<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Dallas-Fort Worth Sports News, Analysis, and Scores for the Giants, Jets. Patriots, Huskies, Knicks and More]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Wed, 27 May 2015 03:07:17 -0500 Wed, 27 May 2015 03:07:17 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Fielder's Tear Reaches New Heights]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 15:06:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-474433082.jpg

Didn't think Prince Fielder could get a whole lot better, huh?

Well, look no further than the Memorial Day weekend the Rangers slugger just enjoyed on an East Coast road swing.

In case Fielder's .340 batting average heading into Friday's game in Yankee Stadium wasn't good enough, how would an average 25 points higher look? That's where Fielder sits now after the Rangers' 10-8 Memorial Day win over the Cleveland Indians — the team's sixth straight victory.

Fielder had a hell of a weekend, as a matter of fact. In the four games (Friday-Monday), he recorded four multi-hit games, going 11-for-19 with two doubles, four home runs and 12 RBIs for a nice, cool four-day OPS of 1.916. That, folks, is scorching.

As we all know, it's not a recent thing, either. Fielder leads the majors in hits (66) and in batting average (.365) and he now has a hit in 22 of the Rangers' 24 May games. Now that the rest of the club is starting to hit and get on base, as well, Fielder is beginning to drive in runs as he's now on pace to drive in well over 100 runs this season.

Remember how much of a ripoff the Rangers were dealing with over the next five years, in which the Rangers will pay $90 million of the remaining $120 million on his deal while the Tigers pick up $30 million of it? Well, that's not sounding like such an awful deal right now.

I think it's safe to say we can all wipe the Ian Kinsler-Prince Fielder trade off the list of blunders Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has made.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rodriguez Hoping to Build on Last Outing]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 14:07:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/472875422.jpg

Wandy Rodriguez has been a god-send to the Texas Rangers this year.

As a waiver claim from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Rodriguez was a cast-off after a decent stretch of time with Jeff Banister's old club, and has since been a pretty solid member of the injury-rocked starting rotation in Texas that lost Yu Darvish and Derek Holland both by Game 1 of 162.

All that has transpired since is that the Rangers' rotation has posted one of the better ERAs in May and has helped the team gain some ground after their awful 7-14 record in April to within a game of second place in the AL West with the calendar about to turn to June.

Rodriguez was uncharacteristically bad two starts ago, when he allowed five earned runs on eight hits in just 4 2/3 innings, but he bounced back in his last outing against the Boston Red Sox when he allowed just one run over 6 2/3 innings at Fenway Park to get the second of the Rangers' current six-game win streak.

Throw out that one bad start against this same Indians team he'll face Tuesday night, and Rodriguez has allowed just one run in each of his three May outings and has worked at least six innings in each of those outings.

On Tuesday, Rodriguez can redeem himself against the Indians and help push the Rangers' win streak to seven.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Have No Luck in First All-Star Release]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 13:35:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/472016646.jpg

The Texas Rangers are starting to heat up and are owners of the league's longest current win streak at six games, and are now right in the thick of the AL Wild Card race — whatever that means at this point in the season.

Yet, when the first round of AL all-star balloting was released on Tuesday afternoon, there was only one Ranger to be found and he was nowhere close to winning the fan vote at his respective position.

It's not a surprise that Ranger was third baseman Adrian Beltre, who is currently sitting in fifth place among AL third baseman behind Mike Moustakas, Josh Donaldson, Pablo Sandoval and Manny Machado. Beltre currently has just 205,836 votes — more than a million behind Moustakas, the leading vote-getter.

What's a huge surprise is the fact that Prince Fielder is nowhere to be found in the top five at first base or designated hitter, despite the fact he leads baseball in hits and multi-hit games.

Just to be clear, it needs to be remembered that the fan voting only elects the game's starters, while the players and the respective coaching staffs also have an input on the other participants in the game. Fielder will make the all-star team, and Beltre probably will too. That could be it, but the Rangers will take that.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Martin First Casualty of Hamilton's Return]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 13:17:39 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/471163180.jpg

In the weeks leading up to Josh Hamilton's Rangers debut — or second Rangers debut — the big question was who would take the fall and be sent down to the minors.

As things worked out, the Rangers were able to put demoted closer Neftali Feliz on the disabled list to make room on the roster for Hamilton, but there was still a question of who would play in the outfield and who would sit.

The answer? At least for one day, anyway, was Leonys Martin was on the bench while the red-hot spark plug known as Delino DeShields was hitting leadoff and starting in center field, while Hamilton started in left field and Shin-Soo Choo was in his customary spot in right field.

While Jeff Banister told reporters after the game that Martin — a far better defensive center fielder than DeShields — would still be key part of the Rangers' outfield picture and still get plenty of playing time, but the starting lineup on Monday told us a lot.

The Indians were starting right-handed pitcher Shaun Marcum, and Martin is much better offensively against righties than lefties, although he hasn't been good against anyone this year. You'd think if there was going to be a platoon in center, it'd be DeShields against lefties and Martin against righties, but quite frankly at this point, DeShields is too hot and too much of a spark to the offense to sit right now.

You might be looking at a deal with DeShields starts until he cools off, and Martin even enters the game late as a defensive replacement, but for now, the Rangers' outfield has more capable bodies than open spots.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Washington Makes Debut in Oakland]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 13:28:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/57099592.jpg

Ron Washington might have had his thunder stolen on Monday by the return to the Rangers by former MVP-turned-Public Enemy No. 1 Josh Hamilton, but the former Rangers skipper and the winningest all-time manager in franchise history made his return to the majors over the weekend and his home debut on Monday as a member of the coaching staff in Oakland.

Washington was hired last week as a defensive consultant by the Rangers' AL West rival A's, just months after he abruptly resigned as the Rangers manager last September — later saying he stepped down after betraying his wife's trust.

"I'm having a lot of fun. I'm blessed," Washington told the Associated Press Monday in Oakland. "Every day is my future. This is exactly where I started."

Washington is being tasked with helping improve Bob Melvin's club's defense, which leads all of baseball with 46 errors this season and has played a major role in Oakland's slide to last place in the division.

Washington has always hung his hat on his team's defense and his developing of middle infielders, in particular. Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien has a league-high 16, and Melvin said he's looking forward to seeing what Washington can do with his team's collective defense.

With Washington on the coaching staff, Oakland led the league in fielding in 2004 and 2005 and was second in 2006.

''It's always nice to have somebody from the outside come in and not being a part of that and add some energy to it," Melvin told reporters. "He's always that way no matter where his teams were. With where our team is right now, he's going to be positive and energetic."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hatcher Feels at Home in Washington]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 12:59:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jason-hatcher-generic.jpg

Last year, after eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Jason Hatcher followed a truckload of money to Washington DC to join the Redskins. He recorded 5.5 sacks in his first year with the team, exactly half of his total in 2013 as a member of the Cowboys.

Over a year after joining the team, Hatcher admits he wasn’t always comfortable in a new place and in a new role in 2014. But now he’s settled in, and he foresees a big year for himself and the Washington defensive front as a whole in 2015.

“It was an adjustment, just getting here and feeling out the locker room and stuff like that,” Hatcher told the “Redskins Nation” show on the team’s website. “I think the GM did a good job of bringing in the right guys and so we can take this thing in the right direction. It was very uncomfortable, I’m not going to lie, but coming in here, seeing some stuff how it was done, but it’s definitely changed this year. I feel at home; I feel comfortable.”

With Joe Barry taking over as defensive coordinator this season, Hatcher believes he’ll return to the ultra-disruptive style of play that earned him the nickname “Big Daddy” from Cowboys defensive coordinator (then the defensive line coach) Rod Marinelli in 2013.

“The scheme has changed; I can get back to being 'Big Daddy' up field making plays and not just holding the blocker, so you’ve just got to do what they pay you to do,” he said. “If they tell you to hold up blockers, that’s what you got to do. But this year they can kind of turn me lose and I can go up field and do what I do, so hopefully 'Big Daddy' will be back in the building.”



Photo Credit: Frank Heinz, NBC DFW]]>
<![CDATA[Andrus Continues Onslaught of Cleveland]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 12:42:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4728821301.jpg

People have wondered aloud for a while now what the Texas Rangers have to do to get someone to take Elvis Andrus via trade with his huge albatross of a contract hanging over his head.

Here's an idea: See if the Indians will take him, if for no other reason that he can't kill them anymore.

In Monday's series opener in Cleveland, Andrus found himself in the park he loves more than any other and he continued his offensive onslaught there, doubling and homering in the game to improve his career batting average in Cleveland to an even .400 with an on-base of .478 and a slugger's OPS of 1.038. He now has three homers and 15 RBIs in 26 games in Cleveland.

For this season, anyway, the Rangers have two games left against the Tribe and they're in Andrus' favorite park, so you can expect more of the same beast-at-the-plate Andrus at least for the next two days.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jason Garrett Preaching "Competition" to Rookies ]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 12:34:16 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jason-garrett-camp-2014-03.jpg

With organized team activities opening on Tuesday, the rookies on the Dallas Cowboys roster are going to hear a lot from Jason Garrett about competition, and creating that competition.

“For all rookies, I think going into OTAs Coach Garrett does a great job of telling them, ‘Create competition,’” veteran tight end Jason Witten told the team’s official website. “A lot of them we’re counting on to play and play significant roles, and others are going to be contributors. This is the start of it. We’ve had good offseason workouts so far, but nothing like going to the field and taking those practice reps and getting better.”

This week is the first of three weeks of OTAs, leading up to the first mandatory minicamp of the offseason in mid-June.

Among those rookies who will likely see a lot of action in 2015 are first round pick, defensive back Byron Jones; second rounder, defensive end Randy Gregory; fourth rounder, linebacker Damien Wilson; and, of course, La’el Collins, the first round-graded offensive tackle who was signed as an undrafted free agent.



Photo Credit: Jose Sanchez, NBC 5 Photojournalist]]>
<![CDATA[Claudio Goes to Limit in Gutsy Performance]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 13:27:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/474529246.jpg

Alex Claudio has only allowed four runs this year, and one of those came in Monday's 10-8 win to snap the league's longest win streak and continue their own in Cleveland.

But Monday's outing was far different than the others in which Claudio got touched up.

The lefty tossed a career-long 3 1/3 innings, allowing one run, after starter Phil Klein failed to record an out in the third inning. It was a stark contrast from Claudio's season thus far, given that he'd allowed his other three runs in outings of zero, zero and one-third of an inning — amounting to a bit of a dumpster fire.

On Monday, Claudio was solid. He walked four batters, but pitched his way out of jams while throwing 61 pitches, surpassing his previous season-high of 27.

"What a gutsy performance by Claudio," Rangers manager Jeff Banister told reporters.

It sure was, and it wasn't totally clean with all the walks, but it helped bail out the team after the first awful start in quite some time.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Staubach Excited to See Where Romo Takes Cowboys]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 13:31:04 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/461024562.jpg

To say Roger Staubach is a Tony Romo fan might be an understatement.

Speaking at a flag football event benefitting the Wounded Warriors recently, Staubach made clear that he’s always thought highly of the Cowboys quarterback, and he’s fairly shocked that this isn’t a unanimous position among Dallas fans.

“I’m just mystified that we’re not all Tony Romo supporters,” Staubach told the team’s website. “He’s a fantastic football player. He needs some good people around him like we all do in life. He’s a winning, franchise quarterback.”

Last year, Romo did have “some good people around him,” and he made the most out of it, leading the Cowboys to their first NFC East championship and their first playoff victory since 2009. Staubach is excited to see where they go from here.

“Oh yeah, there’s no question about it. In the ’90s, it was a lot of fun to go to work every day, watching the Cowboys win,” Staubach said. “Now, it looks like we’re headed there again. It makes a big difference.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mavs Answer at Point in Finland?]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 11:31:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/108792564.jpg

Since the Mavs won their NBA title four summers ago, point guard has been a revolving door of mediocrity.

Jason Kidd stuck around for one year after the parade, but Russell Westbrook ran circles around him in the Thunder’s playoff sweep. Then came Roddy Beaubois, Delonte West, Darren Collison, Derek Fisher, Mike James, Nick Calathes, Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin, Gal Mekel, Raymond Felton, Devin Harris and J.J. Barea.

And with the likely departure of Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis, it’s now a complete mess.

Harris is better suited as a change-of-pace shooting guard. And Barea’s feistiness is better served in small doses. It leaves Dallas needing a point guard for 2016.

They need a Goran Dragic. A Patty Mills. A Pablo Prigioni. Even a Matthew Dellavadova.

But where on Earth do they find such a player? Um, Finland. Duh.

Once upon a time they Mavs drafted Calathes, stashed him in Europe for a couple years but then cut him free in favor of Mekel. Enter Petteri Koponen. He’s 6-foot-4. He’s 27. He’s one of the best point guards in Europe. And, yep, he belongs to the Mavs. Dallas acquired his rights from Portland in 2011, and he’s apparently ready to make his NBA debut next season.

Normally you’d roll your eyes at such a move. But considering the success of other foreign point guards recently, and the glaring need for point guard help, the Mavs would be wise to at least invite Koponen to training camp next October.

This past year he averaged 15 points per game in the Russian league, leading his team to the Eurocup title. The guy can shoot. He can penetrate. He can create. Can he defend NBA players?

The Mavs need to find out.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Cowboys Sign WR AJ Jenkins]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 11:32:04 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458294338.jpg

With OTAs opening at Valley Ranch, the Dallas Cowboys signed wide receiver and noted former first round bust AJ Jenkins on Tuesday, according to Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas.

A University of Illinois product, Jenkins was one of a handful of veterans to work out at Valley Ranch last week, a group that included running backs Ben Tate and Felix Jones. He comes as the fourth receiver added to the roster this offseason, the others being undrafted free agents George Farmer, Lucky Whitehead and Antwan Goodley.

Back in 2012, Jenkins was selected 30th overall by the San Francisco 49ers but only lasted a year there, appearing in three games and catching no passes. He was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs following his rookie season, and put up eight catches for 130 yards in his first year there.

Last year with the Chiefs, he had nine catches for 93 yards. He is still looking for his first NFL touchdown.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hamilton Hitless, Happy in Rangers Debut]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 11:21:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/474734298.jpg

Last time we saw Josh Hamilton in a Rangers’ uniform it wasn’t pretty.

After consecutive World Series appearances in 2010-11, Texas was relegated to a play-in game in 2012. Hosting the Orioles in Arlington, the Rangers needed some offensive punch from their star slugger.

But what they got instead on Oct. 5, 2012 was an ugly, indifferent 0-for-4 night in which Hamilton failed to get the ball out of the infield, hit into a double-play and struck out twice, including three consecutive hapless swings and misses in the bottom of the 8th with his team trailing, 3-1.

Hamilton was booed after that at-bat, the Rangers lost 5-1 and the following winter he high-tailed it to the Angels.

Even though his first time in the batter’s box in three years for Texas looked eerily familiar – a four-pitch strikeout in the 1st inning – this go-round promises to be different, if not better.

After a couple of underwhelming seasons in Anaheim, a self-reported alcohol relapse and shoulder surgery, Hamilton was back in the Rangers’ lineup in Cleveland. He was hitless in three at-bats, but did walk and scored a run in Texas’ sixth straight win, this one 10-8 over the Indians.

Hamilton admitted to some jitters.

“It was good to get the first at-bat out of the way, I was a little nervous up there," Hamilton said. “After that, second at-bat I was feeling pretty good. It was just good to be out there. It was good to feel the energy in the dugout.”

Now 34 and no longer counted on to be the main cog in Texas’ offensive machine, he’ll hit 5th in a lineup suddenly smoking thanks to the hot bats of Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre.

Hamilton misjudged a sharply hit ball in left field early and came up in an 8-8 game late. In the 7th he tapped weakly to the pitcher, but Zach McAllister committed a throwing error, allowing Hamilton to reach safely and Fielder to score the go-ahead run.

There will certainly be better days for Hamilton.

We’re just holding our breath that there aren’t much worse.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Starting RB is Randle's Job to Lose]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 11:16:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/460755606.jpg

As the Cowboys open Organized Team Activities this week at Valley Ranch, the running back job is apparently Joseph Randle’s to lose.

From the flashes we’ve seen on the field, he has the talent to keep the gig. But from the gaudy lapses in judgement off the field, he’ll be lucky to keep a roster spot.

DeMarco Murray’s role will likely be replaced by a gaggle of runners including Randle, Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams.

Because he served in the backup role last season, Randle will likely line up with the starters this week. He showed bursts in 2014, averaging 6.7 yards per carry.

The question with Randle isn’t between the sidelines, it’s between his ears. There was the shoplifting arrest, followed by promises of a “light-bulb” moment and serious attention to his profession. And that, of course, was followed by the off-season incident in Kansas in which he was arrested for domestic abuse.

But with those charges dropped, the Cowboys are seemingly putting the pressure on Randle. It’s your job, take it.

We’ll start learning in OTAs if Randle is good enough – mature enough – to hold off McFadden for the role.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[OTAs Begin Tuesday at Valley Ranch]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 11:01:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/romo-training-camp-2014-03.jpg

Organized team activities begin Tuesday for the Dallas Cowboys, and many other teams for that matter, and head coach Jason Garrett wants to ensure his team gets the most out of these next three weeks.

Everyone's excited to get started and do football, but you have to practice smart,” Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. “One of the things we talk to our players about all the time is, given the new collective bargaining agreement, you don't have that many full-padded practices. The teams that learn how to practice in helmets and jerseys really are the teams that are the best teams in this league because this is how we practice many more times than not.

“So we have to do a great job teaching tempo and convincing our players about the type of tempo we want to practice with. There's a sense of urgency. There's a pace for these types of events.”

The beginning of OTAs marks the beginning of 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, which is the closest to actual football the team has come since the offseason program began over a month ago.

“This is the start of it,” said tight end Jason Witten. “We’ve had a good offseason of workouts so far, but there’s nothing like going to the field and taking those practice reps and getting better. I think that’s the best thing we did last year. We eliminated all the noise and worked our tails off.”



Photo Credit: Jose Sanchez, NBC 5 Photojournalist]]>
<![CDATA[Bears Release Ray McDonald]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 15:48:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/th-may-25-ray-mcdonald-mug.jpg

The Chicago Bears rolled the dice on signing defensive end Ray McDonald after a history of domestic abuse accusations and arrests, and on Monday their gamble didn't pay off as the team released McDonald following a domestic violence arrest

"We believe in second chances, but when we signed Ray we were very clear what our expectations were if he was to remain a Bear," Bears G.M. Ryan Pace said in a statement. "He was not able to meet the standard and the decision was made to release him."

McDonald, who played for the San Francisco 49'ers under Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, was released by the team last season after he was arrested for assault in California. 

That arrest (the charges were eventually dropped because of insufficent evidence) was one of several brushes with the law that McDonald has had over the past few years. He also was accused of sexual assault last year, and he was also arrested for DUI and charged with failing to appear in court on the charges. 

When the Bears signed McDonald, team chairman George McCaskey said that McDonald's case was one of "bad judgment" and that he believed that the lineman was a changed man. 

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<![CDATA[2015 French Open: Best Moments]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 18:32:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jarkko-Nieminen-French-Open-26-May-2015.jpg See photos from Roland-Garros, the 2015 French Open Tennis Tournament.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Need a Bell Cow Back]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 13:21:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459965554.jpg

With DeMarco Murray gone, the Dallas Cowboys may use more of a platoon system than we saw last year, but they're still planning on having a clear top dog in the backfield.

To the surprise of many, maybe most, the Cowboys didn’t draft a running back. The running back they got in free agency, Darren McFadden, has had a total of one 1,000-yard season--and that was five years ago. The other obvious option is Joseph Randle, who has shown flashes of brilliance certainly and averaged 6.7 yards a carry a year ago, but has a career total of just 105 attempts.

So who will it be?

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan doesn’t know, just yet. But he’s excited to find out.

I still feel like we’re going to find somebody that’s going to have, not the majority of our carries, but a good bulk of our carries,” Linehan told the team’s official website. “I think that person’s going to rise to the top. What’s interesting and exciting is we’re going to find out. That’s why we have this time and that’s why we have (training camp in) Oxnard. That’s what we do.

“We have a lot of optimism about it, but we have big expectations that regardless who’s in there our execution is going to be at a high level.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFC East Watch: Shanahan Doesn't Blame Injuries for RG3 Struggles]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 13:21:53 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/184425706.jpg

There’s no denying that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has had a rough draw thus far in his NFL career where injuries are concerned.

After leading the Redskins to an NFC East championship in his rookie year, Griffin suffered a devastating knee injury in a playoff loss to the Seahawks. He returned in 2013 but wasn’t ever close to the same as he was the year before, when he won Rookie of the Year honors, and he was ultimately shut down for the final three games of the season.

Last year, Griffin suffered a dislocated ankle in Week 2, an injury kept him out for almost two months. When he returned, he struggled and was benched for Colt McCoy. He got the starting job back when McCoy went down with a neck injury and finished the season with a 2-5 record as the team's starting quarterback.

Griffin’s coach for his first two seasons in the league, Mike Shanahan said in a recent interview on the Grant and Danny Show on 106.7-FM The Fan in Washington DC that he doesn’t think injuries are to blame for RG3’s struggles of late.

I don’t think getting hurt has anything to do with it,” Shanahan said, via CSN Washington. “In college he didn’t have a route tree, didn’t have a playbook. That does take some time. ... If you take a QB like that you must run the kind of system that allows them to be successful... I really believe Robert thought he was more of a drop back quarterback. He hasn’t done things the NFL asks you to do. It does take some growing pains. You better really work on it inside and out.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Will Cowboys Need a Two-Point Specialist?]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 12:14:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys-Extra-point-NFL.jpg

Do the Dallas Cowboys need to start looking for a two-point specialist?

They might soon, if Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak is correct. In response to the extra point rule changes--under which teams can either start from the 15-yard-line and kick for one point, or start on the 2-yard-line for a two-point attempt--Kubiak told USA Today this week that he sees NFL teams employing two-point specialists.

“I think there (are) going to be two-point specialists from the standpoint of how you go about doing it. Coaching, those are things that you work on," Kubiak said. “You probably practice those things during camp. It's not very much and, all of a sudden, it becomes part of the game. That's a big part of practice. It's going to change the way you go about doing things. I know that.”

It could be interesting to see how teams react to the new rules once the season begins, we suppose, but we’d imagine most teams will continue to kick after touchdowns in 2015.

A 33-yard attempt is still a very high-percentage kick, after all. And as for the Cowboys, they have a kicker in Dan Bailey who is the most accurate in NFL history at the moment, for whom the 33-yard extra point shouldn’t be much of a problem.
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bears' Ray McDonald Arrested]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 02:53:11 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ray+mcdonald+getty.jpg

NFL player Ray McDonald walked out of a Santa Clara County jail in San Jose on Monday afternoon after posting bail for a domestic violence arrest in Northern California, The Associated Press reported.

According to Lieutenant Kurt Clarke with the Santa Clara police department, officers were called to the former San Francisco 49er-turned-Chicago Bears defensive end's home in Santa Clara just after 3:45 a.m. for a report of a disturbance. Police said McDonald was accused of physically assaulting a victim while she was holding a baby.

After the alleged assault, McDonald left the home and was arrested in the 2200 block of Terra Nova Lane in San Jose, Clarke said. 

Two San Jose police sources told NBC Bay Area on Monday that they assisted Santa Clara police with the detention.

According to the sources, McDonald was arrested at the home of retired 49ers defensive end Justin Smith. Another source said he rents an apartment in Santa Clara on Carlyle Court for his ex-fiancee and baby.

McDonald was arrested for misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment, police said. He was taken to the Santa Clara Police Department before being transferred to the Santa Clara County Jail.

Hours after the arrest, the Bears released McDonald, only 62 days after the defense end signed a one-year contract with the team in March.

"We believe in second chances, but when we signed Ray we were very clear what our expectations were if he was to remain a Bear," Bears G.M. Ryan Pace said in a statement. "He was not able to meet the standard and the decision was made to release him."

McDonald was released from the 49ers in December after law enforcement officials in San Jose, Calif., began an investigation into an alleged sexual assault.

He has since sued the woman who accused him of assault, and he has not been charged in the case as the investigation remains open.

The defensive end was also tangled up in a domestic abuse case involving his fiancee last August, but he was not charged in the case.

"I feel like I didn't do anything wrong but you know, still, it's in the spotlight," McDonald told reporters at the Bears minicamp last month. "I'm just trying to move forward from it."

Also last month, Bears Chairman George McCaskey said he talked to McDonald about the incidents before signing him. 

"I made it clear to him what was expected of him if he were to become a Bear," McCaskey said. "I was confident at the end of that conversation that he'll do what needs to be done."

Reached by phone in Florida on Monday, McDonald's mother, LaBrina McDonald, told NBC Bay area that she knew nothing about the arrest.

"I'm not dealing with any more of this negative stuff," she said.

She did say that McDonald's baby, Amari, was born in March to his ex-fiance and that sometimes he visited his newborn son in Silicon Valley.

The Chicago Bears could not immediately be reached for comment. Neither DeFilippis nor McDonald's criminal attorney, Joshua Bentley, returned immediate requests for comment.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Peterson Will Skip OTAs, Still Wants to be Traded]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 11:54:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/186722617.jpg

Minnesota Vikings running back and centerpiece of a great deal of the offseason trade rumors involving the Dallas Cowboys, Adrian Peterson will reportedly skip the team’s organized team activities, which begin Tuesday.

According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, Peterson is still hoping to be traded, and doesn’t plan on attending any of the Vikings’ offseason workouts. This will cost him $250,000 in the form of a workout bonus that requires he attend 90 percent of the team’s offseason workouts, but he apparently doesn’t mind. Citing a an unnamed “longtime Peterson confidant,” Robinson reports the star running back still hasn’t decided whether he’ll attend the mandatory minicamp next month or training camp in July.

This news should get the rumors linking Peterson and the Cowboys started again, at least to some degree. Reports before the draft said that if a deal wasn’t done by the end of that weekend, the Vikings wouldn’t deal Peterson at all. Nothing happened, of course, and the rumors went away for the most part.

The rumors were given new life, however, when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones went on record as saying he’d be open to trading next year’s first round pick to give the team a better chance at winning now.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Cowboys Worked Out Daniel Thomas, Too]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 11:55:30 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/456277884.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys worked out a group of veteran running backs at Valley Ranch last Thursday, a group that included former Cowboy Felix Jones, former Texan Ben Tate and, apparently, former Miami Dolphin Daniel Thomas.

Thomas was a second round pick out of Kansas State back in 2011 and rushed for 581 yards in his rookie season, a figure that stands four years later as his career-high. He was among the Dolphins’ final cuts coming out of camp last year but came back when Knowshon Moreno was hurt to run for 168 yards and two touchdowns on 44 carries. He also had 121 yards receiving.

After losing DeMarco Murray in free agency, the Cowboys have made clear all offseason that they’re open to bringing in more running back help.

The issue is never resolved,” said head coach Jason Garrett said, per the Dallas Morning News. “We feel very good about the guys we have on our roster. We feel good about Darren McFadden. We feel good about Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar, Ryan Williams. But we’re always trying to create competition. Competition with those four guys themselves but also competition where we can get running backs from other places."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Reeling Rockets Making Our Apologies Seem Misguided]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 10:34:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/179*120/474566518_594_screen.jpg

Four years ago on Memorial Day I remember sitting poolside, ingesting some celebratory cocktails and dissecting how exactly the Mavericks could possibly defend LeBron James in the looming NBA Finals.

Today? Dodging more rain drops and being nauseous that the Mavs have stooped to apologize to a team about to lose the Western Conference Finals.

Ah, the good ol’ days. Back when the Mavs were preparing to lift a trophy instead of issuing a sorry to a team that just quit and was blown out by 35 points in an embarrassing home playoff loss.

The Rockets handily beat the Mavs in the first round. I think it would have been a much more competitive series – if not a different results – had Dallas had a healthy Chandler Parsons and Devin Harris and an interested Rajon Rondo. But, granted, Houston won and deserves credit.

The Rockets also impressed and surprised us with their comeback from down 3-1 to the Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Tweeted Mavs owner Mark Cuban after Houston’s Game 7 win over L.A.: Gotta admit, I was wrong.

But then against the Warriors, that heart has melted. Houston media is calling Saturday’s Game 3 blowout the worst performance in a home playoff game by a Houston team … ever.

Before the Mavs-Rockets I predicted it would go seven games. And Cuban, likewise, professed that he wasn’t scared of Houston because “that’s not a very good team over there.”

Cuban was wrong. So was I.

But with the Warriors now on the verge of sweeping their way into the NBA Finals, our apologies down south are given grudgingly.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[On Deck: Indians]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 10:31:51 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers-at-indians.jpg

On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every Rangers series during the 2015 season. 

The Opponent: Well, the Rangers might be red-hot with five straight wins, but the hottest team in baseball is the Cleveland Indians, who have won six straight — their last loss coming in Texas as they missed out on a sweep of the Rangers.

Past 2015 Meetings: The Indians took two of three games last weekend in Arlington, including one come-from-behind win against the much maligned Rangers bullpen. That led to the Rangers' new "no-roles" approach and things have been much better since.

Pitching Matchups: Monday — Phil Klein (1-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Shaun Marcum (1-0, 2.31); Tuesday — Wandy Rodriguez (2-2, 3.38) vs. Danny Salazar (5-1, 3.50); Wednesday — Colby Lewis (4-2, 3.49) vs Carlos Carrasco (5-4, 4.74).

What's Hot: Give it up for Prince Fielder, y'all. As good as he was in April when the rest of the lineup was struggling, he's even better now and there are guys on base for him to drive in. In his past six games, he's batting .440 with two doubles, three homers and nine RBIs. Mitch Moreland, over that same time, has hit .375 with two doubles, two homers and three RBIs. Shawn Tolleson is 3-for-3 in save opportunities since taking over for the demoted Neftali Feliz.

David Murphy has had success against his old team in the past, and over his past six games — in limited action — he's hitting .400  (6-for-15) with two doubles and two RBIs. Noted Ranger killer Jason Kipnis has three doubles and a triple over his last seven games to go with his .333 batting average. For the second straight series with Cleveland, the Rangers will miss the Tribe's two best pitchers in Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, who are both coming off gems.

What's Not: Elvis Andrus continues to struggle, as he's hitting just .200 over his last six games. During that time, he's attempted one stolen base and was gunned down. Colby Lewis had a rare off-night in his last time out, as he allowed five earned runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings.

Indians outfielder Michael Brantley is in a bad way right now, hitting just .167 over his last six games while young third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, who had a three-homer game in Arlington last year, is hitless in his last 14 at-bats.

Familiar Faces: After the 2013 season, former Rangers fan favorite David Murphy got himself a big deal in free agency and went off to Cleveland, where he's primarily been a designated hitter. Murphy was one year removed from replacing Shin-Soo Choo in the Indians' lineup. The longtime Indian spent 2013 in Cincinnati before coming to Texas last season.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Staubach Wouldn't Want Hardy on His Team]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 09:27:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/roger-staubach1.18.12.jpg

On Friday I said the Cowboys should pursue Ray Rice. Because, after all, the bar on the caliber of class has already been lowered to the gutter with the signing of Greg Hardy.

But, as I’ve written before, the ideal situation is to have a team and an organization that doesn’t need criminals to win championships. And I’ve got pretty good company echoing that sentiment.

Roger Staubach ring a bell?

“I don't have any tolerance toward domestic violence,” the Cowboys’ Hall-of-Fame quarterback said Friday in an interview on KTCK-AM radio in Dallas. “If I was making the decision, it probably wouldn't have been good for the Cowboys.”

Hardy, of course, was found guilty of domestic abuse against his ex-girlfriend but had the charges ultimately dropped when she disappeared. He missed all except one game last season and on Thursday will appeal his 2015 10-game suspension.

While future Cowboys’ Hall of Famer and anti-domestic violence advocate Jason Witten has said he’ll be accepting of Hardy, not so with the man that led Dallas to its first two Super Bowls.

“I wouldn't really enjoy being in the locker room with someone I knew was a domestic violence person,” Staubach said. “I would have really had a hard time with a teammate that you look at as a courageous, tough guy on the football field ... to abuse a woman in any shape or form, there's just no excuse for it.”

Amen.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.


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<![CDATA[Hamilton Arrives as Rangers Heat Up]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 09:19:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4746809701.jpg

The Yankees’ glory days are long gone. So too might be these Rangers’ dark days.

With Josh Hamilton slated to start this afternoon in Cleveland, the Rangers that were almost dead and buried at the end of April are suddenly playing their best baseball of the season.

After sweeping the Yankees on Bernie Williams’ night, Texas has won five in-a-row and heads to Cleveland at 21-23, their closest flirtation with .500 since they were 6-8 back on April 21.

The Rangers were 7-15 on May 1.

After all the pomp and circumstance of a night in which Williams was celebrated, the Yankees and Rangers played like teams headed in different directions.

In front of former greats like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Paul O’Neill and Tino Martinez, the Rangers jumped on New York starter Chris Capuano with a Prince Fielder RBI single in the 1st and then took the lead for good on Adam Rosales’ two-run homer in the 2nd.

While the Yankees have lost six straight, and 10 of 11, the Rangers earned their first sweep in New York since 2003.

Happy Memorial Day, indeed.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Legendary Cowboys Play Wounded Warriors]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 00:09:59 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/052415+Wounded+Warriors+vs+NFL.jpg Roger Staubach and other legendary members of the Cowboys recently played a football game with the Wounded Warriors Amputee Football Team. Proceeds from the event raised money for the WAFT and Disabled Veterans Initiatives In Texas.

Photo Credit: David Watkins, NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Drone Taking SMU Football To New Heights]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 00:03:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/052415+SMU+Drone.jpg SMU football is now using a drone during practice. And that's caught the eye of the NFL, including the Dallas Cowboys.

Photo Credit: Noah Bullard, NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds Rally for Tom Brady]]> Sun, 24 May 2015 18:32:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/free+brady.JPG

Tom Brady is living legend to the hundreds of fans who rallied at Gillette Stadium Sunday.

"He's a good player, he does nothing wrong," said one fan.

"Tom Brady's the greatest quarterback of all time," said another.

"I'm here for him," said another. "I got the sweater - it's a little hot for a sweater, but I'll take the heat."

Heat is what they are hoping this "Free Tom Brady" rally will put on NFL officials to remove the Super Bowl MVP's four game suspension.

"We're crazy when we're unified," said organizer Paublo Munoz. "We're an amazing team - as Patriots Nation, that is - and this really shows it."

Some came from New Hampshire and Rhode Island just to show their support and purchase shirts, dawning the words "Free Brady".

After getting married earlier this month, one couple had a change of plans for their honeymoon in hopes of a change in plans with disciplinary action taken against Brady.

"God bless Brady, because we're backing him, no matter what," said new husband Paul Goodrow. "We're not going on our honeymoon until that ban is lifted." 

Last week, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he won't appeal the punishment dealt to the team. But these fans say the $1 million fine and losing two draft picks is way too harsh.

They also had some choice words for the NFL commissioner and Indianapolis Colts.

"Goodell is stupid," said a young fan.



Photo Credit: necn
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<![CDATA[Fan Attempts Selfie With Federer at French Open]]> Sun, 24 May 2015 09:33:23 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP978212670959.jpg

For Roger Federer, the menace did not come from the other side of the net.

After dispatching Colombian Alejandro Falla in straight sets, the 17-time Grand Slam winner was about to leave center court Sunday when a young man ran down the stands and made his way to the Swiss star unhindered. The fan brazenly put his hand across his shoulder to try and get a selfie with him.

Federer looked surprised, then a bit uncomfortable as he seemed to question with a hand gesture why the security guards did not intervene. One of them finally grabbed the man and took him away.

While there was no ill intent from this fan, the incident raised concerns about security at the event and clearly riled Federer.

"I'm not happy about it. Obviously not one second I'm happy about it," Federer said, adding that he received an apology from tournament director Gilbert Ysern. "It happened yesterday in the practice, too. I think it's true for all players that you have to feel safe when we play, feel safe on the courts. It shouldn't happen too often. It's happened twice in two days and also in 2009 during the final. I think people should react more quickly. First, it should never happen."

That was the only incident in an otherwise smooth start to the French Open for Federer, who advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Falla.

Facing a player who pushed him to five sets at Wimbledon five years ago, the 2009 champion was never threatened this time, extending his unbeaten run against the 111th-ranked Falla to 8-0.

On a sunny first day of play at Roland Garros, last year's runner-up Simona Halep also advanced in straight sets in the women's draw.

Federer put Falla under pressure in the eighth game of the first set, breaking for a 5-3 lead when the Colombian could not handle a good backhand return. Federer shouted "come on" after earning a set point in his next service game and closed it out when Falla sent a backhand into the net.

Federer's flashy outfit, with pink shorts and a lilac shirt, was almost as eye-catching as some of the shots the former top-ranked player produced. The 17-time Grand Slam winner broke again for a 2-1 lead in the second set following a game in which he left Falla stranded with a perfectly hit defensive lob.

Federer wrapped up the second set with another break in the ninth game. At 4-3 down in the third set, Falla called a trainer to get his right thigh massaged. The Colombian held his next serve but could not prevent Federer from breaking him in the 10th game as the Swiss unleashed a forehand attack that he returned wide.

On the women's side, the third-seeded Halep hit an ace on match point to beat Russian Evegenia Rodina 7-5, 6-4, while ninth-seeded Ekaterina Markova breezed past American wild card Louisa Chirico 6-4, 6-2.

Halep made a big breakthrough at the French Open last year, losing in final to Maria Sharapova after not conceding a set in her previous matches.

Halep, who said she is stronger than last year both physically and mentally, is bidding to become the first Romanian to win a Grand Slam title since Virginia Ruzici at the French Open in 1978.

"I have stronger body and I have improved a lot in my game," she said. "Serve is better, so I feel more confident now with my game."

Up againt Halep in the second round will be veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who defeated American Lauren Davis 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Lucic-Baroni, who won her first match at Roland Garros since 2002, upset Halep at the U.S. Open last year.

"I have not good memories from that match," Halep said. "I just was blocked and I couldn't hit the ball."

On paper, the 33-year-old Federer has a relatively easy draw until the fourth round, where he could meet 13th-seeded Gael Monfil before a potential quarterfinal with his Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka, who beat Marsel Ilhan 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

Federer, who achieved a career Grand Slam by winning the French Open in 2009 after three runner-up finish, has not made it to the final on the Parisian clay since 2011. He lost in the fourth round last year but has been playing excellent tennis recently and has a 26-5 record in 2015. On clay, he lost in final in Rome after claiming an 85th career title in Istanbul.

Among the seeded players to advance to the second round Sunday were also No. 19 Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber. The first seeded player to bow out was No. 25 Ivo Karlovic, who lost 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 to Marcos Baghdatis.



Photo Credit: AP
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