Bat­tle of backs take fo­cus

With Zeke still on the field, Jerry’s le­gal team earn­ing votes for MVP.

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - SPORTS - Cedric Golden

The sec­ond half of the NFL sea­son is just un­der­way and the sto­ry­lines are too nu­mer­ous to men­tion in one take.

So let’s have a lit­tle fun. OK, NFL diehards. Take a swing at this a quick mul­ti­ple-choice pop quiz as we en­ter the money part of the sea­son.

Be ad­vised, this is far more dif­fi­cult than the English tests Ms. Putzer gave me at T.K. Gor­man back in the day, so pro­ceed at your own risk. And no peek­ing at your neigh­bor’s an­swers. Here we go. 1. Dal­las RB Ezekiel El­liott will suit up Sun­day against Kansas City af­ter he was granted a re­quest for an ad­min­is­tra­tive stay by the 2nd U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals. What’s Jerry Jones’ next step?

a) Dou­ble up on his le­gal team for the next tus­sle.

b) In­form coach Ja­son Gar­rett to keep Dar­ren McFad­den and Alfred Mor­ris ready, just in case.

c) Build a fed­eral court an­nex out­side Cow­boys Sta­dium.

2. The Cleve­land Browns just botched a trade for Cincin­nati backup quar­ter­back AJ McCar­ron. Their fans should:

a) For­give their beloved Browns and chalk it up as an in­no­cent mis­take.

b) Pray that the or­ga­ni­za­tion drafts Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen next spring. c) Go try out for the team. 3. Hous­ton Tex­ans rookie RB

D’Onta Fore­man took some rib­bing for his col­or­ful pais­ley jacket over the week­end. He should:

a) Shrug off the haters and add to his Prince starter kit.

b) Ditch those red leather pants for black.

c) Is­sue a pub­lic apol­ogy to the sofa he butchered.

4. Less than 24 hours af­ter the Hous­ton Astros won the World Se­ries, Tex­ans QB De­shaun Wat­son suf­fered a sea­son-end­ing knee in­jury at prac­tice. Tex­ans owner Bob McNair should:

a) Put all his con­fi­dence in Tom Sav­age. b) Call Tony Romo. c) Sign Colin Kaeper­nick and ap­point him as­sis­tant war­den.

5. New Eng­land traded backup quar­ter­back Jimmy Garop­polo to San Francisco for a sec­ond-round draft pick and signed Brian Hoyer to back up 41-year-old Tom Brady. What’s the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s next move?

a) Draft a quar­ter­back in the off­sea­son.

b) Keep Brady fresh by giv­ing him prac­tices off.

c) Trade the Browns Steve Gro­gan for the top pick. (They may go for it).

6. Mi­ami traded run­ning back Jay Ajayi to the Philadel­phia Ea­gles for a fourthround draft pick. What hap­pens next?

a) The Dol­phins’ fall apart and fin­ish 5-11.

b) The Ea­gles pro­claim him the miss­ing piece and roll to a Su­per Bowl berth.

c) Mi­ami wins the Su­per Bowl (cir­cle C if you’re stupid).

7. USC quar­ter­back Sam Darnold may re­turn to col­lege for an­other year if cer­tain teams (namely Cleve­land) have the first pick of the 2018 NFL draft. What hap­pens?

a) He leaves col­lege and en­ters the draft.

b) He re­turns to school and wins the 2018 Heis­man.

c) In­di­anapo­lis gets the top pick and trades it to the Pa­tri­ots, who draft an of­fen­sive tackle one day af­ter Tom Brady an­nounces he’s a 900-year-old day-walk­ing vam­pire.

8. Which pre­dic­tion will come true?

a) Belichick and Brady will re­tire af­ter the Pa­tri­ots win a sixth Su­per Bowl in Fe­bru­ary.

b) Texas ex Der­rick John­son will re­tire af­ter win­ning a Su­per Bowl with Kansas City.

c) Cleve­land WR Josh Gor­don will one day be con­di­tion­ally re­in­stated to the CFL.

9. Pizza mag­nate “Papa John” Sch­nat­ter is blam­ing NFL player protests for a dip in sales. What should he do?

a) Come up with a new mar­ket­ing cam­paign with Pey­ton Man­ning.

b) Ad­mit his as­ser­tion is non­sense.

c) Go de­liver for Domino’s.

10. Pitts­burgh coach Mike Tom­lin de­ac­ti­vated wide­out Mar­tavis Bryant last week af­ter he made crit­i­cal so­cial me­dia com­ments about his role in the of­fense. What hap­pens now?

a) Bryant apol­o­gizes to his team­mates and gets back to work.

b) Tom­lin shuts him down for the rest of the sea­son.

c) He’s re­leased af­ter ad­mit­ting he stole JuJu Smith-Schus­ter’s bike.

11. Who will win the come- back player of the year?

a) Ari­zona RB Adrian Peter­son af­ter he runs for 1,100 yards over the next eight games.

b) San Diego WR Keenan Allen, who will catch 100 passes af­ter early in­juries cut his last two sea­sons short.

c) Ezekiel El­liot. He keeps com­ing back ev­ery week, right? 12. Name the league MVP? a) Philadel­phia QB Car­son Wentz

b) Pitts­burgh RB Le’Veon Bell c) Jerry’s lawyers 13. Most en­ter­tain­ing game-day pair­ing?

a) Joe Buck and Troy Aik­man

b) Jim Nantz and Tony Romo

c) Cow­boys ra­dio team Brad Sham and Babe Laufen­berg (with the TV muted) 14. Fun­ni­est head­line? a) The 49ers aren’t tank­ing b) O.J. didn’t do it c) Tex­ans sign Matt McGloin and T.J. Yates

MICHAEL AINSWORTH / AP

Ezekiel El­liott (21) will play Sun­day af­ter a fed­eral ap­peals court gave the Cow­boys’ star run­ning back a fa­vor­able rul­ing late in the week. It blocked a lower-court or­der that re­quired El­liott to im­me­di­ately be­gin serv­ing the NFL’s six-game sus­pen­sion.

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