<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Dallas-Fort Worth Sports News, Analysis, and Scores for the Giants, Jets. Patriots, Huskies, Knicks and More]]> Copyright 2014 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, 26 Nov 2014 18:39:08 -0600 Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:39:08 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Mavs Stand Tall in NBA's Toughest Division]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:31:55 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458830286.jpg

Good news: The Mavs are one of the best teams in the NBA. Bad news: They play in, by far, the league’s toughest division.

While other divisions are dragged down by teams like the 0-10 Sixers (Atlantic), 2-9 Lakers (Pacific) or 2-7 Timberwolves, the worst team in the Southwest is the defending champion. That’s right, last place belongs to the 6-4 Spurs.

What it means for the Mavs, of course, is more games against tougher opponents. Intra-division there is no cupcakes among the Grizzlies (10-1), Rockets (9-2) or Pelicans (6-4). At 8-3 entering tonight’s game at the Wizards, the Mavs would be leading one division, tied for first in another and in second place in the other two. But in the Southwest, they’re merely in third place.

You can make a valid argument than the NBA’s Southwest is the best division in all of sports. All six teams having winning records and the cumulative mark is a stunning 39-14 (.735). The NBA’s Atlantic, for example, is a paltry 18-32.

In American sports, only the NFL’s AFC North features every team with a winning record. But its collective winning percentage is only 25-17-1 (.581). No baseball or hockey divisions boasted every team with a winning record.

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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[One-on-One With Dirk Nowitzki]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:09:10 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dirk-Closeup-111714.jpg Dirk Nowitzki talks about his 16 years with the Dallas Mavericks, his NBA legacy and fatherhood with NBC 5's Pat Doney. More at NBA.com and DallasMavericks.com.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Mavs' Summer Trade With Knicks Looks Like a Winner ]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:08:53 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tyson-chandler-2014.jpg

The Mavs have lost two consecutive games.

But it’s clear back in the summer they won the big trade.

In a six-player deal in June, the Mavs acquired center Tyson Chandler from the Knicks in exchange for two starters – Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert – two draft picks and prized point-guard prospect Shane Larkin.

A month into the season the Mavs are 10-5 and are considered legit contenders in the NBA’s Western Conference because of the league’s best offense and an improved defense anchored by Chandler. As for the Knicks?

They’re 4-11 heading into tonight’s game at American Airlines Center. Dalembert has started every game at center but averages only 17 minutes per game, and modest three points and four rebounds. Calderon is just coming back from an injury and has played in only two games, with the bulk of his minutes given to Larkin and his five points and two assists per game.

As for the two picks the Mavs threw into the trade, 34th selection Cleanthony Early from Wichita State is only playing eight minutes per game while 51st selection Thanasis Antetokounmpo from Greece is on the Knicks’ D League team.

The Mavs should win tonight. And it’s becoming more and more clear that they already beat New York in the trade.
 

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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: NBA, NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Looking for Elusive Ninth Win]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:43:37 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459497102.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t need any extra motivation going into the Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday at AT&T Stadium.

Aside from the significance of playing in front of a national audience in the annual Thanksgiving Day game, the teams are tied for first place in the NFC East at 8-3. Thursday’s showdown will break that tie.

But a win for Dallas wouldn’t only mean the top spot in the NFC East--it would be their ninth win of the year, clinching the first winning season of the Jason Garrett era. In each of his three full seasons as head coach, Garrett has finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs by a single win.

The Cowboys’ last winning season came in 2009, when they went 11-5 under Wade Phillips and got a first round playoff win over the Eagles.

It’s enough [motivation] just to go down and beat Philadelphia,” said owner and general manager Jerry Jones, per ESPN Dallas. “They’ve been a big nemesis for us for many years. But if we needed any, it would be nice to break eight.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Thanksgiving Throwbacks: Where'd They Go?]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:38:11 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dez-bryant-punt-returns.jpg

Last year, for the first time in 12 years, the Dallas Cowboys did not wear throwback uniforms on Thanksgiving Day. Turns out, this was not a decision made on a whim, but rather, a response to a change in NFL rules.

The throwback tradition began in 2001, when the team took the field in the double-starred jerseys originally worn in 1994, in honor of the league’s 75th anniversary. They wore those for three years, before switching to a 1960 throwback--a white helmet with a plain blue star, blue jerseys with white sleeves and stars on the shoulders (pictured here on Dez Bryant in 2012).

The team stuck with the 1960 throwback from 2004 until last year, when the they took the field in their standard blue jerseys, usually reserved for the occasional road game.

So what happened?

Well, as explained by a video on the team’s official website, in 2013 the NFL’s new concussion protocol stipulated that team’s must wear their normal helmets when wearing throwback jerseys. The team’s current helmets are silver, of course, meaning they had three options--go back to the 1994 double-star jersey, paint all their helmets white, or roll with regular jerseys.

They went for the last option.

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[3 Reasons the Cowboys Will Beat the Eagles]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:10:50 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/457968746.jpg

The Philadelphia Eagles seem designed to match up with the Cowboys, making them the ideal nemesis to face twice toward the end of the season with a division crown on the line.

The Eagles might be the toughest opponent of the year so far, but there are a few reasons Cowboys fans should expect to be thankful Thursday.

1. Bad Mark Sanchez Shows Up

“Good Mark Sanchez” showing up Thursday is bad news for Cowboys fans, but it’s far more likely that the Cowboys will face regular Mark Sanchez.

Since taking over as Philadelphia’s starting quarterback, Sanchez is pushing the ball downfield at the most efficient rate of his career. His 8.1 yards per attempt would rank fourth — just ahead of Peyton Manning — if he qualified. That number is up from about 6.5 per attempt during his time in New York.

Expect the Eagles to gain significant yardage, but also expect Sanchez to give the Cowboys offense a few additional possessions. In three of his four starts with the Eagles, Sanchez has thrown two interceptions. His 4.1 interception percentage would rank him 29th in the league and is in line with his career rate of 3.7 percent.

2. An Overworked Running Back

The NFL isn’t kind to overworked running backs, and the Eagles’ LeSean McCoy appears to be the latest victim.

The actual threshold of overwork is debatable, but it’s typically somewhere in the range of 320 to 370 carries. McCoy “only” carried 314 times last season, but he also caught 52 passes. Combined with the 25 touches he had in a playoff loss to New Orleans, and his 393 touches are well above the number that usually results in a dip in performance the following year.

McCoy's average of 4 yards per carry is well below the 5.1 he put up last year and his career average of 4.8 before the season started. Fellow running back Darren Sproles is averaging 6.4 yards per carry this season, so I wouldn’t blame the supporting cast.

Stats aside, McCoy just looks off. He is not listed on the injury report, but he lacks the same burst through the hole and he seems tentative at times. He seems slower and less shifty as well.

3. Veteran Security Blanket

The Cowboys obviously want to have their offense on the field as much as possible, but that’s especially important this week because the Eagles offense looks much more mediocre when they don’t lead the league in plays from scrimmage.

Led by defensive end Fletcher Cox, the Eagles defense is pretty good against the run, ranking ninth in the league giving up 3.9 yards per rush, so the Cowboys will likely be forced to throw for several critical third downs.

Against one of the most relentless pass rushes in the NFL this season, Tony Romo will look to his longtime hot route in Jason Witten. The veteran tight end is tied for eighth in the NFL in third-down catches that go for first downs this season with 15.

Bottom Line

Thursday's game is going to be nerve wracking, Cowboys fans, but have faith. The offense is good enough to shorten the game and, in turn, make the Eagles offense look more pedestrian. If the defense remains disciplined, they should expect a few gifts from Mark Sanchez.

If each team plays their "typical" game, the Cowboys should come out on top by a field goal.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry: Thanksgiving Day Deserves This Kind of Game]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:45:32 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/182520198.jpg

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones believes Thursday’s matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles may be the biggest Thanksgiving Day matchup in franchise history--or, at least, the biggest he can remember.

We were discussing that earlier and it may be [the biggest] that I can remember,” Jones told the NFL Network on Wednesday, per the Dallas Morning News. “Consequently, we hope that in the spirit of Thanksgiving those Eagles would cut us a little slack. You think they’re interested in doing that? ... I don’t, either.”

The game would be big even if it weren’t happening on Thanksgiving. At 8-3 each, the Eagles and Cowboys are tied for first place in the NFC East going in. It’s the first of two matchups between the teams in the next three weeks, a stretch that will go a long way in deciding the division.

“That’s a good thing because this game on Thanksgiving Day has always deserved in my mind, these kinds of things at stake,” Jones said. “We’re proud to have this game.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[LeSean McCoy Not Surprised by Murray's Success]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:47:17 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459743325.jpg

Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy isn’t at all surprised by the monster season DeMarco Murray has put together so far this year.

McCoy told reporters this week that he’s been a fan of Murray’s game for a long time, and knew he was capable of big things if he got more chances.

"Not just this year," McCoy said, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas. "I always felt like if he got the ball more, he could do some special things."

Murray’s been getting the ball plenty in 2014. He has 268 carries through 11 games, the NFL high by a very wide margin. McCoy is second in the league in attempts with 217. Murray also leads the league in rushing with 1,354 yards; McCoy is fourth in the league, with 859.

"I like his game," McCoy said. "He runs hard, he finishes very well. They're a good team. They're giving him some lanes to run in. I think the way he finishes runs and how strong he is, that's what makes him an elite back. I think we have different styles, so I wouldn't want to take anything from his game. I like it how it is."

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Romo Brushes Off Back Concerns]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:48:57 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/458696574.jpg

Going into the Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Eagles, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo isn’t thinking about his back.

Romo missed the last meeting between the Eagles and Cowboys, in Week 17 of last year, as he was fresh off surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. Now, he’s dealing with two transverse process fractures in that same back, though he has only missed one game due to the injury.

You don’t really think about it,’’ Romo said, per the Dallas Morning News. “You just go and play. I mean, everyone has something wrong with them during the football season. We say it all the time. Once you step on the field no one cares what you have. You’ve got to go produce. Our job is to play well regardless of what’s going on around you. That’s our job as players.”

Romo certainly has been playing well this season. In 10 games, Romo is completing better than 68 percent of his passes and has put up 22 touchdowns to six interceptions. His passer rating is 111.4.

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Rangers' Pitch to Korean Lefty Fouled Off]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:10:52 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4562517661.jpg

I’m not saying Hyeon-jong Yang was going to be the second coming of Yu Darvish. I’m just saying that when you’re denied something you desire it makes for a crappy Thanksgiving.

The Rangers this week - we think - won the bidding for the Korean left-handed starter at $1.5 million. (The Twins also put in a bid of $1.5 million.) And we all know that pitching is a main area of need this winter. But Yang’s club – the Kia Tigers – now says via press release that the Rangers’ bid will not be accepted and that will keep him put.

Yang, who is 62-42 with a 4.33 ERA in eight seasons, would have been a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher on Texas’ staff. But with this international swing and miss, the search for upgrades continues.
 

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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Top 10 All-Time Cowboys' Thanksgiving Games]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:02:00 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Eagles+Image.jpg

Last time the Eagles were in town for Thanksgiving I was a snotty-nosed rookie beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Luis Zendejas was a hunted man.

Bounty Bowl, anyone?

It was 1989 and the Cowboys were atrocious, in the midst of a 1-15 season. Eagles' coach Buddy Ryan turned an otherwise forgettable 27-0 Philadelphia rout in NFL lore when he offered a  $200 reward for one of his players taking out the Cowboys' kicker, who earlier in the season was the Eagles' kicker.

Ryan nor Jimmy Johnson nor Zendjeas or even Nick Foles won’t be factors Thursday at AT&T Stadium. But Armando Christian Perez will.

While backup quarterback Mark Sanchez will lead the Eagles into their NFC East showdown against the Cowboys, it will be Perez – aka Pitbull – who will kick off the Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle campaign with a halftime performance.

In other words, another memorable Thanksgiving is on the menu.

Turkey. Dressing. Relatives and heartburn, both of which are slow to leave. The belt-loosening nap. And, somewhere in between, a Cowboys’ victory.

More times than not, that’s been the menu for Turkey Day as the Cowboys are 29-16-1 on Thanksgiving including a 31-24 over the Raiders sandwiched around a couple Selena Gomez songs. With the teams tied for first place in the division at 8-3, this year the game is the crucial centerpiece. Last time Pitbull performed – in 2011, with Enrique Iglesias – Dan Bailey kicked a last-second field goal for a win over the Dolphins.

For better or worse - Bounty Bowl or not - the Cowboys on Thanksgiving usually provide lasting memories.

10. 11.25.2010: Saints 30, Cowboys 27 – After trailing 20-6 at halftime the Cowboys rally for a 27-23 lead and were on their way to icing the upset before Roy Williams fumbles after a 47-yard catch inside New Orleans’ 10 with three minutes remaining.

9. 11.26.87: Vikings 44, Cowboys 38 (OT) – Darrin Nelson's game-ending run overcomes Danny White's five touchdowns and drops 5-6 Dallas out of the playoffs.

8. 11.24.05: Broncos 24, Cowboys 21 (OT) – After Billy Cundiff misses a 34-yard field goal late in regulation, Denver's Ron Dayne sets up the heartbreak loss with a 55-yard rumble.

7. 11.23.06: Cowboys 38, Buccaneers 10 – Tony Romo's ascension from free agent to superstar gains traction as his franchise-record tying five touchdowns lead Dallas into first place in the NFC East.

6. 11.26.98: Vikings 46, Cowboys 36 – Rookie receiver Randy Moss haunts the team that passed over him in the draft with three touchdowns and 163 yards receiving.

5. 11.22.01: Broncos 26, Cowboys 24 – Dallas' rally from a 26-3 deficit is thwarted when coach Dave Campo inexplicably shuns a two-point conversion attempt after a Reggie Swinton touchdown in the fourth quarter.

4. 11.23.89: Eagles 27, Cowboys 0 – Philly's Buddy Ryan adds to the "Bounty Bowl" humiliation with a $200 reward for one of his players taking out Cowboys' kicker Luis Zendejas.

3. 11.24.94: Cowboys 42, Packers 31 – With Troy Aikman and Rodney Peete sidelined with injuries and his team trailing 17-3, a Cowboys’ backup quarterback named Jason Garrett steps in and throws for 311 yards and leads Dallas to a record 36 second-half points.

2. 11.25.93: Dolphins 16, Cowboys 14 – Ice storm. Leon Lett. Grumble mumble ... Don’t look now, but it’s been 21 years already.

1. 11.28.74: Cowboys 24, Redskins 23 – Replacing an injured Roger Staubach, Abilene Christian rookie Clint Longley - making his first NFL appearance - orchestrates a dramatic and improbable rally, climaxed by a 50-yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson with 28 seconds remaining.


 

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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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<![CDATA[Potential Target: Michael Saunders]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:21:57 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/456286120.jpg

In an ongoing series, we'll take a look at possible free-agent and trade targets for the Texas Rangers this winter.

Target: Michael Saunders, OF

2014 stats: .273 batting average, .341 on-base percentage, .791 OPS, 11 doubles, 8 home runs, 34 RBIs, 78 games

Saunders isn't the biggest name out there on the market, but you can do a whole lot worse than the Canadian outfielder. He has moderate power, decent speed and can easily give you 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in Globe Life Park.

He played in just 78 games a year ago and nearly hit his RBI total for both 2012 and 2013, when he played full seasons. A lot of that was the upgrade offensively for the Mariners, who scored more runs in general in 2014 than in previous seasons, but Saunders has some game.

Most importantly, he's controllable for two more seasons and could be plugged into the vacant spot in left field if he is acquired, and Jerry Crasnick reports the Rangers are at least expressing some preliminary interest in the Mariners outfielder, as they look to land a big fish in the ilk of Justin Upton or Yoenis Cespedes.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Prospect Involved in Fatal Wreck]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:12:42 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DMN+Ronald+Guzman.jpg

A month after top prospect Oscar Taveras of the St. Louis Cardinals was killed in a drunken driving wreck in the Dominican Republic, another top baseball prospect from the small island country has been involved in a fatal wreck.

According to the Associated Press, Rangers prospect Ronald Guzman struck and killed a motorcyclist on Tuesday morning in his hometown of La Vega. Guzman was reportedly driving an SUV and struck the motorcyclist, killing him. Guzman was not injured in the accident, and will reportedly learn his fate on Wednesday on whether he will face criminal charges.

Guzman, a first baseman, received a $3.45 million signing bonus in July 2011, which at the time was the third highest signing bonus given to an international free agent. The 20-year-old hit .218 with six home runs and 63 RBIs for Low-A Hickory in 2014.

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<![CDATA[Darvish MRI Gives Clean Bill]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:15:25 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Darvish.jpg

There were questions coming from all directions last August when the Texas Rangers made the decision to put Yu Darvish on the disabled list and shut him down for the season, splitting the Rangers' fandom, and according to some reports, the front office and on-field management, into two factions.

In the end, Darvish never pitched again after a bad start in Houston on Aug. 9 and finished his season with a 10-7 record and a 3.06 ERA, as the surgically repaired Colby Lewis led the team in innings pitched, not Darvish, the team's ace.

This week, Darvish arrived back in Arlington from Japan to meet with Rangers officials and his new manager, Jeff Banister, and to get examined by team physician Dr. Keith Meister to see how his previously inflamed right elbow is coming along.

Well, the results are in and Darvish was given a clean bill of health by Dr. Meister, meaning he can begin his normally scheduled throwing program in December and should be ready to roll when pitchers and catchers report to Surprise, Ariz., in February.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Romo Named Most Criticized QB of All Time]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:51:04 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459496716.jpg

When you're a quarterback in the NFL, you're generally going to be given too much credit when things are going well for your team, and burdened with far too much blame when things aren't.

When you're the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, both of those are magnified 1,000 times with the whole "America's Team" label and everything that comes with it.

So it's no real surprise that Tony Romo was recently named the most criticized NFL quarterback of all time by pop-culture website Complex.com.

It doesn't mean Romo is bad, as there are some great quarterbacks on the list of 25 quarterbacks. Peyton Manning is on the list, after all, he's only won one Super Bowl, so is his brother Eli, who has to deal with the New York media, same as this week's Cowboys opponent Mark Sanchez from his time with the Jets. John Elway is on the list, thanks largely to the label of "couldn't win the big one" until the end of his career when he got a running game.

But it's easy to agree with the website's take of having Romo No. 1. He takes criticism to no end from Cowboys fans, other teams' fans, and even his peers in the league, who once voted him as the most overrated player in the NFL. There have been public relationships with the likes of Jessica Simpson and publicized bye week trips to Cancun before losing a playoff game. In other words, there's plenty of ammo for the Romo haters.

Back to that Elway thing for a second, maybe Romo is finally getting that running game he's never had. We'll have to see where it leads.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFC East Watch: RG3 Out, Colt In]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:52:17 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/20141123+Redskins+49ers.jpg

Two years ago this week, Robert Griffin III was striking fear into all of the NFL when he put on a quarterbacking display on Thanksgiving Day against the Dallas Cowboys, torching the Dallas defense in embarrassing fashion and starting a seven-game win streak to help the Redskins end up with the NFC East title in his rookie season.

He was NFL Rookie of the Year, and it was good to see for Redskins fans, considering they'd dealt a ton of picks to the St. Louis Rams to get the No. 2 pick in that draft to take the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from Baylor.

Now, things have turned sour for RG3, and it's been a quick fall from grace, as Redskins head coach Jay Gruden officially benched RG3 in favor of former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, who got the start in the Redskins' win over the Cowboys last month before RG3 returned the following week.

The results haven't been good for Griffin since returning from a Week 1 injury, and now he's essentially done as a Redskin after the benching. Griffin will end up somewhere else next season, but you have to wonder if you'll ever see the 2012 version again.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Power Rankings: NFC East]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:54:37 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/224*120/usa-chip-kelly-mark-sanchez.jpg

In a weekly post, we'll talk about where teams in the NFC East sit after each weekend of play.

1. Dallas Cowboys (8-3) — The Cowboys went on the road again on Sunday night, and they won another road game at a division rival this time with their last-minute comeback win over the Giants. Tony Romo is playing better than he ever has, DeMarco Murray is a 100-yard machine (10 100-yard games in 11 tries) and Dez Bryant is feeling it. The defense is yet to have been exposed like we're all waiting on, but until the Eagles can do that, the Cowboys have the top spot heading into their Thanksgiving Day game.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (8-3) — Mark Sanchez has thrown six touchdowns and five interceptions since taking over for the injured Nick Foles, so basically, his numbers have been identical to Foles'. The thing with the Eagles is, their return game is so scary with the addition of Darren Sproles. The Eagles got walloped in Green Bay and then beat a bad Titans team easily on Sunday. The Cowboys don't lose on the road, but they have lost three of their six home games, so that's going in the Eagles' favor.

3. New York Giants (3-8) — The Giants have their moments, but they just can't put together many four-quarter games to get wins. Look at last week, when they led the Cowboys 21-10 at halftime only to cough it up in the second half. All that said, the Giants do have one of the game's most explosive, promising young players in Odell Beckham.

4. Washington Redskins (3-8) — Things are just falling apart more and more each week for the Redskins, who have now benched Robert Griffin III in favor of Colt McCoy, basically ending RG3's reign in D.C. after three years in a huge fall from grace. It's just flat-out ugly, and makes it even worse to think about the fact they handed Dallas one of its three losses.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[AT&T Stadium Cooking Up a Storm for Thanksgiving Game]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 19:05:39 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/thanksgiving_dinner.jpg It's tough enough to prepare a Thanksgiving feast for your family. Imagine trying to cook for 100,000 people on Turkey Day. That's the reality for the culinary team at AT&T Stadium, which is busy preparing for Thursday's big game.

Photo Credit: www.jupiterimages.com/]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Stuck Out in Cold During Baseball's Hot Stove]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:24:47 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jon-daniels-wash-resigns_1200x675_325780547532.jpg

Not long ago cold winters were warmed by the prospects of hot players. Back then the Rangers flirted with Cliff Lee and Zack Greinke and Yu Darvish and Prince Fielder.

Now? Grab a blanket.

Because while the Marlins and Red Sox open their checkbooks for Giancarlo Stanton and Pablo Sandoval, the Rangers are back to being a big-market team with small-time financial options. As in, ownership is committing to not raising payroll in 2015. So, during the hot stove season anyway, it’d be wise not raise expectations.

A trade here or there? Sure. But a big-fish catch along the lines of Jon Lester or Max Scherzer or even old friend Nelson Cruz? Nope.

The Rangers’ payroll last season was $133 million and they’re already committed to $118 million next season. That leaves $15 million to spend this winter, which is like going to the grocery store only for milk and bread.

What it means it that ownership, despite the lucrative TV contract, is being prudent in its spending in the wake of shelling out big bucks for Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo and the significant drop in attendance this season and likely next. What it means for the Rangers is that any drastic improvement next season has to come from within.

Said general manager Jon Daniels at a press conference two weeks ago, “We’ve said we’re not going to be in on the big boys.”

Welcome to a long, cold winter.
 

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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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<![CDATA[Chirinos Wins Inaugural Durrett Award]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:16:45 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453229176.jpg

Richard Durrett was known around the DFW media world as a tireless worker who did a little bit of everything and seemingly never rested, whether he was covering college football, hockey, auto racing or his primary beat, the Texas Rangers for ESPN Dallas, and The Dallas Morning News and Denton Record-Chronicle before..

When Durrett tragically passed away suddenly in June, it was a shock not only to the local media scene, but also to the Rangers. In Durrett's honor, the local chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America established the Richard Durrett Hardest-Working Man award to give to what is essentially the "most improved" Ranger on a yearly basis.

The first winner was announced on Monday, and it was not much surprise as Robinson Chirinos got the award after entering the season as a question mark to make the opening day roster before eventually becoming the Rangers' No.1  catcher early in the season.

Chirinos was very average at the plate, but behind the plate he was spectacular, and very surprising. He threw out 36.2 percent of would-be base-stealers, which was well above the league average and near the top of the league, after spending much of his time early in his career in the minors as a first baseman, not a catcher.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Eagles' Logan Not Impressed by Cowboys O-Line]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:42:48 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/175605471.jpg

Many people view the Dallas Cowboys offensive line as among the very best in the NFL. Philadelphia Eagles second-year defensive tackle Bennie Logan is not one of those people.

Going into the Thanksgiving Day matchup this week, Logan told reporters that he isn’t all that impressed by the unit.

“Yeah, they’re OK,” Logan said of the Dallas offensive line, per CSNPhilly.com. “I don’t really know what’s great about them.”

Behind that offensive line, the Cowboys have the third best passer rating in the league. They are second in the league in yards per rush, and DeMarco Murray is leading the league in rushing. Murray is always quick to give the line credit for his production this year. Logan, not so much.

“The running back’s having a good year running, but I don’t see anything spectacular about them,” he said. “Same offensive line we faced last year and they have one new guy. We faced them [before]. They’re OK linemen.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Adduci Heading to Korea]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:07:51 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/485534991.jpg

Jim Adduci looked to be a solid part of the Texas Rangers' roster last season when he made the Opening Day roster as a fourth outfielder with the ability to play first base, as well.

It quickly went downhill for Adduci, who broke his little finger early in the season, then later on suffered a concussion and never really found any kind of rhythm at the plate for the Rangers, finishing the season with just .168 batting average.

Adduci has some tools, namely speed, but he was never able to really utilize it for the Rangers last season as he had trouble getting on base.

Now, Adduci is off to Korea after being left off the Rangers' 40-man roster last week, where he'll play for the Lotte Giants in the offense-crazed Korean Baseball Organization. This doesn't mean the end of Adduci as a Ranger, but it does for at least this season.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Terrance Williams Practicing Through Broken Finger]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:00:04 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/2013-cowboys-eagles--%28290%29.jpg

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams was back at practice on Tuesday after suffering a broken finger in Sunday night’s 31-28 win over the New York Giants, and expects to play through the injury when the Eagles come to town on Thanksgiving Day.

Head coach Jason Garrett believes Williams will wear a splint in the matchup with Philly.

Williams has just three catches in the last three games--and he had just one grab against the Giants--but on the season, he has 28 catches for 444 yards and six touchdowns, one more than his rookie total.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo also participated in Tuesday’s practice session.

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



Photo Credit: Frank Heinz, NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[AL West Watch: Mariners Extend Seager]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:04:57 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/486295117.jpg

Every team in baseball has those few guys they just can't seem to get out.

For the Texas Rangers, names like Vladimir Guerrero (before he became a Ranger) come to mind, and as far as active players go, it pretty much starts and ends with Kyle Seager.

The young Mariners third baseman, who won his first Gold Glove this year, has always tormented the Rangers, even before he got to be a good player. But now, he's starting to torment everyone. Unfortunately for the Rangers, he's likely going to be in their division for years to come after he was given a seven-year, $100 million extension with an option for the 2022 season.

Seager hit .268 in 2014 with a career-high 25 homers and 96 RBIs while also winning his Gold Glove at third base.

Over his career, Seager has owned the Rangers, hitting .331 with 13 homers and 42 RBIs — more homers and RBIs than he has against any other team.

So enjoy that, Rangers pitching.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mavs Suffer By Far Their Worst Loss of the Season]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:03:09 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dirk-nowitzki-2014.jpg

So, that collapse in Houston was so bad that it beat the Mavericks twice.

How else to explain Monday night’s absolute no-show against the depleted Pacers? Indiana, without Paul George and George Hill and David West and Roy Hibbert, waltzed into American Airlines Center and hung 111 points on the Mavs’ indifferent defense.

That’s 111 points, from a 5-8 team that came in ranked 28th in the NBA in scoring and whose main offensive weapons are journeymen like Donald Sloan and Chris Copeland and Solomon Hill. Who exactly?

“A horrible loss. Horrific. Awful,” said a disgusted Dirk Nowitzki in the post-game locker room. “I can’t find any more words.”

The Mavs’ offense is one of the best in the NBA. Most nights they can out-score opponents. But on some nights they’ll have to play a smidge of defense. Or else.

The Pacers have played 14 games this season. They’ve now broken 100 points twice.

“There's no way around it, this is an embarrassing loss,” echoed Chandler Parsons. “There is no excuse for this. We have to come out and play harder.”

Dallas shot 50 percent, which is usually a solid barometer for a home win. But against the Pacers were punked, repeatedly beaten to rebounds and loose balls. The combination of the loss to the Rockets and the oversight of the mediocre Pacers made this upset possible.

It’s a reminder that the Mavs may be good, but they’re not yet good enough to take anyone lightly.
 

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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: NBA, NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys' Role Players Starting To Shine]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:30:29 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459486534.jpg

Our memories become fuzzy, but after further review the Cowboys’ 1990s’ dynasty wasn’t solely orchestrated by Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin.

Sure they were the leaders, the best players and future Hall of Famers. But to win three Super Bowls in four years it took more. It took role players making star-studded plays.

An Alvin Harper catch here. A Daryl Johnston block there. Kevin Williams on a punt return. Issiac Holt with a blocked punt. Darren Smith with a fourth-down tackle. The players and their plays might be forgotten, but sum of their actions live forever.

Got a whiff of that last Sunday against the Giants. Tony Romo was brilliant, DeMarco Murray ran for 100 yards and Dez Bryant caught two touchdowns. But the Cowboys wouldn’t have won that game without their supporting actors. Without Cole Beasley’s catch-and-run touchdown. Without Lance Dunbar’s long gain on a screen pass. Without a sack from Jeremy Mincey. Or a rare catch by James Hannah.

More and more we’re starting to trust the Cowboys’ “other” players. And that’s a good thing.

Because, after all, sometimes Michael Jordan passed to John Paxson for the game-winning shot.
 

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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Bring Wolf Back From Korea]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:06:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ross-wolf-rangers-pitch2.jpg

Ross Wolf had his moments with the Texas Rangers in 2013, working largely as a swingman out of the bullpen and even making a couple of spot starts for the Rangers, who were ousted in a one-game playoff to make the AL Wild Card Game.

Last season, Wolf went off to Korea to have a chance to pitch more and hone his craft, even if it was in the KBO, which introduced a new ball that saw ERAs skyrocket. That's why Wolf's ERA of 4.85 in 85 1/3 innings last season was nothing to sneeze at, as it was nearly a full run below the league average ERA.

Wolf made three starts in spot duty for the Rangers in 2013 and made 21 appearances out of the bullpen while compiling a 4.15 ERA in 47 2/3 innings, and he'll be on a minor-league contract with a non-roster invite to spring training in February.

The hope is that Wolf can compete for a job in the Rangers' bullpen, presumably as a long relief man.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Two Ex-Rangers Land on Hall of Fame Ballot]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:10:33 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/sosa19.jpg

You never look at Sammy Sosa or Eddie Guardado and think "Texas Ranger," but both players did finish their careers in Rangers uniform.

Now, both players are on the ballot for the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame, and it's quite likely neither ever gains admittance.

Sosa's numbers make him a no-brainer, but his black cloud of PED usage hangs over his head, and he only received 7.2 percent of the vote last year, a drop from the 12.5 percent he got in his first year of eligilbility. This is his third year on the ballot. Remember, a player must get 75 percent of the vote to be inducted into the Hall.

Sosa, who began his career with the Rangers before being traded to the Cubs for Harold Baines, finished his career as a sideshow bit in 2007, hitting 21 home runs, including his 600th in Arlington to finish his career with 609.

Guardado's numbers don't really live up to Hall of Fame status, but he doesn't have the stigma of Sosa. He finished his career with 187 saves, mostly with the Twins, and was known affectionately as "Everyday Eddie," for his ability to throw seemingly every day and never fatigue.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[3 Reasons the Eagles Will Beat the Cowboys]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:04:00 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459466736.jpg

The most pivotal matchup of the season for the Cowboys is also the most interesting, as their nemesis is also their antithesis in some ways.

The Philadelphia Eagles come to town on Thanksgiving for a game that gives the winner the inside track at a division crown, but it also pits two progressive coaching ideals against each other.

1. An Innovative Offensive Coach

As previously mentioned, the Cowboys’ defense is basically playing at the same level as last year’s unit. While they have played a little better recently, their success is still predicated on limiting the time they spend on the field.

Cowboys defense, meet your inverse, the Eagles offense.

The Eagles are third in the NFL in points per game at 31.1, but it’s based on the same thing as the Cowboys’ 19th ranked scoring defense: Volume. Head coach Chip Kelly knows that more plays lead to more yards, which leads to more points, as the Eagles lead the NFL with 800 plays from scrimmage this year.

Kelly places more emphasis on conditioning than any other coach in the NFL, and it's the main reason his players can keep up with his frenetic pace.

2. "Good Mark Sanchez" Shows Up

No other player in Thursday’s game has the potential to swing the outcome as much as Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez.

“The Sanchize” has filled in admirably since Nick Foles went down with an injury a few weeks ago and the offense hasn’t missed a beat. He has made a few questionable decisions that resulted in interceptions, but he has also pushed the ball downfield better than Foles did.

It helps that Sanchez has the chemistry he does with rookie wide receiver — and second cousin to Jerry Rice — Jordan Matthews. Since Sanchez took over at quarterback, Matthews has caught 18 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns and Sanchez has a quarterback rating of 153.3 when targeting Matthews, according to Pro Football Focus.

If Sanchez takes care of the ball like he did against Carolina, the Eagles will likely win and put themselves in the driver’s seat to win the division.

3. A Relentless Defensive Front

Any team that gets after the quarterback should make Cowboys fans nervous, because a Romo injury drops them from Super Bowl contender to a team picking in the top 20 of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Philadelphia’s 38 sacks ranks second in the NFL behind Buffalo, and they’re five ahead of the third ranked team. Base EDGE players Connor Barwin and Trent Cole are near the top of Pro Football Focus’ Pass Rushing Productivity (quarterback pressures per passing snap) as is reserve Brandon Graham.

The Eagles’ defensive line will be in Tony Romo’s face throughout the game Thursday. If the Cowboys abandon the run for any reason, they’ll risk losing their quarterback as well as the game.

Bottom Line

In one of the two most important games for the Cowboys this season will be a close one. The Eagles’ roster is talented, but their scheme and philosophy are what sets them apart and make them a tough challenge for Dallas in particular.

But Thursday’s game mostly comes down to one player. If Mark Sanchez does what Chip Kelly wants him to do, the Eagles will give the Philly faithful much to be thankful for.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rolando McClain Keeps Impressing]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:22:16 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rolando-mcclain9.15.jpg

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is understandably thrilled with what he’s seen this year out of Rolando McClain, who was pulled out of retirement by the team this offseason after middle linebacker Sean Lee suffered a season-ending ACL tear in training camp.

Since the signing, McClain has been better than anyone could’ve expected. So far this season, he has 55 tackles, a sack and two interceptions.

Rolando is a force on the field,” Jones said this week, per the Dallas Morning News. “He was the eight pick in the draft. He plays like that.”

On Sunday night, McClain recorded 11 tackles, including two for a loss. He also cemented the Dallas win by stopping Giants running back Rashad Jennings short on a 4th-and-2 late in the fourth quarter.

“He’s an impact player, and I mean that both ways. He impacts our defense,” Jones said. “We’re a better team when we’ve got him and boy he impacts the imposing team when he’s out there playing against them. He’s a load, and they know he’s in the game. It’s comforting--you feel better about your middle, you feel better about your overall physicalness of your defense--when you’ve got Rolando out there.”

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<![CDATA[Church Not Worried About Hamstring Issue]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:20:06 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459490384.jpg

Dallas Cowboys safety Barry Church was forced to exit Sunday’s victory over the New York Giants in the fourth quarter with a hamstring issue, but was on the field for Monday’s practice session and is confident he’ll play in Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Eagles, according to the Dallas Morning News.

A defensive captain, Church has 62 tackles, four passes defensed and two interceptions on the season.

Church isn’t the only member of the secondary dealing with an injury at the moment. Cornerback Tyler Patmon will likely miss at least one more game with a sprained MCL and safety Jeff Heath is dealing with a broken thumb that will require surgery.

“I am pretty confident it is nothing serious and I’ll be back soon,” Heath said.

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Josh Brent Not Sure if He'll Play Thursday]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:21:26 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/128041650.jpg

Two days out, Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent isn’t sure whether or not he’ll be active for the Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Eagles on Thursday afternoon.

Brent hasn’t played since the December 2012 single-car accident that claimed the life of Cowboys practice quad linebacker Jerry Brown and led to Brent facing intoxication manslaughter charges. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation.

Brent was actually eligible to return on Sunday against the Giants, but the team opted to  keep him inactive.

That could change this week with Jack Crawford dealing with a broken thumb, which could open up a spot in the defensive line rotation.

I have not received any indication on whether I will or won’t be playing [Thursday],” Brent said, per the Dallas Morning News. “Obviously it’s a quick turnaround. I just go out there and practice and be the best teammate I can be.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[On Deck: Philadelphia Eagles]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:25:02 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Eagles+Image.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 Cowboys game during the 2014 season.

The Opponent: The Eagles ran through a bad Titans team on Sunday as backup quarterback Mark Sanchez bounced back from a bad performance against a good Packers team and the Eagles' defense and special teams did their thing en route to a blowout win.

Past Meetings: The Cowboys hold a 62-48 series lead over the Eagles and have won three of the last four meetings. The Eagles beat the Cowboys 24-22 in their last meeting at AT&T Stadium.

Key Matchup: Eagles running backs vs. Cowboys linebackers — LeSean McCoy is starting to find his edge again as the Eagles' offensive line is getting healthy, and the addition of Darren Sproles has been huge for the Eagles in that he just provides a threat every time he touches the ball out of the backfield, and he touches it in so many ways, including in the return game. The Cowboys' linebackers continue to play well despite losing Justin Durant, as Anthony Hitchens has stepped up in a big way and Rolando McClain seems to be healthy again.

Who's Hot: McCoy had one of his better games of the season against a porous Titans run defense, as he ran for 130 yards on 21 carries and scored a touchdown. Sanchez threw two picks, but they were inconsequential and other than that he threw for 307 yards and a score on 30 completions in Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense. Rookie receiver Jordan Matthews has been coming on as of late and led the Eagles with six catches for 77 yards last week. Kicker Cody Parkey had a huge day, hitting 5 of 6 field goals and was perfect on his four extra points.

Tony Romo was phenomenal on Sunday, throwing for 275 yards and four touchdowns with no picks. DeMarco Murray had a ho-hum 121-yard rushing game (what's new?) and Dez Bryant was a man among boys after being shown up early on by Odell Beckham. He finished with two touchdowns, including the game-winner in the final minute of the game. McClain led the Cowboys with 10 tackles, including a huge fourth-down stop late in the game.

Who's Not: Sproles only had nine touches for 39 yards on offense on Sunday, and for a guy who can be that dangerous, you'd think the Eagles want to get him more involved on Thursday. He's rested, that's for sure.

Where has Terrance Williams been? He was expected to have a breakout season and has regressed in a big way from his solid rookie season in 2013. Williams had another rough game on Sunday, catching just one ball for 18 yards.

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Turn Their Focus to Philly]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:11:03 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459497102.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t have much time to revel in their 31-28 victory over the rival New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night. After the win, they showered and flew back to Dallas. They’ll practice this afternoon in preparation for Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles.

You’ve got to move on,” said running back DeMarco Murray, per Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas.

Wide receiver Dez Bryant added: “When we land in Dallas, (this) game no longer matters.”

The win over the Giants puts the Cowboys in a tie for first place in the NFC East with the Eagles going into Thursday, with each team at 8-3. This is the first matchup between the teams this season.

“You have to watch the tape,” said tight end Jason Witten. “We will have to do it on our own because Thursday is going to come on us quick, but it is always good to get a win these games before Thanksgiving.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pitching Should Still Be Rangers' Top Priority]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:03:14 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tyson+ross+asg.jpg

The Texas Rangers are heavily rumored, and even moreso today, to be in on Atlanta Braves slugger Justin Upton, who they tried to get via free agency before the 2013 season before ultimately losing out to the Braves.

It seems pretty much everyone is on the table with the exception of Joey Gallo and Jorge Alfaro, the Rangers' top two prospects. It'd be great to get Upton's bat, along with the 30 homers and 100 RBIs that come with it, to plug into the vacant left field hole in their 2015 outfield, but it still seems like a better idea that the Rangers try to get another pitcher.

Even if the Rangers go on and land Hyeon-jong Yang, the Korean star they have reportedly won the bidding on, he's not going to be enough to satisfy their need for starting pitching. Right now, the Rangers' rotation goes like this: Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, TBD, Colby Lewis, Nick Tepesch/Nick Martinez.

What if it looked more like this? Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, TBD, Hyeon-jong Yang, Colby Lewis?

Getting Yang gives the Rangers a chance to have expendable big-league ready, young, controllable arms in Tepesch and Martinez to make available via trade, not only for a guy like Upton but more importantly a guy like Tyson Ross or Andrew Cashner to throw into that No. 3 rotation spot.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Romo Felt Better Against Giants]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:00:06 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459495984.jpg

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said he felt better in Sunday night’s 31-28 victory over the New York Giants, after having the bye week to rest his achy back.

Romo suffered a pair of transverse process fractures in the Week 7 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins, and was forced to miss a game as a result. He returned in the team’s London matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars prior to the bye.

On Sunday, Romo looked good when put to the eye test, going for 275 yards and four touchdowns.

"I felt a little bit better," Romo said, per ESPN Dallas. "I think hopefully in another week or so I’ll be back to where I’d like to be. That’s just part of playing the game. I’m feeling better, but my movements throughout the week were improved from the Jacksonville week. I could feel that for sure."

The Cowboys will have a rare Monday practice this week in preparation for the Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Eagles, and Romo expects to participate.

"I don’t know that we’re going to have much time to go too hard," Romo said. "I think if you’re playing in football games, I’m sure you can make it through walk-throughs."

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Rangers Reportedly Win Bid for Korean Star]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:56:18 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4562517661.jpg

Don't get too terribly excited, Rangers fans, but here's something to be excited about: According to The Dallas Morning News, it seems the Texas Rangers have won the bidding process on Korean pitcher Hyeon-jong Yang, who is being posted by his team, the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization, a league known to be very hitter-friendly.

Yang went 16-8 with a 4.25 ERA last season in Korea, which might not look great until you consider the league average for ERA is in the mid-5.00s. Remember, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Korean star Hyun-jin Ryu a couple of years ago, and that's worked out pretty well.

The Kia Tigers still have to approve the bid before the Rangers would get a 30-day exclusive negotiation window with Yang, similar to the one they had with Yu Darvish prior to the 2012 season.

Make no mistake, Yang is no Darvish, but he is being projected as a No. 3 starter in the bigs with the potential to top out as a No. 2 starter, which is exactly the kind of guy the Rangers are looking for, and at a much lower price than acquiring an established starter via free agency or trade.

According to Fox Broadcaster C.J. Nitkowski, citing his connections in Korea from his playing days there, the Rangers high bid was approximately $1.5 million. Compare that to the $50 million-ish they bid on Darvish, and it's a bargain no matter how you slice it.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marinelli Not Happy with the Defense]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:27:06 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459483536.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys came away with a big division win on Sunday night, but defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was not a happy camper in the visitors locker room afterward.

“I love winning,” Marinelli said, per the Dallas Morning News. “But I’m about execution. ... To me, it’s just mindset, getting ready to play and playing really hard.”

The Cowboys defense allowed 21 first half points, but held the Giants to a single touchdown in the second half. Afterward, a reporter asked Marinelli about the adjustments made by the defense at half.

“I don’t know if we figured anything out,” Marinelli said. “It’s about us, just tackling and doing the things we’re supposed to do. There’s nothing else to figure out.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[DeMarco Murray Says He Was "Rusty" Against Giants]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:21:34 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/459486534.jpg

Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray went for 121 yards on 24 carries in Sunday night’s 31-28 victory over the rival New York Giants--his 10th 100-plus yard performance in 11 games this season--but he said afterward that, coming off the bye week, he wasn’t at his best.

I definitely felt like I was rusty,” Murray said, per the Dallas Morning News. “I felt that the o-line was a little rusty. They played a good game though. I give those guys credit... I may have missed a few things here and there and we’ll watch the film and get it corrected and see where we go.”

Murray leads the NFL with 1,354 yards on the season and is on pace to finish with close to the rare 2,000-yard mark. But in true Murray fashion, he’d rather talk about how he can be better.

“We’re a little rusty,” Murray said. “We have to knock the rust off after being off for a week. But in the end, we made a couple more plays than they did and we pulled it out in the fourth quarter.”

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe, text HELP for more info, and text STOP to end the subscription. Message and data rates may apply.Read more about it here.



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<![CDATA[Rangers Up for MLB Network Year-End Awards]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:57:31 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/guilderrodriguez.jpg

In a way, the MLB Network's GIBBY Awards, when compared to the BBWAA postseason awards are the MTV Movie Awards to the Oscars, or the MTV Video Music Awards to the Grammys. You get the picture. There are tons of categories and some that seem forced, but it's baseball and it's awards, so it's always going to be fun.

There are a couple of Rangers up for the more obscure awards, as both Leonys Martin and now-former Ranger Guilder Rodriguez are up for awards.

Rodriguez, of course, is up for "Best Moment" for his first major-league hit followed by his first major-league RBI with his family in attendance as a 31-year-old career minor-leaguer who was a September call-up.

Martin is up for the award for "Best Outfield Throw," which could've been one of many this year for the Cuban center fielder. The one that got the nod was his amazing throw to get a speedy Jose Reyes tagging from third base for an inning-ending double play.

The awards will be handed out on the night of Dec. 6 on the MLB Network at 7 p.m., so enjoy.



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