<![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 Fri, 22 Aug 2014 01:06:20 -0500 Fri, 22 Aug 2014 01:06:20 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys to Break Ground Friday in Frisco]]> Sat, 05 Jul 2014 10:35:53 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas+Cowboys+headquarters+sign.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys will be breaking ground Friday in Frisco where they will build a brand new headquarters and practice facility.

Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, the mayor of Frisco and the Frisco ISD superintendent will all be in attendance, as the multi-use complex will also house Frisco ISD high school football games.

Football is a way of life and passion for the players at Heritage High School in Frisco.

In about two years, some of them will be playing their games in the same brand new, state-of-the-art sports complex as the Dallas Cowboys.

“It’s really nice playing where the Cowboys practice,” said Heritage senior offensive lineman Colin Yang. “We all look up to them.”

The new multi-use event center will have restaurants, shops and several fields.

“[It’s] an unbelievable facility,” said Heritage High School head coach football Che Hendrix. “Frisco ISD and the Cowboys did a great job designing it and partnering with each other. What a special place.”

For Heritage senior wide receiver Chris Baez, he will have graduated by the time his team plays in the facility. But he says playing there will have a lasting impact on their program.

“It’s very special,” said Baez. “We are an underrated football program to begin with, so when we show up there for big games and represent our school, it’s going to be nice.”

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<![CDATA[Report: Rangers Pull Cotts Back Off Waivers]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:14:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/2014-rangers-neal-cotts.jpg

As we've discussed several times, trades are not completely impossible following the recognized trade deadline of July 31 in Major League Baseball, they just become a little more complicated.

On Tuesday, after the Texas Rangers had placed several veteran stars on revocable waivers, relief pitcher Neal Cotts was claimed, meaning the Rangers could have just let him go to that claiming team for nothing in return, which in Cotts' case wouldn't have made sense. They could have also pulled him back off waivers and kept him for the remainder of the season, or they could worked out a trade in 48 hours with the claiming team.

On Thursday afternoon, it was reported by ESPN's Jim Bowden that the Rangers pulled Cotts back off waivers, meaning he'll remain with the club for the rest of the season before becoming a free agent this winter. The Rangers and Cotts have already expressed interest in reuniting next season in free agency.

Bowden suggested the team that placed a claim on Cotts was an AL Central club, and one that was simply claiming him to prevent a competitor from having access to him. According to Rangers czar Jamey Newberg, the waiver priority order among AL Central contenders went like so: Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City.

It would seem fair to assume the claim was either put in by Cleveland or Detroit, in order to prevent the Royals from going after him, as Kansas City is the hot team in the division and has taken over the division lead from Detroit.

So there you go, Cotts is a Ranger for the rest of the season, and possibly beyond depending on what happens this season. His year hasn't gone as well as 2013 did, but he's turned things around lately and has pitched well. His season ERA now stands at 3.48.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Martin Officially Reaching "En Fuego" Status]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:59:39 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tlmd_leonysmartinvvvvv.jpg

The Texas Rangers have been saying for quite some time that they are hoping for a strong finish to the lost 2014 campaign by center fielder Leonys Martin.

And so far, ever since a big heart-to-heart with manager Ron Washington last week, Martin is gladly obliging.

The Cuban center fielder, who's batting .500 in the Rangers' last eight games (15-for-30), was once again a key cog in the Rangers' offense on Wednesday afternoon when he went 3-for-4. In those past eight games, Martin now has five multi-hit games.

Martin extended a two-out rally in the first inning to give the Rangers an early 3-0 lead when his RBI single scored J.P. Arencibia, and by the time the next inning rolled around, the Rangers were holding a 5-0 lead.

Martin has his season average back up to .268 after it had dipped into the .240s just a couple of weeks ago.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Feliz Guts Through Rough Inning for Save]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:46:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/2014-rangers-neftali-feliz.jpg

The Neftali Feliz-return-to-closer-prominence journey is still a long way from being completed, and that showed in more ways than one on Wednesday afternoon in the finale of a quick two-game set with the Miami Marlins.

The Rangers led 5-2 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, and Feliz got a chance at redemption after giving up a walk-off single in Tuesday night's extra-inning loss to the Marlins. Things didn't appear to be going too well after the former all-star closer and AL Rookie of the Year when he gave up two quick solo homers to Marcell Ozuna and former Ranger Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

After those two homers put the Marlins within one run with two outs, Feliz walked the next batter to put the tying run on base, at which point Ron Washington begrudgingly headed out to the mound to seemingly get his embattled closer.

That's when the competitive fire Washington has been waiting to see from the almost too-relaxed Feliz came out. Feliz told Washington he wanted to finish the game, and instead of taking the ball, Washington decided to let him stay in the game.

What followed was beautiful, vintage Feliz, as he struck out Donovan Solano without throwing a pitch less than 95 mph, after he'd earlier given up a homer on a lazy, straight 87-mph changeup.

"I told him I was about to take him out,” Washington said. “He said, ‘Give me one more hitter.’ And he said it like he meant it, so I gave him one more hitter. Plus, he’s my closer.

"After I walked off that mound, he certainly went and found something we haven’t seen before. Hopefully that lets him know that it’s in there. I saw 96 a couple times. It’s just a matter of Neffy trusting his arm and letting it go.”

It was a huge moment for Feliz, who hopefully can parlay it into something positive moving forward. The line didn't look good after he allowed two runs, but he finished the game out, got the save, and might have just gotten his confidence back in the process.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[On Deck: Royals]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:54:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/royals-at-rangers.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 2014 season. 

The Opponent: The young Royals have won seven of their last 10 and have passed supposed juggernaut Detroit up in the AL Central standings.

Past 2014 Meetings: In an odd scheduling twist, the spring training bunkmates will play their only two series of the year in the final weeks of the season.

Pitching Matchups: Friday — Colby Lewis (8-10, 5.52 ERA) vs. Yordano Ventura (9-9, 3.48); Saturday — Nick Tepesch (4-7, 4.15) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (9-10, 4.48); Sunday — Miles Mikolas (1-5, 7.48) vs. Jason Vargas (10-5, 3.17).

What's Hot: Leonys Martin continues to swing a hot bat, hitting .476 over the last six games with an RBI and two stolen bases. Adrian Beltre is also heating up again, batting .409 with a double and two RBIs in that same time. On the mound, Tepesch has been great since returning from knee soreness. He gave up two runs in seven innings of work his last time out.

The Royals' offense has been on a tear lately, thanks in large part to Alex Gordon, who's finally living up to his potential and is hitting .385 with a double, triple and two homers in his last seven games. Newly acquired Josh Willingham is also hitting well with a .348 average in that time and a team-high five RBIs. DH Billy Butler is breaking out of his season-long slump and is hitting .357 over the last week.

What's Not: Colby Lewis gave up five runs on 10 hits over six innings of work his last time out. Alex Rios is just 4-for-21 over his last six games, but he does lead the team over that span with five RBIs.

Ventura, the Royals' young rookie starter, hasn't been bad, but he's been the worst of the Royals' starters recently, and former Ranger Jason Frasor, who was traded prior to the July 31 deadline is struggling with a 7.71 ERA in his last three outings.

Familiar Faces: The aforementioned Frasor was acquired from the Rangers prior to the trade deadline to bolster the Royals' bullpen and prime them for a run at the AL Central crown. They've done that, but not so much with his help.

<![CDATA[Garrett Not Worried About McClain's Commitment]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:32:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453710142.jpg

For obvious reasons, many folks have questioned Rolando McClain’s commitment to football.

McClain has retired from the game twice already, the last time coming after he was released by the Oakland Raiders, following three disappointing and very tumultuous seasons with the team, and signed by the Ravens. He never played a snap for Baltimore and was out of the game until the Cowboys traded for him in July.

Despite his past, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett says he isn’t worried about McClain’s desire.

"I have seen him practice," Garrett said of McClain, who’s working with the first team this week, per ESPN Dallas. "Now, he, like everybody on our team, has to do it again and again and again. He has some things that have sidetracked him here for a day or two throughout training camp. But obviously being out at practice playing play after play, day after day matters. So hopefully he will have a chance to do that starting again [Thursday]."

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<![CDATA[Dwayne Harris Remains Confident in Special Teams]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:28:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/185420012.jpg

Cowboys return man Dwayne Harris isn’t worried that the 108-yard kickoff return they allowed last weekend to the Baltimore Ravens’ Deonte Thompson could be a sign of things to come for the special teams unit.

“Last year we had a guy run back a punt against us, last preseason, and the whole season I think we didn’t really give up any big-yard returns the whole season,” Harris told the team’s official website. “It’s just something we learn from and keep working on it.”

That said, Harris knows the team needs to do a lot better than they have this preseason to meet the always high expectations of special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia

“As far as him, he has a high expectation and high standards for us,” Harris said. “For us, we don’t let things like that happen.”

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<![CDATA[Sterling Moore Hoping to Return Thursday]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:18:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/175605280.jpg

Cowboys cornerback Sterling Moore has been frustrated by a groin injury for the past week, but he’s hopeful he can return to practice on Thursday.

I don’t know, I just talk to the trainers,” Moore told the team’s website. “They’ve got to get together and they’ve got to talk to Garrett. My hope is that I can get out there and do some things tomorrow, but then again, that was my hope today. So we’ll see how it goes.”

Desire to return aside, Moore acknowledged that there was a very real danger of having a setback whenever you’re dealing with a groin. He knows this well, as he already suffered one setback this preseason.

“I think the biggest thing is that I think I came back a day too early last week against the Raiders,” he said, referring to the teams’ joint practices last Tuesday and Wednesday. “That’s what we’re trying to avoid now.”

In two years with the Cowboys, Moore has recorded 14 tackles, three passes defensed and one interception while appearing in ten games.

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<![CDATA[Mo Claiborne Has to Practice to Play]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:49:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mo-claiborne-hurt-shoulder.jpg

Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne is hoping to play in Saturday’s dress rehearsal games against the Dolphins in Miami, but he’ll have to prove he can make it through a day of practice first, according to head coach Jason Garrett.

Which leaves Thursday as the last chance Claiborne has to show the staff he’s ready for live action. He has been limited to individual work after suffering a shoulder injury last week.

Again, we’re for practice. We’re for preseason games,” Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. “We’re an advocate of all these things. We think it’s good to practice and play and get yourself an opportunity to get some experience -- for all players, not just young players.

“For whatever reason, he’s had some issues that have prevented him from doing that, but that’s just what the situation is. So you get that thing healthy; you come back as soon as you can come back; you get as many reps as you can get to get yourself ready for the season. It’s as simple as that.”

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.

<![CDATA[DeVonte Holloman's Career is Likely Over]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:48:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/devonte-holloman8.26.13.jpg

In a sad revelation, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told the media Thursday that second-year linebacker DeVonte Holloman’s career is probably over due to the neck injury suffered in last weekend’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens. Holloman also missed six games last year with a spinal contusion, and Garrett added that this injury and that one are related.

“DeVonte got information back from the doctors he visited with regarding his neck and it doesn’t look like he’s going to be able to play football anymore,” Garrett said. “It’s in relation to the injury he had last year and he had a similar injury this year. I’ll let him speak more to that. But the information we have doesn’t look like he’s going to be able to play football anymore.”

A sixth round pick out of South Carolina a year ago, Holloman finished his rookie season with 26 tackles and two sacks, while appearing in nine games.

“It’s a very challenging, difficult thing for a young man who has dreams of being an NFL football player (and) achieves those dreams,” Garrett said. “I told him this morning, ‘you’re a 10-year player in my mind. You’ll be for a long, long time.’ He just has everything you want. He has physical ability, he’s tough and has good feel for the game.

“But this becomes an easy decision for him and his family when you’re dealing with that kind of an injury. He had a good visit with him this morning. He had a smile on his face. He’s certainly welcome to be part of our football team.”

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.

<![CDATA[Angels Lose Richards With Serious Injury]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:42:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453879080.jpg

Garrett Richards has quickly turned into one of the best young starting pitchers in baseball, sporting a 2.61 ERA and establishing himself as the hardest-throwing starting pitcher in all of baseball.

He's also been, far and away, the Los Angeles Angels' best starting pitcher this year with Jered Weaver on the decline and C.J. Wilson being C.J. Wilson, and the Angels' pretty solid postseason hopes were riding heavily on his right arm.

Now, he's gone, most likely for the season, after suffering a patellar tendon injury in Wednesday's win over the Boston Red Sox while attempting to cover first base on a groundball. Angels manager Mike Scioscia termed the injury "significant" and Richards was flown back to Anaheim to be further examined.

Richards is the second starting pitcher the Angels have lost recently after young, promising Tyler Skaggs' elbow injury that resulted in Tommy John surgery. But Richards' is a much bigger, seemingly fatal blow.

The Angels will almost definitely still make the postseason, but at this point, it's hard to imagine them holding off the A's, struggling as badly as they are, over the final month and a half. Richards would've been an obvious choice to start that one-game AL Wild Card playoff, and now, that seems highly unlikely.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Washington to Manage MLB All-Stars in Japan]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:07:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/452871882.jpg

The last time Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington had an opportunity to manage an all-star team was in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game. Per custom, the defending pennant-winning managers from the prior season get to manage their respective leagues in the mid-summer classic.

But this November, Washington will have another chance to manage MLB all-stars in a bit of a different arena when they send a team to Japan for an exhibition tour of playing a Japanese all-star team, of sorts.

Washington will manage a team with such names as Albert Pujols, Yasiel Puig, Adam Jones and Robinson Cano, as they head to the Far East from Nov. 11-20 to play "Samurai Japan," which is essentially Japan's national team and could feature Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish.

There are currently no Rangers listed on Wash's roster, but you'd have to think that could change as players will probably drop like flies with "injuries" and the like. The last time MLB did something like this was in 2006, when the MLB all-stars went 5-0 against their Japanese competition.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A Look Around the West]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:52:41 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/177*120/91982126_10.jpg

In a weekly segment, we'll take a look around the AL West — what's happened so far, and what's on tap in the coming days.

1. Los Angeles Angels (75-50) — Look who suddenly has the best record in all of baseball. The Angels are 8-2 over their last 10 games, have won three straight, and have now taken over the lead in the two-team race for the American League West title. The Angels haven't been in this position since 2009, when they last won the division before the Rangers' reign started. They took a big blow, however, on Wednesday when they likely lost ace Garrett Richards for the season with a knee injury. Next up: Tonight, 6:10 p.m., at Boston Red Sox.

2. Oakland Athletics (74-52) — The A's are in a tailspin since making all their big deadline moves, including shipping off core bat Yoenis Cespedes to Boston for ace Jon Lester. They have now lost eight of their last 10 games, including a loss to the awful New York Mets on Wednesday. They've won just one game in the past week. After a day off Thursday, there's a pivotal series against the Angels. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., vs. Los Angeles Angels.

3. Seattle Mariners (68-58) — The Mariners are nearly as hot as the Angels, but they didn't just suffer a devastating injury. They're one game back in the AL Wild Card race and still have plenty to play even if their division hopes are essentially dashed. Next up: Friday, 6:10 p.m., at Boston Red Sox.

4. Houston Astros (54-73) — The Astros are looking for a four-game sweep of the Yankees this afternoon in the Bronx. That would just be funny on several levels. Next up: Today, 12:05 p.m., at New York Yankees.

5. Texas Rangers (49-77) — The Rangers have the worst record in all of baseball. That's still a weird sentence to write, but it's true. At this point, if you're a Rangers fan, you hope they finish that way, too. A No. 1 draft pick and league-high spending budget would be a huge boost for an already strong organization and farm. Next up: Friday, 7:05 p.m., vs. Kansas City Royals.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ouch, Cowboys Closer to Worst Than First]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:41:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lombarditrophy160623274.jpg

The Cowboys are closer to worst than first.

According to the betting website Bovada, the Jaguars are “favored” to finish with the worst record in the NFL season. But not far down from Jacksonville’s 3/1 odds are your Cowboys at only 16/1. That means only the Raiders, Browns, Vikings, Titans, Bills and Jags have lousier 2014s ahead than Dallas. Ouch.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Broncos remain the favorites to win Super Bowl XLIX , followed by the Patriots, 49ers and Seahawks. The Cowboys, gulp, are now 50/1 longshots to win the championship, with 19 teams given better odds.

So while they remain wildly popular and unfathomably valuable, the Cowboys are now officially a safer bet to suck, than to succeed.

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[Charges Filed Against Teens Who Entered Ray Allen's Home]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 02:18:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/081414+ray+allen.jpg

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office filed trespassing charges against the seven people who walked into former Miami Heat star Ray Allen’s home last week.

Coral Gables Police originally said they were not filing charges against the teenagers. The teens were identified by police as: Ernesto Romero, 18; Jonathan Ramirez, 19; Kevin Ramos, 18; Alana Garcia, 18; Christian Lobo, 18; Angel Sanchez, 18; and Jorge Guerrero, 18.

Coral Gables Police said the group of seven teens was at a party next door when they decided to enter Allen’s home through an unlocked back door in the early morning hours of August 14. Allen wasn’t home, but his wife and children were sleeping inside and were awoken by the commotion.

The teens ran from the home after Shannon Allen, Ray’s wife, yelled at them, according to Coral Gables Police. In a 911 call made by Shannon Allen, she described the teens’ actions as if they were on a tour of the home.

“They were like, if they were on a tour, pointing out stuff,” Allen told the 911 dispatcher. “Like, ‘Oh, wow, look at this picture. Oh my God, look, he’s got a flat screen TV.’”

The Allens met with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office this week to give statements on the incident and to push for charges to be brought against the teens.

The Allen's attorney, Gregory Victor, gave a statement Wendesday afternoon that read:

"Ray and Shannon have been advised that the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office has filed Trespass charges against the 7 intruders to their home. The determination as to what specific charges to file was entirely within the discretion of the State Attorney's Office and the Allen's are satisfied with both the decision to prosecute and the charges being pursued. The Allen's are thankful that no one was hurt and they are appreciative for all the support they have received from their community."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter Cheers Mo'ne Davis at LLWS]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:56:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP35427040879.jpg

Some hard-hitting Las Vegas batters may have gotten the better of Philadelphia's Taney Dragons at the Little League World Series on Wednesday, but Taney fans' confidence in their team, led by pitching phenom Mo'ne Davis, didn't flag on Twitter.

Taney lost to their Nevadan rivals 8-1, despite plenty of impressive plays — including a hit from Mo'ne in the fourth inning that helped give the Dragons their first run of the game, and an impressive sliding catch by Zion Spearman. Fortunately Taney isn't out yet. They play Chicago Thursday night for a shot at the U.S. Final.

Wednesday night, supporters from their hometown and far beyond took to Twitter to cheer on Taney with the hashtag #BelieveInDragons.

Before the game, Philly's big-league, grown-up teams had offered their support, too:

 So did state-wide leaders:

 One fan had a helpful reminder to over-eager fans, though, that they're just kids, after all:

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rolando McClain Sidelined with Muscle Cramps]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:45:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/072614+Cowboys+McClain.jpg

Coming off his team-high six-tackle performance against the Baltimore Ravens, it was announced that linebacker Rolando McClain would get some reps with the first team defense this week. He hit a bit of roadblock on Wednesday though, when leg cramps kept him sidelined.

Head coach Jason Garrett says things like this are to be expected when camp shifts from the cooler temperatures of Oxnard, CA to the not-so-cool temperatures of North Texas.

"It's not an uncommon thing when you come back and start practicing in Texas," Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. "You're always dealing with that balance--anybody who has ever played any kind of a sport deals with that. Does it just hurt or is it an injury? Am I making it worse by practicing? All those questions come up every day with every player."

The Cowboys signed McClain in July as part of their effort to replace Sean Lee, whose 2014 season ended during the first day of organized team activities.

"We're going to take his situation just like everybody's situation--day by day--and we'll give him a chance to go through the meetings and walk-through this afternoon and come out and practice tomorrow. We'll continue our evaluation of him and do what's best for our football team in regards to him and everybody else."

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<![CDATA[Jerry Heaps Praise on Joseph Randle]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:42:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453322554.jpg

Cowboys second-year running back Joseph Randle has looked impressive through two preseason games, going for 91 yards on 20 carries, and owner and general manager Jerry Jones has taken notice.

"Joe Randle right now is really playing outstanding," Jones told 105.3-FM The Fan on Tuesday, via ESPN Dallas. "That's not an exaggeration."

As a rookie last year, the 5th round pick posted 164 yards and two touchdowns on 54 carries. Randle credits experience with the growth that’s been put on display this preseason.

"I feel like I'm bigger, I'm stronger, I'm smarter," Randle said. "I'm a year smarter in the playbook. I think that's all things that help me play fast. Now, I'm just working on playing fast every play I'm out there. That comes with practice."

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<![CDATA[Brandon Carr Ready to Play Saturday]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:18:59 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/brandon-carr-chargers.jpg

Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr practiced in pads for the first time in training camp on Tuesday, and is ready to play in Saturday’s dress rehearsal game against the Dolphins as much as coaches will let him.

Carr missed all but a week of the team’s time in Oxnard, CA following the death of his mother and last week, the coaches eased him back into practice, keeping him out of team drills and putting through conditioning work off to the side.

I’ll play as much in the game as they want me to and I’ll take reps in practice next week and just get ready for the home opener,” Carr said, per ESPN Dallas. “I feel like I’m in pretty good shape. I’m going tax my body this week as far as putting it on myself to get myself in condition for those four quarters and those long drives, but just whatever the coaching staff and trainers is suitable for me to go out there and do I’m all in.

“So whatever it takes for me to get myself going and whatever they believe it takes for me to get going, I’m going to do it.”

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.

<![CDATA[Demarcus Lawrence Feeling Optimistic]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:06:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/demarcus-lawrence-injury.jpg

There is still no target date for second round pick Demarcus Lawrence’s return from a fractured right foot, but the Boise State product is staying optimistic.

“Knowing that I’m coming back soon, maybe in the next month or two, keeps my head high,” said Lawrence, who flew back to Dallas to undergo surgery after suffering the injury, per the team’s website. “I’ll be back.”

The Cowboys are obviously high on Lawrence. They traded up in the second round to select him, giving up their third round selection in the process, and he was beginning to get work with the first team when he was hurt in a one-on-one drill against Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith.

Between now and whenever he does return, Lawrence plans on doing all he can to not fall too far behind.

“It set me back a little physically, not being out there with the team,” Lawrence said. “I know I’m going to have to be into my playbook and the weight room now. On the mental side, being into the playbook and learning all the plays and making sure I’m up to date so when I come back I have no problems.”

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: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Being Cautious with Okoye]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:53:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/amobi-okoye-master-splinter.jpg

A little over a year after being placed in a medically-induced coma, new Cowboys defensive tackle Amobi Okoye is back on the field, albeit on a limited basis. Okoye, who was cleared medically last week, has spent the beginning of this week working on conditioning drills with trainers.

“It’s just a privilege getting out there, and getting back in the swing of things is a good feeling,” Okoye told the team’s official website.

We can only imagine. For three months in the spring of last year, diagnosed with the brain disease anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, Okoye spent three months in the aforementioned coma. He remains on the non-football injury list and will continue to work back gradually.

“You’ve got to be cautious with things, because obviously you’re dealing with the brain,” Okoye said. “We’ll take things slowly and progressively get better.”

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.

<![CDATA[Washington Expects Darvish to Start Soon]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:52:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453582676.jpg

We can argue for days about whether Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish should pitch again this year after hitting the disabled list last week with inflammation in his right elbow that was determined to not be anything serious that could require surgery.

One camp says Darvish is the team's ace, and one of a few legitimate aces in all of baseball, and he should act like one and pitch even if the Rangers' season is a lost cause at this point. Another camp says Darvish should be shut down to avoid any unnecessary risk and save his arm for games that matter, beginning in 2015.

Rangers manager Ron Washington wants to hear nothing of the sort when it comes to the latter school of thought. Darvish is eligible to return from the DL on Aug. 25 in Seattle, and Washington expects him to be on the mound.

“We’re in a race to win ballgames,” Rangers manager Ron Washington told reporters last week. “I expect Darvish to pitch on the 25th. Why wouldn’t he? So he’s got inflammation. I’ve got inflammation.”

The comment probably sounds worse and more harsh than it was meant to be by Washington, but there's no disguising the point he was trying to make, especially when guys like Adrian Beltre, Alex Rios and Shin-Soo Choo have been playing every day through nagging injuries.

But Darvish is Darvish. There's only a handful of guys like him in the league, and the Rangers need to be as careful as possible with his future.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Who's On, Who's Not?: Aug. 20]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:16:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/493187617.jpg

In a weekly staple, we'll discuss who's in a groove and who's in a rut for the Texas Rangers.

Who's On?

Leonys Martin — In his last six games, Martin is hitting .400 with a double and has a stolen base. He's still trying to work his way on to Ron Washington's good side when it comes to using him against left-handed pitching, but this hot streak is a start, anyway.

Adrian Beltre — Basically a staple in this on a weekly basis, Beltre is batting .333 over his last six games with a double and two RBIs. It's a nice thing to see considering he was in a rare cold funk for a brief time recently.

Bullpen — The Rangers' bullpen is still red hot, even after they couldn't hold a tie game in extra innings on Tuesday night. That run was unearned, meaning a group of eight Rangers relievers is still carrying a 0.00 ERA over the last 17 innings, highlighted by the work of newcomers Phil Klein and Roman Mendez.

Who's Off?

Alex Rios — He was scratched with a sore thumb on Tuesday night, and over his last six. games, he's hitting just .095.

Rougned Odor — After being the hottest hitter on the team just a week ago, the 20-year-old second baseman has cooled off. Over his last six games, he's hitting .182, but does have a homer and two RBIs.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Secondary Emphasis Leads to More Flag Football]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:14:18 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/nfl_referees.jpg

If the first two pre-season games are any indication, the most dominating position on the field during Cowboys’ games this season will be …


Altogether now: Grooooaaaaaan.

The NFL’s emphasis on defensive holding/illegal contact by defensive backs has turned the exhibition season into flag football. Through 33 games there have been 756 penalties, compared to only 526 a year ago. Defensive holding flags – only a five-yard penalty but punctuated with an overly punitive automatic first down – are up from 20 in the first 33 pre-season games last season to a whopping 112 this summer.

It’s yet another example of the NFL becoming a less and less physical game. The basis for the rule is basically “no touching.” These days there is much more contact in an NBA lane than an NFL secondary.

The Cowboys have felt the brunt of the increased emphasis. In the 2013 regular season they were called for 12 defensive holding penalties. In two pre-season games they’ve already been whistled eight times, in addition to an illegal use of hands and one illegal contact.

With Orlando Scandrick suspended four games, Brandon Carr just getting back on the field after the death of his mother and the lack of depth at safety, the Cowboys need all the help they can get in the secondary. But it’s obvious they’re not going to get any from the zebras this season.

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[How Star Little League Team Taney Dragons Got Their Start]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:56:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP35427040879.jpg

Twenty years ago, the league behind the Taney Dragons started with three parents, a coach and a permit to play on a Philadelphia field.

Now, the youth baseball team is the subject of national media frenzy thanks to its remarkable Little League World Series run and star pitcher Mo'ne Davis' 70 mph fastball.

“The kind of attention we’ve had has absolutely been mind-boggling," co-founder Ellen Siegel said.

Siegel is one of the five original founders of the Taney Youth Baseball Organization, which was formed back in 1994 by a group of locals who wanted to create a different kind of team for the city's children.

“We wanted to be inclusive and allow girls to play,” Siegel said. “We also wanted players who weren’t as skilled to be allowed to play with the very skilled players. We wanted to be instructional which was our biggest point. Game, scores and winning weren’t as important as teaching all the kids proper mechanics, good sportsmanship, teamwork, camaraderie and knowing the game.”

The decision to create a co-ed squad paved the way for the team's roster to incude 13-year-old Davis, whose series shutout and spunk have landed her national headlines and a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She's set to pitch again tonight, when the team goes up against Las Vegas.

Siegel, a clinical psychologist who serves on the league’s board of directors and helps administer the league’s registrar, website and Facebook page, still remembers the league’s humble beginnings at the Markward Recreation Center on 400 South Taney Street in Philly.

“We practiced there and we’d have scrimmage games there and it was so wonderful to have something in our neighborhood with our kids,” Siegel said. “Then we thought it would be wonderful if we started a league of our own.”

While the Markward Rec Center served as the home field, neighborhood parents and kids had a different name for it that ended up sticking.

“All the neighbors called it Taney Field because it’s on Taney Street,” Siegel said. “I don’t think anyone really knows the real name. If you ask anyone where Markward is they’ll say, ‘what?’ If you ask them where Taney is they all know. That’s where we got our name.”

The league remained a local attraction for nearly two decades until last year, when they officially joined the Little League.

“We’ve always had the same kind of rule as Little League which is you need to play on your intramural team during the season,” Siegel said. “Then after that there are tryouts for the select tournament teams. The select, more competitive team will play after our regular season is over.”

With the tremendous success of the Dragons and the national attention they’ve gained, Siegel says the league's popularity may become a problem.

“We’re already getting so many requests to join us next year and we don’t have open registration until January,” Siegel said. “We’re worried about the influx of how many people would want to play because we can’t accommodate. We already had 73 teams this year from ages 3 to 16. We don’t have places for them.”

Siegel hopes the league will receive offers for more fields for the teams to play on.

“We’re in a situation where we don’t own our own fields, like a suburban league,” Siegel said. “We use Philadelphia Parks and Recreation fields.”

Regardless of what happens with the increased interest or with Thursday’s game, Siegel is confident the spirit of the league, defined by unity rather than winning, will remain high for years to come.

“We care about each other,” Siegel said. “Taney families, even on regular teams bond together and help each other out. To me that’s the essence of what we’re all about. The sense of community.”

To donate to the league, visit the Taney Youth Baseball Association website.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Martinez Returns Home Looking for Quality]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:51:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/451579310.jpg

It's been a while for Nick Martinez.

It's been a while since the Rangers rookie has registered a quality start — minimum of six innings, maximum of three earned runs allowed — and he'll look to do just that on Wednesday afternoon when he closes out a two-game series against the Marlins in his hometown of Miami.

Martinez, who spent nearly a month on the disabled list before returning to the fold on July 22, hasn't had a quality start since June 21 against the Angels when he threw seven innings and allowed just two runs. It's not that he's been terrible, he just hasn't been able to work deep into games, and when he has he's just given up too many runs.

In fact, in Martinez's last outing last week, he worked six innings against the Angels but allowed four runs. It was his deepest outing since that June game against the Angels, which was his deepest outing of his big-league career.

The Rangers seem to be high on Martinez's makeup and his competitive nature, as well as his stuff. They want nothing more than for the 24-year-old to push his way into rotation consideration next season, and a strong finish to the year will help him do just that.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mikolas Better, Not Good Enough]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:38:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4524936841.jpg

Miles Mikolas isn't supposed to be a dominant pitcher. In fact, he's not even supposed to be pitching in the big leagues. Not now, maybe not ever, who knows? But due to the Rangers' circumstances this year, that's exactly what he's doing.

On Tuesday, he opened a series in his native Florida against the Miami Marlins and improved over his past two outings but still wasn't good enough to pitch the Rangers to victory.

Mikolas worked just five innings and allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out six, always working in pressure situations with runners on base. For the most part, he got out of the trouble while racking up his pitch count, but the Marlins got to him just enough as they ended up edging Texas in the 10th inning while Mikolas took a no-decision.

Ron Washington said after the game he was happy with Mikolas' stuff but wished he would've worked deeper into the game like he has twice recently when he's pitched into the eighth inning in a win over the Yankees and a tough-luck loss to Cleveland.

Mikolas said he was excited to pitch in front of friends and family near his hometown of Jupiter, Fla.

"It was great, friends and family came out," Mikolas told reporters. "All my coaches and teammates from back at [nearby Nova Southeastern University] came, my high school coach, my high school teammates. It was fun to know that they were out there."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Preller Taking Welke to Padres With Him]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:29:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/preller+1.jpg

When the San Diego Padres hired A.J. Preller away from the Texas Rangers to fill their vacant general manager spot, the Rangers put in some restrictions as to how easy it'd be for Preller to raid the Rangers' front office cabinet.

Basically, the Rangers can deny permission from the Padres to speak with anyone in their employment.

On Tuesday, Preller made his first strike, and the Rangers gave him their blessing in allowing him to take Don Welke, a baseball lifer who worked with Preller with the Los Angeles Dodgers before coming to Texas as a special assistant to the GM and scouting department.

Preller and Welke basically were the two main voices in the scouting department, and now they're both gone. In one regard, it's concerning, but in another, maybe it'll allow the Rangers and GM Jon Daniels to seek more input from more parties? It'll be interesting to see how the two departures affect things moving forward.

Photo Credit: Matthew Wood/NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Knebel, Font Shut Down for Year]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:17:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/173376502.jpg

The Texas Rangers, by all accounts, made a coup when they dealt closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers for the Tigers' top two pitching prospects, reliever Corey Knebel and starter Jake Thompson. The thought was that Knebel would likely see the bigs this season and could figure into the closer competition for the 2015 season.

Now, Knebel is being shut down for the remainder of the season for a sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament, which is usually the ligament involved when Tommy John surgery is necessary. The club insists Knebel shouldn't require surgery and that he only needs rest and rehab. The plan is for him to start throwing again sometime in November if everything goes well.

The Rangers also shut down hard-throwing reliever Wilmer Font, who has already missed a season due to Tommy John. He will undergo surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow and he should be ready to roll by the start of the 2015 season.

Knebel finishes his season with a 3.75 ERA in his nine games with Triple-A Round Rock since the Rangers acquired him.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cotts' Waivers Thinking a Mystery]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:00:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/neal-cotts-pitcher-rangers.jpg

UPDATE: CBS Sports' Jon Heyman is now reporting Cotts was claimed by an unnamed team. That means the Rangers have 48 hours to either pull Cotts back, let the team have him for nothing and pay his remaining contract, or work out a trade with the club.

It's Aug. 20, 11 days before the deadline which a player must be on a team's roster to participate in postseason play. Of course, the Texas Rangers don't have any postseason games to worry about this season, but there are lots of other teams that might.

The Rangers entered the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline with two guys who were suspected to be on the move in Alex Rios and reliever Neal Cotts. Rios cleared waivers shortly after the deadline, and has yet to be traded. For some reason, Cotts was just placed on waivers on Monday and will find out today if he cleared through or was claimed by a team.

That begs a big question. Why did it take so long for the Rangers to put arguably their most tradeable commodity on waivers?

It's easy to see the Rangers want Cotts back in 2015 (he's free this winter), and by all accounts they've already reached out to Cotts about returning in 2015. So why not deal the man for two months, get something in return and then work out a deal to bring him back next season in free agency?

Being that he's a rental, Cotts isn't going to bring back a huge return, but he's starting to pitch very well again and he's a lefty reliever, which is always a valuable piece to add for contending teams. At this point, why not just get something back, especially if you have a good relationship with Cotts and know he will come back next season? It didn't make much sense to hold Cotts off waivers for as long as the Rangers did. Hopefully for their sake, they didn't move too late.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Holland Progressing More Slowly Than Surely]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:31:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/151470339.jpg

Tuesday I crowed about the Rangers shutting it down for the season. I’m not back-tracking today, but there is one front-line player who needs to continue to play in 2014: Derek Holland.

The left-hander hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors this season, and that needs to happen before the season ends. To reinforce his confidence in himself, and for the Rangers to be assured they can count on him next season.

Holland, who injured his knee last winter when he tripped over his dog while running down the stairs of his house, pitched into the 6th inning of a rehab start Tuesday night for Triple-A Round Rock. It was his longest outing this season, but it’s hardly been an impressive road back.

He’s 1-1 in the minors with a 6.52 ERA in 14.2 innings and has allowed three homers, including one last night. With his rehab assignment ending on Aug. 29, we’ll see Holland pitch in Arlington a couple times in September. And that’s one veteran performance we’re all looking forward to down the stretch.

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[Bank Forecloses on Dwyane Wade's Suburban Chicago Home]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:01:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DWade+Tie+Bar.jpg

Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade makes millions of dollars a year playing basketball, but it appears that money hasn't been going toward his home in Chicago's south suburbs.

According to documents obtained by NBC Chicago, The PrivateBank and Trust Company is attempting to foreclose on Wade's $1.2 million home in the 1600 block of E. 158th Street in South Holland.

Wade is listed as the owner of the home, along with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Wade. The former couple engaged in a bitter, public divorce in the which the basketball star was granted custody of their children.

According to court documents, the former couple owes almost $541,000 on the home, including close to $1,500 in late charges, and monthly mortgage payments had not been made on the home from November 2013 to July 2014.

Wade's attorney's sent a statement Wednesday. 

"Dwyane Wade and his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches reached a financial settlement in July 2013, which included Ms. Funches being awarded the Chicago home in which she resides.  Mr. Wade had provided a very generous settlement to Ms. Funches to continue to live a wonderful lifestyle and maintain the home mortgage payments he previously paid before the settlement was reached. As the sole homeowner, Ms. Funches defaulted on the mortgage and the home is now under foreclosure with the bank. We will take the necessary measures to affirm Mr. Wade is not responsible for the home’s foreclosure since he was absolved of all financial responsibility when Ms. Funches was awarded the house.”

The 7,847 square foot home has six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a theater and exercise room, a guest house, in-ground pool and of course, a basketball court.

Siohvaughn Wade is believed to be the occupant of the home.

Wade is now engaged to actress Gabrielle Union.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Beat Rangers 4-3 in 10 Innings]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:55:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers-at-marlins1.jpg

Giancarlo Stanton hit an RBI single with two outs in the 10th inning and the Miami Marlins beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 Tuesday night for their third straight win.

Miami (63-62) surpassed last year's total of 62. The Marlins moved over .500 for the first time since June 20.

Jeff Baker reached with one out in the 10th on first baseman Mike Carp's error. Donovan Solano's infield single with two outs moved Baker to second.

Neftali Feliz relieved Neal Cotts (2-7) to face Stanton, who singled to right field.

Sam Dyson (2-0) struck out the side in the 10th.

Marcell Ozuna hit his 17th home run and Christian Yelich had three hits for the Marlins.

The Rangers scored twice in the seventh to tie it at 3. Rougned Odor opened with a double off the right-field wall and when Stanton misplayed it for an error, Odor circled the bases. Mike Dunn later walked pinch-hitter Daniel Robertson with the bases loaded.

Texas threatened in the ninth with Elvis Andrus on third base and one out, but he got caught off the bag when Robertson pulled back on a potential squeeze bunt.

Marlins starter Jarred Cosart allowed one run and six hits in six innings.

Texas starter Miles Mikolas pitched five innings, allowing three runs and eight hits. He struck out six.

Robinson Chirinos' RBI groundout gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Ozuna's 17th home run tied it in the bottom half.

The Marlins took a 3-1 lead in the sixth on an RBI single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and a sacrifice fly by Adeiny Hechavarria.


Rangers: Manager Ron Washington was hopeful that RHP Yu Darvish (right shoulder inflammation) would be able to return from the diabled list on Aug. 25, but that appears unlikely as Darvish has not picked up a baseball yet. "I'm backing off," Washington said. "I don't know what's going to happen. I guess we'll just have to wait and see." ... RF Alex Rios was scratched from the starting lineup with a bruised right thumb, but came into the game in the ninth inning.

Marlins: LHP Dan Jennings (concussion) threw one scoreless inning in his first rehab assignment with Gulf Coast League Marlins on Tuesday. "Everything went good so I think the plan for him is to throw a couple innings in his next outing in the next couple of days," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.


Miami native Nick Martinez (2-9, 5.27) will start for the Rangers on Wednesday afternoon against Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (6-7, 3.96).

<![CDATA[Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 22:08:23 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/216*120/Steve+Ballmer+Clips+1.JPG

Steve Ballmer on Tuesday left Microsoft's Board of Directors, citing new commitments as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, a day after publicly stepping into his role with the team.

"The fall will be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the NBA season so my departure from the board is effective immediately," Ballmer wrote in his resignation letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time."

Ballmer, who handed off the reins as CEO to Nadella in February, expressed confidence in the company’s future and said he is proud that "Microsoft has been my life's work."

"I bleed Microsoft -- have for 34 years and I always will," he wrote.

Ballmer bought the Clippers from Shelly Sterling, wife of former owner Donald Sterling, for $2 billion in May.

The deal was approved by the NBA and finalized Aug. 12 after a tumultuous court battle between the Sterlings.

Shelly Sterling said last week she is "thrilled that the Clippers now have such a wonderful new owner."

Ballmer introduced himself to thousands of Clippers fans on Monday during an energetic rally at the Staples Center that also featured several players and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. Ballmer promised to keep the team in LA and to usher in an era of many victories.

"This is an amazing new day in Clippers history," Coach Doc Rivers said at the rally. "I couldn't be more excited to work together with Steve as we continue to build a first-class, championship organization."

In a response to Ballmer's resignation letter Tuesday, Nadella thanked Ballmer for his time at the company and wished him success.

"I am sure that you will bring the same boldness, passion and impact to your new endeavors that you brought to Microsoft," Nadella wrote.

Ballmer remains a shareholder at Microsoft.

<![CDATA[Football Team Adds Helmet Cushions to Curb Impacts]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:48:41 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Football+practice+helmets.jpg

Football practice for the Richland High School Rebels includes something extra. Soft cushions called Guardian Caps cover the players' helmets and are designed to offer further protection against possible concussions.

"They kind of thought they were funny looking at first," said head coach Ged Kates of his players.

The Birdville Independent School District school in North Richland Hills started using the Guardian Caps during practice a year ago and the results so far have been dramatic.

"What we've seen is probably, I would say, about a 50 percent decrease in the number of concussions," said Richland Rebels athletic trainer Dean Brosterman.

Right now, those players who get the most contact use them during practice.

"I think they're great," said Valerie Lyons, whose son suffered a concussion before he started wearing one. "I think everybody should have to wear them."

Some football programs around the country aren't sold on them, concerned that wearing Guardian Caps may raise complex legal issues if players are injured.

The Colorado High School Activities Association bans their use during games and warns schools that allowing third-party add-on accessories during practice can affect their liability.

In a statement sent to NBC 5, the University Interscholastic League said the decision whether to use Guardian Caps is made locally in Texas.

"The UIL does not have rules for or against guardian caps for football. Different companies have asked the UIL Medical Advisory Committee to approve or encourage schools to wear different caps, but the Medical Advisory Committee has not done so. The decision to use this additional equipment is made at the local level," said UIL spokeswoman Kate Hector in a written statement.

For now, Kates believes the extra protection for his players is worth it.

"Until somebody tells me otherwise," he said, "it seems like something that's helping out kids, and that's what we're all about."

The company that makes Guardian Caps does not claim they reduce or prevent concussions, only that they reduce impact by up to 33 percent.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Little League Star Mo'ne Davis on Sports Illustrated]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:25:52 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/monedavisap.jpg

Mo'ne Davis, the 13-year-old girl who's become baseball's breakout star, has become the first Little League player ever to make the national cover of Sports Illustrated.

Not that the Philadelphia eighth-grader needs any more firsts under her belt — not with her blinding 70 mph fastball, and certainly not with the Series shutout she threw last week, making her the first girl ever to throw a shutout in Little League World Series history.

Mo'ne, an honor roll student at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, has helped make her team the Taney Dragons the first Little League team from Philadelphia ever to advance to the Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 

But Mo'ne's sports goals extend far beyond baseball.

"To be honest, I never thought I'd be famous for baseball," she told Sports Illustrated. "I want to play basketball, and I could also do both basketball and baseball — but I really want to play basketball."

She one day hopes to play basketball for the University of Connecticut on a full scholarship, preferably as the point guard for the Huskies. Her mother Lakeisha McLean says she's confident her daughter can do it.

"When Mo’ne says she's gonna do it, she's gonna do it," McLean said.

Mo'ne will take the mound Wednesday in Las Vegas when the Taney Dragons take on the only other undefeated team in the Series, the Mountain Ridge team from Las Vegas.

--David Chang contributed additional reporting.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Annual Powder-Puff Game Exceeds Fundraising Goal]]> Fri, 03 Aug 2012 11:27:30 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/BvB-Dallas-Powder-Puff-8.jpg

The first six annual Blondes vs. Brunettes Dallas Powder-Puff Football games raised about $1.3 million for Alzheimer's disease research.

This year, Team Blonde and Team Brunette squared off at the Cotton Bowl and topped their $400,000 goal by $40,000.

Nearly 3,000 fans attended the game, despite early rain, to watch more than 200 players and coaches participate. The final score was 32-27 in favor of Team Blonde.

BvB Chair Greer Fulton and BvB Board of Directors President Jen Bergman presented the check at halftime to Kimber Hartmann and Audette Rackley, Center For BrainHealth, and Carol Hal, Dr. Ann Stowe and Dr. Mark Goldberg, UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Ty Walker, Cash Sirois and Mike Sirois of Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket provided the play-by-play and color commentary. Former Dallas Cowboy Greg Ellis made an appearance as well. Kyle Park and DJ Joe Ramirez provided entertainment at the after party.


Photo Credit: Eric Garcia Photography]]>
<![CDATA[DeVonte Holloman Dealing with Neck Injury]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:34:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/devonte-holloman8.26.13.jpg

Cowboys linebacker DeVonte Holloman was forced out of Saturday’s preseason game against the Ravens with a neck injury, Jason Garrett confirmed this week, and he’ll reportedly go to San Antonio on Tuesday to see a specialist.

This is particularly concerning for the team as Holloman missed seven games last season with a spinal contusion. He still finished his rookie season of 2013 with 26 tackles, including one for a loss, and two sacks.

He’s still getting evaluated on that, but it is a neck injury,” Garrett told the team’s official website. “He had a neck injury last year, so we’ll just monitor him after he gets the feedback from the doctors. We’re obviously looking at that situation very closely.”

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.

<![CDATA[Leary Taking Lead in Left Guard Competition?]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:29:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ronald-leary-preseason.jpg

Ronald Leary seems to be firmly ahead of Mackenzy Bernadeau in the battle for the starting left guard job, as evidenced by his playing all snaps with the starting offensive line against the Ravens on Saturday, but head coach Jason Garrett says the competition is still being sorted out.

"Ultimately we're going to look at the tape and say, 'This guy is better than that guy,'" Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. "The best guy deserves the first shot."

Leary is the incumbent on the left side, but he was slowed somewhat when he began training camp on the PUP list with a strained hamstring. When he returned from that injury, though, he was almost immediately plugged in with the 1s.

"He's getting better and better," Garrett said. "He's a little bit behind because he wasn't involved in the early part of training camp, but he's a good, strong player. His experience from last year has helped him and he's become more and more decisive as a player. He needs to continue to get his feet up underneath him and catch up on his reps a little bit and we'll give him plenty of chances to do that."

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Hope to See Melton Play This Week or Next]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:51:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/melton1517790632.jpg

After being held out of the preseason opener as a precautionary measure and then the second preseason game with a groin injury, Cowboys defensive tackle Henry Melton hasn’t played in a game since Week 4 of last year, when he suffered a season-ending ACL tear.

Needless to say, the Cowboys are anxious to get a look at the biggest signing of the offseason, and are hoping they’ll get that chance either this week against the Dolphins--the dress rehearsal game--or the preseason finale the week after that.

“We would love to have him play,
” said head coach Jason Garrett, per ESPN Dallas. “There’s no question about that. We’ll see what he’s able to do this week and if he can play this week, we would love to have him out there. If not, I would anticipate him playing next week.”

Garrett added that the team expects Melton to return to practice at some point this week.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rolando McClain to Get First Team Reps]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:38:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/072614+Cowboys+McClain.jpg

Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain drew some high praise for his work against the Ravens last weekend, when he recorded a team-high six tackles, and the team was impressed enough that the former eighth overall pick will get some reps with the first team defense in practice this week.

“At the end of the day, we need to find our three best linebackers and our best combination of those guys to start for us in base, and then there are some roles in nickel as well,” Garrett told the team’s official website this week.

The Cowboys view their acquisition of McClain as a low-risk, high-reward proposition, and the team seems to think it’s beginning to pan out. Of course, he still has work to do, after spending last season retired and out of football.

“I just think as much as anything else, he needs to play in the scheme and needs to play in games, where things are happening fast and conditioning is a factor and going from one play to the next play is a factor and still doing all that [communication],” Garrett said. “He’s a smart football player. He’s done this all throughout his career. I think he’ll get more and more comfortable with that as he goes. It’s a challenge for any inside linebacker making all those calls. He just needs to play in games and hopefully get better at it.”

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Photo Credit: Noah Bullard, NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Tepesch Figuring Strong Into '15 Rotation]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:35:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/203*120/452046722.jpg

Nick Tepesch is starting to show that he is dead-set determined to be a part of the Texas Rangers' starting rotation in April when the Rangers open a new season full of optimism and hope after a disaster of a 2014 season mired with injuries.

In fact, it's because of those injuries to starting pitchers that Tepesch even got another chance to pitch this year for Texas after an awful spring training basically backed him out of a rotation spot. Derek Holland, gone. Matt Harrison, gone. Martin Perez, gone. Tepesch, in.

Since returning from a short hiatus thanks to some knee soreness, Tepesch has dialed it in, and the results are coming.

In fact, in his last four starts — one before the time off and three since — he's put together a 2.80 ERA and has strung together back-to-back seven-inning starts, both of which were quality starts. Those came after his first outing back from the time off when he only worked 5 2/3 innings, scoreless ones in fact, on a strict pitch count.

“That’s what this game is all about, consistency,” Tepesch told reporters following his no-decision in the Rangers' walk-off win on Sunday. “I’m trying to build consistency. The more you can do that, the more comfortable you are going to be, the better you are going to perform.”

Tepesch was putrid in spring training and then went to Round Rock and was very good. After this recent run of starts, he's got his season ERA down to 4.15 in 15 starts, compared to a 4.84 ERA in 17 starts a year ago. With the Rangers' pitching questions moving toward next year, Tepesch is definitely looking the part to fill out the back of the Opening Day rotation. A strong finish to the year will help solidify that thought.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Says Romo Will Play Two Series Against Miami]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:26:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/453710136.jpg

Tony Romo just made his debut this past weekend week against the Ravens, and he’ll only play two more series this preseason, give or take, according to Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones.

Well, I think you’ll probably see him here against Miami about like you did the other night,” Jones told 105.3-FM The Fan on Tuesday, via ESPN Dallas. “I don’t know that we ought to do any more than that then really see not only [Brandon] Weeden but our young quarterback can get some snaps out there.”

Usually, starters play an entire half during the dress rehearsal game, but Dallas has been taking such precautions with Romo all training camp. He was held out of a quarter of the team’s practice sessions as well as the preseason opener against the Chargers.

Jones remains optimistic that Romo will be ready for the regular season, though.

“He’s shown it throughout our training camp,” Jones said. “I thought he did a great job how he managed himself back in, if you will, his rhythm, if you want to use another word here. But he’s making all the throws and is really cherishing the options that he’s got in the offense.”

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