<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Dallas-Fort Worth Sports News, Analysis, and Scores for the Giants, Jets. Patriots, Huskies, Knicks and More]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Tue, 03 Mar 2015 09:09:09 -0600 Tue, 03 Mar 2015 09:09:09 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[DeLorean Time Machine Giveaway]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:07:06 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/179*120/GettyImages_52521392.jpg

Great Scott! One lucky museum-goer could own their very one "Back to the Future" DeLorean time machine, but there’s a catch.

“Back to the Future Part II” predicted the Chicago Cubs would win the World Series in 2015 and if that prediction holds true, one fan could become the owner of their very own DeLorean time machine automobile.

Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois, says it is prepared to give away a 1981 exhibition model DeLorean, valued at $85,000, should the Cubs become champions for the first time in more than 100 years, according to their website.

The year 2015 was depicted in the 1989 cult film "Back to the Future Part II," which saw Michael J. Fox's character Marty McFly travel to the future, then back to the past (well, an alternate present, if you want to get technical), then really back to the past. For Cubs fans, the film’s bold World Series prediction has been something to look forward to.

The giveaway is part of a contest scheduled to begin March 21. The contest ends one day before the 2015 World Series game and anyone who visits the museum is eligible to win.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Darrell Williams Grateful for Second Chance]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:23:56 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/D+Williams+030215.jpg Darrell Williams had everything taken away from him for no reason, yet he's not bitter, in fact he's grateful for a second chance to play basketball when he never thought he'd get to again.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Franchise Dez Bryant: ProFootballTalk]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:40:40 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/4613464321.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys officially applied the franchise tag to wide receiver Dez Bryant Monday afternoon, according to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio.

Wide receivers playing under the franchise tag in 2015 will earn guaranteed $12.823 million, an average of the top five salaries at the position, NFL.com's Ian Rappaport reported.

The Cowboys and Bryant could still work out a long-term deal, but Monday's move prevents Bryant from hitting the free agent market.

Bryant led the NFL with a club-record 16 touchdowns in the final year of a rookie contract that paid $11.8 million over five years.

The 26-year-old Bryant was the fastest Dallas player to 300 career receptions and second-fastest to 50 touchdowns behind Bob Hayes.

Bryant has indicated several times that being tagged would make him unhappy.

The Cowboys also have to decide whether to re-sign running back DeMarco Murray after he had a league-leading 1,845 yards rushing in the final year of his contract. He becomes a free agent March 10.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lewis Enjoying Normal Spring]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:36:14 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/rangers073014.jpg

Colby Lewis wasn't himself for the first half of last season, and it was for a couple of reasons.

One was his obvious lack of production as a guy who was known as a bulldog and a reliable innings-eater. The second reason was his own anatomy.

Lewis was rushed into testing a surgically resurfaced hip, that had been a chronic source of pain since the mid-2000s, due to the Rangers' starting pitchers dropping like flies early in the year. Consequently, he was awful and there was thought he could be on his way out of the rotation.

Of course, after the all-star break, Lewis turned it around and was the Rangers' best starter, looking more like the Lewis of 2010 and 2011, pre-elbow surgery in 2012 and the hip procedure the following year.

Now, Lewis is as healthy as he's been since those days as the Rangers are set to begin Cactus League play this week with a scheduled Lewis start against the defending AL champion Royals on Wednesday — possibly even healthier.

“Oh, [2012], before I hurt the elbow,” Lewis told the Star-Telegram when asked when he last felt this healthy. “Well, probably even better because I don’t have the pain in the hip. I’ve had the pain in the hip since 2006. So, it had just progressively gotten worse. It’s just, there’s no more pain.”

That's a good sign for the Rangers, who are counting on Lewis' veteran presence to anchor the back of the rotation at the No. 4 spot while a host of young arms and Ross Detwiler battle it out for the fifth-starter spot.

And early in spring training, he's getting some rave reviews.

“I caught him in live BP the other day, and it was amazing,” Rangers catcher Carlos Corporan told the Star-Telegram. “The way he was performing and the way he was spotting up the ball. He was using a changeup against a right-handed hitter that I never saw before.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mark Cuban to Play President of the United States]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:35:31 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tlmd_markcuban111.jpg

Mark Cuban will soon have a new role -- as the President of the United States.

Well, on TV, anyway.

According to The Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Mavericks owner will play the Commander-in-Chief in the made for television movie, Sharknado 3.

"They asked if I wanted to play the part," Cuban told The Dallas Morning News' Robert Wilonsky. "I have been a fan of the movies. It was an easy decision."

Cuban's acting experience includes spots on Entourage and Walker, Texas Ranger.

This third installment of the movie will feature mass destruction starting in Washington, D.C., down the East Coast and into Florida.

Sharknado 3 will air on the Syfy network in July.

CLICK HERE to read more on this story from our media partners at The Dallas Morning News.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Holland Soreness Sounds False Alarms]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:37:52 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/rangers090214.jpg

Derek Holland had some shoulder soreness on Sunday, forcing the Texas Rangers to take the ball from him and push his scheduled throwing session back a day.

And of course, folks went crazy on Twitter.

It's with good reason given the fact Holland missed the first five months of the season last year and was expected to be back at full strength this year as the Rangers' projected No. 2 starter behind ace Yu Darvish. But the Rangers, and Holland, wanted to make it perfectly clear on Sunday, it's no big deal.

“I want to say this: ‘There should be no alarm bells sounding’,” Daniels told reporters in The Dallas Morning News. “Derek wanted to pitch, but we decided to take the ball from him. We will push him back one day.”

Holland wasn't happy about the decision, but said he understood the team's ruling in an effort to be cautious after the disastrous 2014 season that featured a historic number of serious injuries throughout the club.

“I’ve got to respect their decision and not get too far ahead of myself,” Holland said. “I tried to get them to let me pitch, but it didn’t work my way. We’ll knock it out.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Darvish: I Didn't Quit]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:36:47 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/451291234.jpg

Get excited, folks! Yu Darvish is speaking English!

And in doing so on Sunday, Darvish addressed the opinion from last year that the All-Star pitcher somehow quit on the Rangers by making his final start on Aug. 9, and then hitting the shelf for the remainder of the season with elbow inflammation.

At the time, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and Darvish both said if the club wasn't on pace to lose 100 games and was in a playoff race, then Darvish could've possibly pitched. That riled up some folks, who made the claim Darvish was quitting for not pitching in bad times when he'd be able to pitch in good times.

That, of course, was crazy talk, and Darvish confirmed that on Sunday in his first English press conference since joining the Rangers in 2012.

“I never quit on the team,” Darvish told reporters. “I love this team. That is not true.”

Then, as The Dallas Morning News so eloquently pointed out, he punctuated the thought.

"That's bull...," he said, with an expletive tacked on.

You have to love it. Darvish has battled some minor ailments in his three seasons in Texas, but that was the first major one, or at least the first that forced him to miss significant time. Otherwise, he's proven to be the workhorse starter the Rangers thought they were getting when they signed him on the international market after a record posting fee.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A Tale of Two Josh's]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:25:58 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Josh+Hamilton+Angels+Image.jpg

One has been called a “thug.” One labeled a “hero.” And one has prompted previously loyal fans to turn their backs on their favorite team.

None of them is perfect.

But they’re all named Josh.

I was reminded again last week that – admit it or not – two of the most important factors between whom we love and loathe are … religion and race. No? Then explain to me how Josh Hamilton is a sympathetic hero while the NFL's Josh Gordon is a hopeless thug and Josh Brent is a Cowboy who has managed to alienate fans.

Hamilton, the former Ranger, is at it again. Now with the Angels, he’s tricking people into feeling sorry for him. Another “relapse”. Another round of “addiction is a disease”. And, yes, another confirmation that Caucasian + Christian = Immunity.

When Hamilton’s latest substance abuse hiccup (reportedly involving “at least cocaine”) was revealed last week, NBC Hardball Talk blogger Craig Calcaterra responded with a post littered with phrases like “heartbreaking,” “there is no denying how far he has come and how hard he has worked to turn his life around,” and the stance that the star who led the Rangers to back-to-back World Series shouldn’t be suspended at all because he merely suffers from a disease.

How did Yahoo! react to Hamilton choosing to waste his second, third or maybe fourth – seriously, I’ve lost count – chance? With a piece titled: “Josh Hamilton Situation a Reminder of the Frailty of Man.”

What. The. What?!

According to comments on my Twitter and Facebook in the wake of their mistakes, Gordon is a “no good waste of talent” and a “loser,” and Brent “an arrogant drunk” who “murdered” his friend and former Cowboys teammate. And in character assassination pieces that helped chronicle their transgressions, I don’t recall reading “heartbreaking” or “frailty of man.”

No, it’s not as simple as black and white. But Josh’s Hamilton and Gordon are too similar to be treated so differently.

Both are covered in tattoos. Hamilton has 26, including a group of demons. Gordon has his name and a huge No. 12 covering the breadth of his back. Both are unique, exceptional athletes that briefly dominated their sports: Hamilton as baseball’s MVP in 2010 and Gordon as the NFL’s leading receiver in 2013.

And, yes, both have been suspended numerous times for substance abuse.

Yet Hamilton is America’s most beloved crackhead, a man who trashed his middle-class upbringing by admitting to drunken driving, getting high and not having the faintest idea what he might have done or where he might have done it on countless foggy last nights. While with the Rangers there was that boffo binge in Tempe, Arizona where he wound up shirtless and covered in whipped cream with three women who weren’t his wife. Then there was the infamous relapse at Sherlock’s in Dallas. But, hallelujah, you can still buy his autobiography – Beyond Belief – and read about his inspirational sobriety.

Gordon, on the other hand, went to a Baptist school – Baylor – but refuses to call his mistakes anything more than what they are - bad decisions. In a letter to his critics, he wrote, “I am not a drug addict … nor am I a victim.” After a cobblestone childhood in which his parents divorced and he was forced to move eight times before the 9th grade, he was busted for drugs at Baylor, arrested for a DUI while with the Browns and is currently suspended for the entire 2015 season after violating a prior suspension with alcohol use.

Both have laundry lists of drug-addled gaffes tucked into their considerable baggage. But with seemingly neither the right skin nor the right wing to shield him, Gordon is treated much less favorably than Hamilton.

Where I believe the hypocritical Hamilton deserves condemnation, there inexplicably lives adulation.

He’s somehow the victim; his addiction the villain. Fans find his struggles so touching that they’re somehow moved to treat his comebacks from self-inflicted wounds as noble triumphs. He blacks out. He betrays his wife and children and legion of fans. He’s involved in racy episodes right out of The Hangover. And, in the end he’s forgiven, and even applauded for his gutsy “one day at a time” fight – and relapses – against his disease.

In DFW, Hamilton is booed. But not for quitting on his Rangers' teammates or regularly abandoning his commitment to sobriety, rather for having the audacity to say that Arlington isn’t a “baseball town.”

Josh Hamilton constantly shoves "I Am Second" down our throats, but then ultimately puts his selfish cravings first.

He is no more a hero than Josh Gordon is a thug. In the end, both are superior athletes ... and mortal men.

Sadly, it’s only the contrasting color of their skin that blinds us to the almost identical shades of their failures.

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[Cowboys May Lose Murray Without a Fight]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:18:55 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DeMarco_Murray_Proud_1200x675_383326787535.jpg

If you truly cherish your girlfriend, you lock her up. You put a ring on it. What do you have if you tell her to go test the open market and come back when she finds a decent offer?

You have yourself an ex-girlfriend.

Call it arrogance, respect, risky or simply a mistake, the Cowboys are about to let the NFL’s leading rusher walk out the door. With no assurances he’ll ever return.

With free agency looming next week, the Cowboys haven’t held serious contract negotiations with running back DeMarco Murray. It’s a sign that they don’t want to set the bar in his bidding process.

But it’s also a strategy that could backfire.

Truth is, Murray will likely get a contract offer from an NFL team in the $6+ million-a-year range. At that point, the Cowboys hope Murray returns to them and allows a chance to match – or beat – the deal. But unless something drastically changes, he won’t. And they can't.

The Cowboys followed a similar game plan last year with all-time sacks leader DeMarcus Ware. They allowed him to flirt with other teams, with the hope he’d give them the final at-bat and home-field advantage. But it took one day for Ware to sign a three-year contract with the Broncos.

He felt more wanted in another city. It’s hard to fathom Murray feeling any different.

Murray says he loves Dallas and that playing for a winning team is a priority over money. And the Cowboys maintain that – ideally – they’d love to keep their star running back.

But like they did with Ware, the Cowboys might wind up losing one of their all-time best players … without ever making an official bid to keep him. 

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[Rondo Returns, But Bad as News]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:40:35 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/460789962.jpg

The good news: Rajon Rondo is back. The bad news: It’s same the Rajon Rondo.

Again, it’s too early to pronounce the Mavs’ trade for the former All-Star point guard a failure. But even after his return from a one-game suspension there remain reasons for concern.

There are the ugly stats: Mavs were 19-8 before the trade; 20-14 since. Rondo’s assist-to-turnover ratio has dipped from around 3.1-to-1 in Boston to about 1.9-to-1 in Dallas. And, inexplicably, he’s just not making open shots: 40 percent from the field and only 28 percent from the stripe.

But this is also the awkward style.

Rondo is best, obviously, when he’s not in a shouting match with head coach Rick Carlisle. But he’s also excelled in the past at having the ball in his hands, probing, dribbling, driving, dishing. But in Dallas’ free-flowing style where the ball needs to float from player to player, he’s been an awkward fit so far.

In Saturday night’s ugly home loss to the mediocre Nets, Carlisle attempt to integrate Rondo’s strength’s into the offense by post up his point guard. It used to work with Jason Kidd. It remains to be seen if it will work with Rondo.

Bottom line: Rondo needs to be better, in all facets. With the ball. Off the ball. Shooting. One-on-one defense. Everything.

Last Saturday night he missed six of his 10 shots and produced eight points, seven rebounds, six assists and four turnovers. The Mavs were minus-22 with him on the floor.

At some point the Rondo experiment has to start working. Monday night against the Pelicans would be the perfect place.

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[Romo to Jerry: Forget the Cap]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:26:55 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/188*120/romoundercenterusa0.jpg

Cap, schmap. Luxury tax, schmuxury schmax.

That's basically the thought of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo this offseason coming off a banner year for the modern-era Cowboys, who actually won 12 regular-season games, a playoff game and were within a suspect no-catch call from playing in at least the NFC Championship Game against a team they'd already beaten in the regular season.

It's no secret that Romo's window on his career is only a few more years — five years, tops — and it's also no secret that Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones, 72, is no spring chicken.

So could Romo and Jerry be conspiring to blow the salary cap out of the water to make a serious run at another Cowboys Super Bowl?

"Jerry, see [Jerry's son and Cowboys VP and seemingly heir apparent] Stephen, he’s got himself about 25-30 years of this ahead. Jason [Garrett], coach, maybe something similar to that,” Jones remembers Romo saying, as he told ESPN Dallas. “Me, I’m three to five. You’re three to five. We got to stick together. It’s now for us.”

So if you had infinite money to spend, who's No. 1 on your Cowboys free agent list? Ndamukong Suh? Sounds good, go make it happy, Jerry.



Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys' Murray Stance Sends Message]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:27:39 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/183*120/DeMarco+Murray+Cowboys.jpg

Let's be perfectly honest. Next week, when the free agent waters in the NFL begin churning, one of the hottest names out there will be Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray.

That much has been confirmed, as Cowboys VP Stephen Jones has said they will let Murray test the market, and the market will be very hot for the 27-year-old back, who is coming off the best season in Cowboys history by a running back.

Murray is still young, is coming off a healthy season with his broken hand notwithstanding — an injury he played through — and he's an all-around back who is reliable as a three-down back. He's going to get big deal on the open market, one that the Cowboys won't be able to, or even want to match.

If Murray just absolutely loves it in Dallas and wants to take a shorter-term, less-expensive deal, then yeah, have at it, Cowboys. But I don't think that's happening, and Murray is in no way obligated to even consider such an offer.

The Cowboys would be wise not to give Murray any more than three years, but someone will do that and throw a lot of money at him. The team has plenty of other things to do this offseason, most notably upgrading its defense, and still has the best offensive line in football behind which you plug a lot of guys in and be successful on the ground.

While it's going to be a controversial move among fans, it's ultimately the right move to let Murray walk away, and by letting him test the open market, you're almost surely doing just that.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Reportedly Set to Tag Bryant]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:29:07 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/460872436.jpg

It won't be officially official until Monday afternoon at the 2 p.m. deadline, but all reports indicate the Dallas Cowboys will place the franchise tag on wide receiver Dez Bryant to keep him from hitting free agency.

The move, of course, means the Cowboys will have to pay Bryant a guaranteed average of the top five wide receiver salaries in the NFL, which should be somewhere around $13-14 million, which will be a pretty nice payday for Bryant.

But Bryant won't be happy, as he's indicated on several occasions. He wants a long-term deal, and has played well enough to deserve one. Of course, there are some underlying off-field issues that have come up, and the Cowboys seem a bit concerned with the thought of giving him a long-term deal.

If Bryant continues his outrageous level of play, he might earn a long-term deal, or he could be franchised one more time in 2016, but that would surely mean the end of his time in Dallas if the Cowboys spurn him twice.

And who knows, just because the Cowboys franchise Dez Monday doesn't mean he'll be playing under the franchise tag in 2015. The team would still have until mid-July to work out a long-term deal with Bryant, which is something the Cowboys have done before with players they've put the franchise tag on.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Athlete Gets Second Chance After Prison Reversal]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 01:26:41 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/030115+Darrell+Williams+Texas+AM.jpg Darrell Williams had everything taken away from him for no reason, and yet he's not bitter. In fact, he's happy. Just grateful for a second chance to play basketball when he never thought he'd get to do that again.

Photo Credit: Noah Bullard, NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[White Sox Legend Minnie Minoso Dies]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:59:46 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/minnie+minoso+sox.jpg

White Sox legend Minnie Minoso, affectionately known as the "Cuban Comet," died Saturday night at 90 years old.

Minoso died of natural causes related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The Cuban-born Minoso was the first black player for the South Side baseball team. He is a nine-time All-Star outfielder and Gold Glove winner.

Minoso made his debut at Comiskey Park in 1951, and his play time with the team spanned four decades. He was named as a candidate for induction into baseball's Hall of Fame in 2012 but was denied last year.

In tweet after his death, the White Sox said, "Minnie Minoso -- Mr. #WhiteSox -- has died. Tears of sadness are falling for a great man."

The Minoso family confirmed the death Sunday afternoon in a statement to the press.

"Minnie lived a full life of joy and happiness, surrounded always by friends and family," the family said. "It is during moments like these that love matters most. Minnie enjoyed nothing more than to be at the ballpark cheering on his White Sox. For Minnie, every day was a reason to smile."

Minoso appeared in a total of 1,835 career games over 17 major-league seasons with Cleveland, the White Sox, St. Louis and Washington.

Minoso's influence reached far beyond the baseball stadium. As the first black Major League player in Chicago, he served as an inspiration to countless young people, including President Barack Obama.

"Minnie may  have been passed over by the Baseball Hall of Fame during his lifetime, but for me and for generations of black and Latino young people, Minnie's quintessentially American story embodies far more than a plaque ever could," the president said in a statement.

Governor Bruce Rauner called Minoso "a trailblazer, a leader and an extraordinary baseball player."

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Minoso's "infectious enthusiasm forever solidified his place as a Chicago icon for the ages."

The Chicago Cubs also released a statement expressing their condolences for the White Sox.

"Having recently lost one of our all-time greats Ernie Banks, we share the heartache with the White Sox organization and fans everywhere who were blessed to enjoy the talent, heart and passion of Mr. White Sox," the North Side team said. "He will be forever known as an electric offensive player and great ambassador for the game of baseball."

According to the Chicago White Sox, Minoso once talked about wearing his Sox uniform till the day he died -- and even afterward.

"When I die, I want to be playing baseball," Minoso said. "Truly. They don't bury me without my uniform. If I die, I die happy because I was wearing No. 9 for the White Sox."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Inside High School Sports: Segment 4]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 22:48:49 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/IHSS_022815_Segment_4_1200x675_405974595713.jpg February 27, 2015: Rockwall guard Austin Grandstaff and head coach Alan Simmons is in studio as Grandstaff accepts his Player Of The Year bobblehead.]]> <![CDATA[Inside High School Sports: Segment 3]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 22:45:44 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/IHSS_022815_Segment_3_1200x675_405974083837.jpg February 27, 2015: More playoff highlights from Flower Mound vs El Dorado, Plano West vs Amarillo and a rundown of the rest of the scores from Saturday.]]> <![CDATA[Inside High School Sports: Segment 2]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 22:43:01 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/IHSS_022815_Segment_2_1200x675_405973059793.jpg February 27, 2015: Playoff highlights from Plano West vs Coppell and Frisco Liberty vs Carrollton Creekview.]]> <![CDATA[Inside High School Sports: Segment 1]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 22:40:28 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/IHSS_022815_Segment_1_1200x675_405974083838.jpg February 28, 2015: The playoff edition continues with highlights from Richland vs South Grand Prairie, Allen vs Byron Nelson, Kimball vs Mansfield Lake Ridge and we meet The King, as in Triple A Academy's King McClure.]]> <![CDATA[Ex-Knick Anthony Mason Dies at 48]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:34:43 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/22815mason.jpg

Anthony Mason, one of the Knicks’ most popular players of the 1990s who had one All-Star season during a 13-year pro career, has died following a massive heart attack, the team said Saturday. He was 48.

According to multiple reports and league sources, Mason had been fighting for his life after undergoing multiple surgeries over the last few days. Veteran NBA writer Peter Vescey broke the news Wednesday about Mason.

The Springfield Gardens, Queens, native was a bruising power forward with a no-nonsense demeanor on the court, and he had a fan-pleasing blue-collar work ethic. He came up from the minor leagues and also played overseas before finally making the NBA.

Mason won the NBA’s Sixth Man Award in 1994-95, a season after helping the Knicks reach the NBA Finals for the first time since 1973. The Knicks lost to the Rockets in seven games.

On Saturday, Anthony Mason Jr. issued a statement following his dad's death.

"Overnight New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother - but more than anything our father. ... As you all would expect our father - Big Mase - put up an incredible fight, dealing with a severe heart issue," he said.

"Pops we've got to let you know we love you and know you'll always be with us," Anthony Mason Jr. said.

Figures from Mason's past took to Twitter to express their grief.

"We gonna miss u brother," tweeted Charles Oakley. 

"A great athlete and true gentleman. He will be missed," wrote the Rev. Al Sharpton.

When Don Nelson succeeded Pat Riley in 1995-96 as the Knicks' head coach, Mason was at the center of a full-blown controversy. Nelson decided to make Mason the focal point of the Knicks’ attack, going away from perennial All-Star and the face of the franchise, Patrick Ewing. Nelson’s move was unpopular with Ewing and other Knicks and led to his removal as head coach only 59 games into his first and only season in New York.

“For Nelson to do that was amazing," former Knicks great Bernard King told NBC 4 New York. “Patrick was still a dominant player in the league at that time. While Anthony was a very good player for the Knicks, Patrick was still one of the best players in the league."

Mason was later traded to Charlotte in the famous Larry Johnson deal that helped key the Knicks’ success in the late 1990’s, culminating with a trip to the NBA Finals in 1999, where the Knicks lost to the Spurs. That was the first of Tim Duncan's five title teams.

Mason later played for Riley in Miami, becoming an All-Star in 2001 as an injury replacement for Grant Hill.

-- Mitch Lawrence contributed to this report.

Longtime New York columnist Mitch Lawrence continues to write about pro basketball, as he’s done for the last 22 years. His columns for NBCNewYork.com on the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and the NBA, along with other major sports, appear twice weekly. Follow him on Twitter.

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<![CDATA[Rangers Sign 16 to 1-Year Deals]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:37:53 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers082714.jpg

The Texas Rangers announced Friday they have signed 16 players to one-year deals.

The 16 players are pitchers Lisalverto Bonilla, Alexander Claudio, Jon Edwards, Jerad Eickhoff, Spencer Patton, Anthony Ranuado, and Nick Tepesch, catchers Jorge Alfaro and Tomas Telis, infielders Hanser Alberto, Rougned Odor, and Jurickson Profar, and outfielders Michael Choice, Delino DeShields, Ryan Rua, and Jake Smolinski.

As per usual, financial terms were not disclosed.

The club said in a news release they now have 34 of the 41 players on their major league roster under contract for 2015.

Texas will open Cactus League play on March 4 against the Kansas City Royals at 1:05 p.m. MT at Surprise Stadium.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pitching Prospect Gets Really Nice Evaluation]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:52:18 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers-draft-picks.jpg

The Texas Rangers have been growing more and more infatuated with their top pitching prospect in recent months, and it's been easy to see why as he's been climbing prospect rankings all across the pantheon of prospect evaluators.

Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez finished the year last season at Double-A Frisco and should start the 2015 season there, but could find his way to Arlington sooner rather than later depending on what transpires in the back end of the Rangers rotation.

Famed baseball publication Baseball Prospectus had some pretty lofty praise of Gonzalez, as everyone's favorite Rangers blogger Jamey Newberg pointed out in his email on Friday morning.

Baseball Prospectus evaluation that Chi Chi Gonzalez’s “realistic ceiling” is “James Shields with slightly fewer innings” and his “realistic floor” is “[t]he good version of Mike Leake.”

Those words aren't passed around flippantly by folks like Baseball Prospectus.

Gonzalez was 12-6 with a 2.67 ERA in 25 minor-league starts between High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco last year, with the majority (14) of those starts coming in Frisco.

Shields, of course, is a lock for 200-plus innings and has been an incredibly solid starter for the last decade, slotting as a strong No. 2 and possibly even an ace depending on his supporting cast. Leake's "good version" was in 2013 when he was 14-7 with a 3.37 ERA with the Reds.

These evaluations of unproven prospects are obviously far from solid, but it's sure better than hearing you've got another spare part on your hands.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Franchise Tag Deadline Coming on Monday]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:32:46 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/1042701431.jpg

After around two weeks of discussing the franchise tag, the time for action is approaching quickly for the Dallas Cowboys if they plan to use the tag on Dez Bryant, as everyone thinks they will.

The deadline to apply the tag is set for 3 PM central time on Monday.

Bryant stated publicly last year that he would be more than a little disappointed if the Cowboys franchise him, but the Cowboys have been open in stating that there’s a very good chance that that’s exactly what they’ll do.

I’ve never seen anybody just pout to the extent that they wouldn’t do it over this kind of money,” said owner and general manager Jerry Jones, per ESPN Dallas. “That usually is not realistic. It’s just too much money. And consequently it’s not set up or packaged the way that parties might want--and I want to emphasize again--it’s not really set up in our best interest at all. There’s a much better way for our future and our cap this year if we didn’t franchise, but this is here when you don’t have your meeting of the minds about how you want to structure something long term. And so if anything it’s in the right situation, it’s a placeholder for addressing it as you move through the future.”

If the Cowboys go ahead and franchise Bryant, they’ll have until July 15 to come to an agreement on a long-term deal. If they can’t do that, Bryant would play out the 2015 season under the tag.

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<![CDATA[Garrett Saw Benefits of Being a "Walkaround Coach" in 2014]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:16:25 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/461347208.jpg

In 2014, Jason Garrett’s second year as a so-called “walk-around coach,” the Dallas Cowboys head coach fully experienced the benefits of being freed up to focus on the big picture.

The positive effects of the move were certainly seen on the field. With Garrett taking a step back, and Scott Linehan taking over the offensive play-calling duties, Dallas went 12-4 and won the NFC East for the first time since 2009. Also for the first time since 2009, they won a playoff game.

“I think when you’re a head coach and you’re calling the defensive signals or you’re calling the plays on offense, you still want to be the head coach of the whole football team,” Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. “I made a concerted effort when I became the head coach, when I was calling plays, to do that. I tried to sit in meetings on the defensive side, be with the special-teams group. But there’s a logistical aspect to it too. When you’re the offensive coordinator and play-caller, you have to prepare for that. I just think as much as anything else, once we got Scott Linehan in here to handle that role, I could really, truly spend my time equally between and among those three different units.

“I think that’s an important thing. It’s not only the time during the week. It’s time during the game. It’s the emotions, addressing the different weaknesses that you might have on the football team, try to shore those up. I just think it allowed me to do that better.”

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<![CDATA[ZiPS Projections: Closer]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:07:30 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/455565888.jpg

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections are a good measure of what to expect from players in the upcoming baseball season. We'll take a look at the Rangers' projections on a position-by-position basis. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Today we'll look at the projections for the Rangers at closer, which the Rangers hope will be locked down all season by veteran Neftali Feliz.

Feliz: 36 2/3 innings, 33 strikeouts, 15 walks, 4 home runs allowed, 3.93 ERA, 8.09 K/9 innings

There's no other way to say it, but these projections are bad, bad news if they come anywhere close to coming to fruition. First off, when Feliz was a dominant closer, he approached 70 innings per season. He pitched 31 2/3 innings in 2014 and didn't make his Rangers debut until July.

So do the math, but these projections show Feliz spending a lengthy amount of time on the DL, or even worse, in the minors (gulp). His ERA is also really bad. The one positive you can take from this is his K/9 innings rate, which is closer to his 2010 and 2011 numbers than his 2014 number of 6.0, not befitting of a closer.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Cowboy Chris Canty Cut By Ravens]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:08:23 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/chris-canty-big-blue-10-super-bowl.jpg

Longtime Dallas Cowboys defensive end Chris Canty has been cut by the Baltimore Ravens in a move that will save the team over $2.5 million against the salary cap in 2015.

Despite having publicly flirted with the idea of retirement after the 2014 season, according to the Baltimore Sun, Canty intends to return for an 11th NFL season next year.

It's the business of the NFL, and we move on,” Canty said. “I loved it here. I thanked Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh for giving me an opportunity to be part of the great tradition of this franchise. I had a ball. I rediscovered my passion for football. I had a lot of fun. I'm grateful. I'm just looking forward to the next opportunity to continue my playing career.”

Drafted by the Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2005 draft, Canty spent four years in Dallas, piling up 148 tackles, 10 sacks and eight passes broken up before moving onto the New York Giants in free agency after the 2008 season. He spent four years in New York before going to Baltimore, where he’s been for the past two seasons.

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<![CDATA[Hamilton's Teammates React to Latest Relapse]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:06:52 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/josh-hamilton-2014-cu.jpg

Josh Hamilton has relapsed on alcohol and cocaine, that much we know.

He didn't fail a test but instead self-reported the transgression to Major League Baseball and will enter the program as a first-time offender.

Of course, Hamilton's not a first-time offender. But all of his prior missteps and suspensions occurred before he was ever on a major-league roster. Yet, there are still some thoughts and reports out there that he could face a suspension from MLB, even if it's only 25 games.

Either way, Hamilton won't be back in baseball before late May, as he's recovering from shoulder surgery, and while he's been at a friend's ranch in Houston, his teammates are in Arizona at spring training and talked on Thursday to the Los Angeles Times about their teammate.

“I don’t know any of the details so I can’t really talk about that,” Hamilton's outfield mate Mike Trout told the newspaper. “We miss him and hope everything works out.”

Hamilton's teammate C.J. Wilson, who was also his teammate in Texas and is known follower of the "straightedge" community and would often room with Hamilton on the road and play X-Box while teammates were out for dinner and drinks, had some comments in true Wilson fashion.

“I had some family members that went through some of this stuff growing up,” Wilson said. “That’s one of the reasons why I’m straightedged. I’ve never drank or done drugs in my life because I know exactly how scary this stuff is.

“And how the pull of addiction is a lifelong struggle for people…. It’s not like a haircut, you know what I mean? It’s not like ‘Oh, I just got my haircut so I’m fine now.’ It’s not like that at all.… It’s like a tattoo, you know, it’s there forever.”

Well said, Ceej. Very well said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Michael Sam Invited to Inaugural Veteran Combine]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:09:08 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GERRY_MCCARTHY__1409761483_39578161-620x503.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboys practice squad member Michael Sam has been invited to the inaugural veteran combine, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Friday.

The combine is set to take place on March 22 at the Arizona Cardinals’ training facility in Tempe, AZ.

Also next month, Dancing With The Stars begins taping. Sam, of course, is on this season of DWTS, but said after announcing his participation in the show that football would remain his top priority and that the filming schedule would allow plenty of flexibility for him to attend such football-related events as this veteran combine.

Selected in the seventh round of the 2014 draft, Sam was among the St. Louis Rams’ final cuts. He was signed to the Cowboys practice squad on September 3 of last year and stayed with the team for a month and a half before being released. He has spent this offseason training at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney, TX.

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: Gerry McCarthy / Dallas Morning News Staff Photographer]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers' Frisco Affiliate Undergoes Makeover]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:42:09 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/RoughRiders_uniform_models.jpg

Take a quick look at what will likely be the Opening Day roster for the Texas Rangers' Double-A affiliate in Frisco, and you'll see a ton of big names in the minor-league baseball world that lives and dies with prospects and projections.

Of course, there's Joey Gallo and Jorge Alfaro, and Nomar Mazara, and Jake Thompson and Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez, and the list goes on. There are plenty of good reasons to go watch games in Frisco this year, at least until some of those guys start making their way to Round Rock for a promotion to Triple-A.

And when fans head out to Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco this year, they'll be seeing the RoughRiders in a brand new look that goes back to the team's roots, so to say, by incorporating Teddy Roosevelt, for whom the team is named after because of Roosevelt's volunteer troops.

 As you can see, the logo is pretty sweet. And if you're not familiar with OldHossRadbourn's Twitter account, you should be. Great job rebranding though, in all seriousness, as it's fun to have ol' Chuck Greenberg back in the local baseball picture.



Photo Credit: Frisco RoughRiders]]>
<![CDATA[Top 5 Snow Games in NFL History]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:17:00 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Victoria+Lamm.jpg

As I look out my window today, not sure if it we’re at Ice Force 1 or DefCon 1. And this mini-blizzard reminds me, of course, of … football.

Duh.

The Cowboys played in probably the NFL’s most famous snow(ish) game – the Ice Bowl. But it’s Friday and we’re snow giddy, so let’s not go there.

Obviously snow + football in these parts = Leon Lett. The image of the defensive tackle inexplicably and clumsily attempting to cover a blocked field goal at a snow-covered Texas Stadium on Thanksgiving Day 1993 is, well, frozen into our memories.

With AT&T’s retractable roof, the chances of another snowmageddon Cowboys’ home game are quashed.

As you snuggle by the fire or before you attempt to navigate DFW’s treacherous roadways, let’s take a winter stroll down the NFL’s 5 most memorable snow games:

5. Lions at Eagles, 2013 – Snow so thick neither team attempted a field goal nor a PAT as LeSean McCoy plowed his way for 217 yards rushing.

4. Cardinals at Eagles, 1948 – Before the days of TV and mechanized equipment, this NFL Championship Game was delayed for an hour while workers – and players from both teams – finally dragged the snow-weighted tarp from the field.

3. Dolphins at Patriots, 1982 – Don Shula shivered in protest as New England won, 3-0, on John Smith’s field goal from a clear swath of field cleared by a convicted convict out of prison on a work-release program.

2. Dolphins at Cowboys, 1993 – Leon. Lett. Ugh.

1. Raiders at Patriots, 2002 – Tom Brady fumbled in the snow, but the Tuck Rule saved him and New England’s dramatic playoff win.

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: Victoria Lamm]]>
<![CDATA[Peterson's Father Has Heard Dallas "Rumors" ]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:11:30 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/186716672.jpg

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was only cleared for potential reinstatement to the NFL on Thursday, but the rumor mill is already heating up again over the idea of the two-time NFL rushing champion leaving Minnesota.

According to Nelson Peterson, Adrian’s father, his son has not asked to be traded but he’s heard “rumors” of three potential destinations, should the 29-year-old be moved before the 2015 season--and one of them, not surprisingly, is Dallas.

“I’ve heard rumors, Arizona,” Nelson Peterson told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. “I’ve also heard the rumors of Indianapolis and the Colts, going there with a quarterback the caliber of (Andrew) Luck. I’ve also heard the Cowboys, coming back home with the Cowboys, behind that offensive line that they have.

Peterson was born and raised in Palestine, TX.

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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