The final week of the 16-game National Football League season is here and the media prognosticators are having a field day speculating on everything from the upcoming playoff match-ups to possible trades that will help certain franchises to projected coaching changes.

Here in the Lone Star State, most of the NFL discussions center on the status of Dallas Cowboys “back-up quarterback” Tony Romo. Will he play in the two meaningless games remaining? Will he and his $24.7 million salary cap be back next season.

Some of the naysayers aren’t convinced rookie sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott will be able to handle to pressure of the playoffs and are hoping Romo starts in those big games.

What they’re not factoring into their pipe dream is the realization that the 36-year-old Romo has not played in more than a year and played in only four games in 2015. He was inactive the first nine games this season and has served as a back-up for Prescott in the other five WITHOUT taking a single snap.

NBC commentators Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth who did the Kansas City-Denver game Sunday night were bound and determined for the Broncos to make a deal to obtain Romo because they believed all that team needed was a quality and experienced quarterback to return to championship status.

Another rumor drifting around is that Romo is going to demand to be released by the Cowboys after the playoffs and find his own team for the 2017 season.

And as far as the Houston Texans are concerned, they won the AFC South Division and will probably be one-and-done once the playoffs begin next weekend.

The Texans will host the AFC wild card with the best record—either the Kansas City Chiefs or Oakland. And they better hope it’s the Raiders without quarterback David Carr. Ironically, Carr’s injury came on the only sack the Raiders allowed on Saturday.

It was pointed out Monday that half of the AFC playoff field could be starting back-up quarterbacks—Tom Savage (Houston Texans), Matt McGloin (Oakland Raiders) and Matt Moore (Miami Dolphins).

Three head coaches who possibly won’t be around for the 2017 season are controversial Rex Ryan of the Buffalo Bills, Mike Mularkey of the Tennessee Titans and Todd Bowles of the New York Jets.

And someone who is a distant relative of Denver head coach Gary Kubiak claims the former Houston Texans boss is calling it quits after this season and retiring to his brand new ranch outside of Houston.

The unofficial playoff picture looks like the Texans will play Kansas City in Houston and the Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Miami Dolphins in the AFC either Jan. 7 or Jan. 8. Oakland will host the highest seed remaining while the New England Patriots entertain the lowest seed remaining on Jan. 14 or Jan. 15.

The NFC picture should find the New York Giants traveling to Seattle to meet the Seahawks and Detroit hosting Green Bay Jan. 7 or 8. The Cowboys will play the lowest seed remaining in Arlington and Atlanta will host the highest seed remaining on Jan. 14 or 15.

This will be the first time since 2003 that neither Super Bowl team made it to the playoffs the following year as the season ends Sunday for the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos.

KWICKIES—For all our local Earl Thomas fans who are afraid the four-time All-Pro free safety will retire from the Seattle Seahawks, a tweet from him last weekend stated that he DEFINITELY plans on playing in 2017 because he loves the game and knows he can play it very well.

And speaking of the Seahawks, most teams travel to Seattle and come home with a loss. But Arizona Cardinal quarterback Carson Palmer is 3-0 after his team kicked a field goal in the final minute Saturday to defeat the Hawks 34-31.

A strange thing happened last weekend when the three NFL teams with the worst records all posted upset victories—Cleveland Browns (1-14), San Francisco 49ers (2-13) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13).

The Green Bay Packers won at home Saturday 38-25 while the Detroit Lions went on the road to play the Dallas Cowboys Monday night. That means that Green Bay has about 56 more hours to prepare and rest their bodies than Detroit before the two teams meet in an NFC showdown Sunday.

The scene was set for Randy Bullock to seek revenge on the Houston Texans for cutting him by kicking a 43-yard field goal with no time remaining and Cincinnati trailing 12-10. But his kick went wide and the Texans not only won the game but clinched their fourth AFC South Division title in six years.

JUST BETWEEN US…Wishing all of you readers a Happy New Year!!!