robert Littal, Black Sports Online editor: 11-5, Super Bowl appearance.
Lou Charles, hip hop artist: 11-5, NFC title game.
Mike Taylor, Ticket 760 in San Antonio host: 11-5. Win NFC East. Lose in NFC title game.
Jason McIntyre, The Big Lead editor: 8-8, no playoffs. First-place schedule, loss of Murray, offensive line won’t play as well. Scandrick loss is enormous.
Jason Lisk, The Big Lead managing editor: My prediction would be 9-7. Loss of Scandrick and uncertainty at running back, the first half of the schedule could give no breaks if Atlanta, New Orleans and Giants are improved.
Karen Borta, CBS 11 morning anchor: 10-6. Confession — I had to go to my husband for help. He’s pretty good at that stuff.
David Smoak, ESPN Central Texas: 11-5, NFC East title. Lose in NFC title game.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7697