<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - ]]>Copyright 2018 https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth https://www.nbcdfw.com en-usMon, 22 Oct 2018 20:39:53 -0500Mon, 22 Oct 2018 20:39:53 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Cowboys Trade for WR Amari Cooper to Make Dak Prescott Better]]> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 19:45:22 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/amari.jpg

The Cowboys made a bold move Monday based on hope and reality.

The hope is that Amari Cooper, a gifted receiver who had more than 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first two seasons, can help the Cowboys make the playoffs this season.

The reality is the Cowboys have a $100 million decision, maybe more, to make concerning Dak Prescott at the end of the 2019 season and they can’t do it with him throwing to a pedestrian group of receivers.

It’s a trade Dallas needed to make.


The 6-1, 211-pound Cooper is better than Miami’s DeVante Parker. He’s a ton better than Buffalo’s Kelvin Benjamin. He’s better and younger than Denver’s Demaryius Thomas.

Each of those players were reportedly on the trading block. The NFL trade deadline is Oct. 30.

Cooper is better than any receiver the Cowboys could take in the first round of the 2019 draft whether we’re talking Mississippi’s A.J. Brown, Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown or Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry.

Cooper, who’s signed through 2019, is scheduled to earn $13.9 million next season.

Now, it’s a steep price in terms of draft capital and money for a dude with just 22 catches for 280 yards and a touchdown this season.

But that’s more a product of first-year coach Jon Gruden’s seeming disdain for Cooper than the player’s ability.

After all, Cooper caught 10 passes for 116 yards against Denver and eight passes for 128 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland in September.

He didn’t suddenly get sorry.

Besides, we’re talking about a player who gained more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. His numbers declined last season, but he was still apparently in high demand. Oakland reportedly turned down a second-round pick from Philadelphia and Indianapolis was about to make an offer, so Jerry made the deal happen.

Late last week the Cowboys were still discussing the move internally, but as late as Friday morning they still hadn’t contacted Oakland about what it would take to make a deal.

A source said talks intensified this weekend internally and with Oakland.

Much of the internal conversation centered on how the Cowboys could determine Prescott’s worth given the collection of receivers on the roster.

Other teams such as Chicago, Kansas City and the Los Angeles Rams have given their young quarterbacks a collection of weapons; the Cowboys stuck Prescott with journeymen.

In his first 24 games, Prescott completed 66 percent of his passes, while throwing for 228 yards a game with 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He averaged 7.7 yards per attempt.

In his last 14 games, Prescott has completed 62.4 percent of his passes, while passing for 194.9 yards per game with 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He’s averaged 6.7 per attempt.

The Cowboys acquired Cooper to help them figure out whether the real Prescott is the player from the first 24 games or the guy from the last 14.

Understand, Prescott is never going to consistently elevate players with his arm talent like New England’s Tom Brady, New Orleans’ Drew Brees or Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. They can make average receivers good.

Prescott can elevate players with his intangibles, but he must be surrounded by better talent than the front office gave him this season.

The question is how fast Prescott can found a rhythm with Cooper.

After all, he had an entire offseason of minicamps, OTAs, training camp, preseason games not to mention seven regular season games with players such as Hurns and Deonte Thompson and he still can’t seem to consistently find a rhythm with them.

It’s hard to believe he’ll be able to do it with Cooper, but it’s worth the risk.

This trade is about more than this season. The Cowboys also made the deal with next season in mind.

A group of receivers led by Cooper, Michael Gallup and Cole Beasley, if he re-signs, is significantly better than the current group.

Then, the Cowboys can adequately determine whether Prescott is their long-term quarterback.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers, Red Sox Look to Add to World Series Totals]]> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 20:19:26 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/WSPHOTO.jpg

The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers are no strangers to the World Series. As they face off this year, take a peek at some of their numbers.

<![CDATA[Analyzing the Amari Cooper Trade]]> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 19:37:48 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+102218.jpg

The Cowboys acquired Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders in a blockbuster deal Monday. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor explain why the trade is really about Dak Prescott.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Nominate Wingstop Scholar Athlete]]> Fri, 28 Sep 2018 18:44:59 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/181*120/Wingstop+Scholar+Athlete+2018+640x424.PNG
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<![CDATA[Can You Trust Cowboys Coaches to Develop Cooper?]]> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 19:36:30 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+102218.jpg

The Cowboys gave up a first-round pick to acquire wide receiver Amari Cooper. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss whether Dallas' coaching staff can get the most out of the new acquisition.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Stephen Jones Show: Trade Deadline Approaches]]> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 18:57:43 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Stephen_Jones_Show_Ben_Skin_Friday_October_18.jpg

During a weekly radio appearance on NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's Ben and Skin show, Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones says the NFL needs to explain to him that last call that resulted in a 5 yard penalty. When asked about the trade deadline coming up, Jones said "If we see an opportunity to improve our football team, we'll be all over it."

<![CDATA[Ex-Phillie Lenny Dykstra Pleads Not Guilty in Uber Driver Flap]]> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:41:42 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dykstra11.jpg

Ex-Met legend Lenny Dykstra, a three-time All-Star who has faced repeated legal troubles over the last decade, pleaded not guilty Monday to drug and threat-making charges stemming from an Uber altercation earlier this year.

Dykstra was indicted on the charges -- cocaine possession, meth possession and making terroristic threats -- less than two weeks ago in connection with the late May ride-share fight. At the time, an Uber driver alleged Dykstra put a gun to his head when the driver declined his request to go somewhere other than his original destination. Dykstra, 55, was taken into custody at the scene.

Dykstra, who waived formal arraignment at Monday's hearing in Union County, and his lawyer made brief comments to reporters after court. The attorney reiterated previous statements -- that Dykstra is a nonviolent man and the evidence will support his contentions. Dykstra, asked about the emotional toll the court case has taken on him, mumbled so much in his brief response that his words were barely audible. 

Dykstra has been active on Twitter, though, teasing in the overnight hours ahead of his court appearance, "Anything interesting going on in any Elizabeth, NJ courtrooms during the next day or so?"

After court, he went on a bizarre nonsensical Tweetstorm, writing a series of postss with various tags like #NationalNutDay, #DoublePlusGood, #NobodyWantsToHear and #NailsNation" that didn't appear to have anything to do with Monday's court hearing. He's due back in court in December.

Dykstra has said he was in fear for his life because the Uber driver wouldn't stop the car; his lawyer has said the driver took Dykstra on the wrong route to his destination and engaged the child locks to keep him from getting out. 

For his part, the Uber driver told authorities of an expletive-laden tirade that involved threats to "blow off" his head. At the time of the altercation, the driver stopped outside police headquarters in Linden, New Jersey, and ran out of the car. Police said they found cocaine, MDMA and marijuana among Dykstra's belongings but didn't find a weapon.

Dykstra's attorney has denied the threat had ever happened.

Dykstra played 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets and won a World Series in 1986 with the Mets. He was named to the National League All-Star team three times.

Dykstra's life after baseball has been troubled. He has served prison time after pleading guilty to crimes including bankruptcy fraud, grand theft auto and money laundering, and he declared bankruptcy in 2009, claiming he owed more than $31 million and had only $50,000 in assets.

Photo Credit: News 4
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<![CDATA[Vote for Big Game Friday Night]]> Thu, 18 Oct 2018 11:53:39 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Big-Game-Friday-Night-1200x675.jpg
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<![CDATA[TCU Player Suspended After Arrest, Family Assault Allegation]]> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 12:16:23 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/kavonte-turpin-mugshot.jpg

TCU wide receiver/kick returner KaVontae Turpin is suspended after being arrested Sunday,  accused of assault with bodily injury to a family member, according to Tarrant County Jail records.

In a statement to NBC 5, TCU said they were, "aware that one of its students was recently arrested for reported domestic situation. The university takes these types of reports very seriously and is continuing to gather information to determine next steps. TCU expects its students to behave in an ethical manner, abide by campus policies and adhere to state and federal law. The student also may face a charge of violating the University Code of Student Conduct, the results of which are independent and separate from any legal charges."

During his weekly Big 12 conference call, head coach Gary Patterson said that Turpin was suspended for the game against Kansas while more is learned about the arrest.

Turpin's arrest comes a day after the senior receiver scored two touchdowns, including on a 99-yard punt return, in TCU's 52-27 loss to Oklahoma.


Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Will the Cowboys Trade for Big-Time Receiver?]]> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 00:12:02 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/PAT_AND_JACQUES_TALK_POSSIBLE_COOPER_TRADE.jpg

The Cowboys offense sputters again in a 20-17 loss to the Washington Redskins.  Will this team make a trade to try to jumpstart their scoring? NBC 5’s Pat Doney and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss one big name that keeps popping up in trade talks.

<![CDATA[Is Washington Loss on Dak Prescott?]]> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 00:02:52 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/pat_and_jacques_talk_about_dak_after_washington_loss.jpg

 The Cowboys' offense stumbled on the road once again in their 20-17 loss in Washington? NBC 5's Pat Doney and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor explain why quarterback Dak Prescott shouldn't take all the blame for the struggles.

<![CDATA[JJT: 10 Thoughts on the Cowboys Loss to Washington]]> Mon, 22 Oct 2018 00:12:04 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-102118.jpg

The Cowboys' late rally fell short when kicker Brett Maher missed a 52-yard field goal attempt off the left upright as time expired. 

Here are NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor's 10 thoughts on the loss.

1. Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur has played in 212 games for the Cowboys. He's been penalized five times -- none since the playoff loss to Green Bay at end of the 2014 season. He was also called for a false start in that game.

His five-yard penalty for a snap infraction turned a 47-yard field goal attempt into a 52-yard attempt.

Maher's kick banged off the left upright as time expired, giving Washington a three-point win.

2. Ezekiel Elliott had the second-worst rushing game of his career with 34 yards on 15 carries. His longest run was six yards, which means the Cowboys spent a lot of time in second-and-long. Washington has not allowed a run of more than 18 yards this season.

3. Maher had made 16 consecutive field goals -- he hadn't missed since the opener against Carolina -- and he had kicked a game-winner to beat Detroit.

But his 52-yard attempt against Washington looked off from the moment he kicked it. Most of his kicks this season have been down the middle with good height. His kick Sunday wobbled from the start.

4. Dak Prescott had an up-and-down game. He passed for a season-high 273 yards and a touchdown, and he added 33 yards rushing and another score.

He also lost two fumbles -- one was returned for a touchdown -- but he was terrific in the last five minutes as the Cowboys nearly rallied from a 10-point deficit.

5. Washington won because it controlled both lines of scrimmage. Adrian Peterson rushed for 99 yards on 24 carries and he had a couple of long runs called back. Washington's defensive line shut down Elliott and sacked Prescott four times. They also hit him eight times and forced at least three holding penalties.

6. Why did it take Dallas more than three quarters to find Cole Beasley, who was unstoppable on the final couple of drives? Too many times, the Cowboys take what the defense gives them instead of taking what they want.

7. Rookie Michael Gallup continues to improve every week. He had three catches for 81 yards, which were both career highs. He also scored his first touchdown on a 49-yard catch.

8. DeMarcus Lawrence didn't have a sack, but he was a force with seven tackles, three for loss and a quarterback hit.

9. The Cowboys' average starting field position was their own 21. Only one of their 11 possessions started outside their 26-yard-line and that was their final possession. Washington's average starting field position was its 33.

10. Prescott ran six times for 33 yards, but he took a hard hit to the head late in the first half while he was trying to dive out of bounds, which reminded everyone just how risky it is every time he takes off. He also had an awkward slide in the first quarter that left him limping.

Photo Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Martin Is First Ever Female to Score for Carroll Football]]> Sun, 21 Oct 2018 20:44:21 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Southlake-Carroll-Kicker-102118.jpg

Senior kicker Madison Martin tried out for and made the Southlake Carroll football team this summer, and in September kicked four extra points to become the first female to score in program history.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Lose to Washington and Fall to 3-4]]> Sun, 21 Oct 2018 20:50:44 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+Dennis+102118.jpg

The Cowboys had a chance in the nation’s capital, but were a goal post away in the end against the Washington Redskins. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and former Cowboys defensive back Dennis Thurman discuss what needs to change as the Cowboys now head to their bye week.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Instant Analysis: Cowboys vs. Washington]]> Sun, 21 Oct 2018 20:51:35 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jason-Garrett-Getty-102118.jpg

Here's NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor's instant analysis of the Cowboys' 20-17 loss to Washington.

The Cowboys wasted a good defensive performance and an opportunity to claim first place all alone in the NFC East with yet another shoddy offensive performance on the road. Now, the Cowboys (3-4) can spend the week, once again, trying to figure out what's wrong with their offense on the road. Dallas, two games back of Washington in the loss column, seems destined to miss the playoffs this season.

Trailing 13-10 with 5:37 left, Dak Prescott completed a 16-yard pass on third-and-four for an apparent first down. But rookie guard Connor Williams was penalized for holding, negating the first down and making it third-and-14. On the next play, Prescott was sacked and fumbled, and Washington's Preston Smith returned it one yard for a touchdown and a 20-10 lead.

Adrian Peterson turned in a vintage performance. The veteran running back, a street free agent added in August, rushed for 99 yards on 24 carries and helped Washington control the game.

The Cowboys had not allowed points on their opponents' first drive of the game or the first drive of the third quarter. Washington scored a touchdown on its first drive of the game and a kicked a field goal on its first drive of the third quarter.

The Cowboys are off this week, and they're 3-4 after seven games. It's going to be a long week for the players as they think about how much opportunity they've wasted in the first seven games. Two games with Philadelphia and games against Washington, Atlanta and New Orleans loom. The road to the playoffs is arduous.

Photo Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers, Rockets Brawl as LeBron Loses Home Opener]]> Sun, 21 Oct 2018 07:00:44 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1052651858.jpg

A fight erupted in the fourth quarter of LeBron James' home debut with the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Saturday, as Chris Paul, Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo were all ejected in a feisty contest that ultimately saw the Lakers fall 124-115 to the Houston Rockets.

The Lakers may be 0-2, but they showed some fight--literally.


The fight erupted after Ingram shoved James Harden, with Paul and Rondo getting into a heated discussion that boiled over into punches being thrown by Paul and Rondo. Ingram, who had already received a technical foul, decided to run into the scrum and deliver a punch of his own to guarantee his ejection.


The Rockets led 109-108 when the fight broke out, with a shade over four minutes remaining in the game. The ensuing two technical free throws gave the Rockets a crucial three-point advantage, and Houston relied on Harden to outscore the Lakers 15-7 following the fight.

The night, though, started far more positive, with celebrities packing the stands and a crowd charged up during introductions. James and company faced the Houston Rockets' two-headed monster of James Harden and Paul, with James making his highly anticipated regular season home debut dressed in LA's iconic gold jersey.

James scored the Lakers' first two points of the game, but the Lakers had already dug a seven-point hole before the 33-year-old netted his first official basket at Staples Center for the home team.

The first quarter laid the groundwork for Harden's big night, with the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player tabbing nine points in the opening 12 minutes before pouring in 14 points in the second quarter for a halftime total of 23 points. The Southern California native ended the night with 36 points to lead the pack.

Thanks in part to contributions from Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, Rondo and, of course, James, the Lakers nullified the eye-popping output provided by Paul and Harden early. Paul went into the break with 19 points, seven assists and four rebounds.

Still, the Rockets never truly pulled away, and the two teams were tied eight times, with 14 lead changes in the first 24 minutes. The Rockets held a four-point edge at the break.

James led the Lakers in scoring at the intermission with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists, while Rondo added nine points, four assists and three rebounds before the break.

The third quarter continued the back-and-forth seesaw of the first half, with six lead changes in the penultimate quarter. Paul took the scoring lead from Harden momentarily, and the former LA Clippers' point guard scored nine points in the period to lead all scorers with 28 points and eight assists with 12 minutes remaining in the contest.

The Lakers, meanwhile, spread the scoring out and had six different players scoring in double figures before the end of the third quarter--led by James' 18 points at that stage.

For the second game in a row, an unlikely opponent off the bench caused damage to LA's hopes of getting its first victory of the 2018-19 season. While Nik Stauskas had killed the Lakers off the Blazers' bench of Thursday, Gerald Green assumed that role for the Rockets.

After three quarters, Green was 5-5 from the field for 13 points in 15 minutes off the Rockets' bench.

The fourth quarter featured the Rockets building a six-point lead almost immediately, but a flagrant foul on James Ennis III for wrapping his arm around Hart's neck helped the Lakers cut the Rockers' momentum on the scoreboard.

Lakers coach Luke Walton pointed to that Flagrant 1 foul as possibly leading to the fight minutes later. Hart, after the game, said he thought that Ennis should have been ejected, and Walton said the same. 

At the five-minute mark, though, the Rockets only led by a single point, but then a basketball game turned into a fight. Paul was ejected from the game with 28 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Ingram hit the showers with 12 points, four rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes, while Rondo left the floor with 13 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.

Down the stretch, however, Harden managed to put the ball in the bucket and claim victory for the visitors. The MVP finished with 36 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the victory, while James ended his Lakers' home debut with 24 points on 9-22 shooting from the field, five assists and five rebounds.

Notes: Ball finished the night shooting 4-8 from three-point land and 14 points to lead all bench scorers on both teams. With suspensions to Rondo and Ingram likely, Ball should slot into the starting lineup.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[ Dodgers Beat Brewers 5-1, Advance to World Series]]> Sun, 21 Oct 2018 19:20:18 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/204*120/Puig+hits+three+run+homer+in+Game+7+of+NLCS.png

The Dodgers are going back to the World Series.

Christian Yelich hit a first inning homer to give Milwaukee the lead, but the Dodgers responded with home runs by Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig, as they beat the Brewers, 5-1, to win the National League Championship Series four games to three.

Ahead of the winner-take-all Game 7, I wrote that whichever team took a two-to-three run lead would advance to the World Series. As such, when a precious lead is achieved in these do-or-die games, everything else dissolves and as the world appears to steadily slow on its axis, the arduous counting of outs begins.

Saturday morning started with the Dodgers waking up from the nightmares of a Game 7 loss at the hands of the Houston Astros in last year's World Series.

However, the sun would rise, a new day would come, and the opportunity to erase and exorcise some of those demons was at hand.

27 outs left.

After a scoreless first inning from Milwaukee starter Jhoulys Chacin, Yelich put the Brewers in front when he turned on a 98.5MPH fastball from rookie Walker Buehler for a solo shot.

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"Yelich clipped me," said Buehler of the homer. "It's a decent pitch. It's hard to hit that ball there. That's why he's a good player."

It was the second home run of the postseason from the presumed NL MVP, and it sent the sellout crowd at Miller Park into a frenzy as Milwaukee was seeking just their second ever World Series appearance, and first since moving to the National League in 1998.

Milwaukee's vaunted bullpen was ready and waiting, so as the Dodgers headed to the plate in the top half of the second inning, they knew they needed to answer the bell and silence the crowd. 

24 outs left.

Similar to a WWE wrestling villain, Dodgers' shortstop Manny Machado led off the second inning to a chorus of boos that drowned out any and all thoughts from players, to fans, to writers on deadline in the press box. 

Just days earlier, when asked why he didn't run out a groundball to first base in Game 2 of the series, Machado told Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal, "I don't hustle. It's not in my personality. I'm not the type of player that's going to be Johnny Hustle."

Whether or not Machado becomes the second coming of Pete Rose (Charlie Hustle not Johnny), is yet to be seen, but Machado did do his best impression of the Cincinnati Reds legend when he took everyone by surprise by laying down a full count bunt for an infield single.

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"We're trying to do anything to win," said Machado between champagne showers in the clubhouse following the win. "He quick-pitched me, so I'm going to drop one down. I know it was a little ballsy, but anything to win." 

"Manny Hustle" went from home to first in 3.96 seconds on the bunt single, the fastest he was clocked making that trip all season long.

Not only did Machado wisely play small ball to get something going, but also the move paid dividends when Bellinger followed with a 424-foot home run that put the Dodgers in front, 2-1.

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"I was looking for a pitch up, two strikes, just trying to put a good swing on it, and luckily it went out of there," said Bellinger who was named the MVP of the series. "It felt great. I honestly couldn't do it without the guys around me supporting me the whole year it feels pretty special."

Machado believed Bellinger was due, and was ectastic to be on base for the big blast.

"I knew Belly was due. He was due for something. I just needed to get on base for him and pass the baton," he said. "It came out perfect because Belli came up next and hit that big big homer to put us on top."

Bellinger's blast was his first of the playoffs, and fourth of his career after he hit three home runs during his NL Rookie of the Year campaign during the 2017 regular and postseason. 

"I know how lucky I am to go back to the World Series two years in a row and how hard it is," said Bellinger. "So to be a part of this team is pretty special. With that said we still have four more to go."

When Walker Buehler headed back to the mound for the bottom of the second inning, he was clinging to a slim one-run lead and needed to continue to throw zeroes in order to help his team reach the World Series.

The stress and pressure alone is enough to turn any other 24-year-old into a deer in headlights, but not Buehler, not this rookie.

Despite entering the game with a record of 0-1 and a 6.75 ERA in the postseason, Walker Buehler became just the third Dodger rookie to start a winner-take-all game in franchise history, joining Joe Black (Game 7, 1952 World Series vs. Yankees) and Fernando Valenzuela (Game 5, 1981 NLCS vs. Montreal Expos). 

After the home run to Yelich, Buehler was unflappable, surrendering just the one run, on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in 4 and 2/3 outstanding innings.

"I just tried to be myself and be a little more creative than I had been and it worked out for us," said Buehler of his start. "This one worked out a little better than earlier in the series."

Buehler exited the game with two outs and the tying run on second base in the bottom of the fifth inning. Julio Urias came on in relief to face Yelich who crushed a 94MPH fastball to left field where Chris Taylor (who started the game at second base) made a leaping catch, falling into the warning track to keep the Dodgers in the lead.

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"You could feel the tension in the fans. The tying run on second...it was all built up, and it was so loud in the outfield that communicating with Bellinger was difficult," said Taylor of his game-changing grab. "I knew it was in the gap and I was just trying to run hard and get to the spot. I had to change my route and go back towards the fence a little bit. I was just happy I made the play."

So was everyone wearing Dodger blue. 

"I think the most important part of the game today was CT's catch in left field," said Bellinger. "That definitely changed the whole game for us."

"That Taylor catch was unbelievable," added Buehler. "I don't know many people who can play shortstop to start the season, second base to start the game, and then go to the outfield and make that catch."

12 outs left. Remember to breathe.

As the Dodgers batted in the top of the sixth inning, with the world's best reliever in Josh Hader now out of the game, each pitch seemed to take an eternity. Each runner on base, either a dire threat, or the hope of a city stuck in a 30-year title drought.

Yasiel Puig stepped to the plate, with the knowledge and understanding of all this. Since joining the Dodgers in 2013, he's appeared in more postseason games than any other player in franchise history with 53. He knows how badly the City of Angels wants a championship; he too yearns to host the Commissioner's Trophy himself.

Puig himself proclaimed the Dodgers would win the World Series last season. He did it again after they won their sixth consecutive NL West Division at the end of September. Accurately predicting the Dodgers would dispatch of the Atlanta Braves in the Division Series and eliminate the Milwaukee Brewers in the Leage Championship Series before advancing to the World Series and celebrating in the streets of Los Angeles in November.

So with the weight of that prediction firmly on his strong shoulders, Puig stepped to the plate to stare down Brewers' reliever Jeremy Jeffress, the same pitcher who surrendered the game-winning home run to Justin Turner in Game 2.

Puig swung out of his shoes on a 95MPH fastball to start the at-bat, looked at another for a ball, and then crushed an 83MPH curveball for a line-drive, three-run homer that put the Dodgers ahead 5-1.

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"I never expected that ball to be a home run," admitted Puig after the game. "I was so excited because there was two people on base. Thank God that ball kept going and it was a home run."

It was easily the biggest home run in Puig's six-year career, and it sent the crowd from a rabid Miller Park mob, into a silent study hall, and put the Dodgers on the precipice of their 11th World Series appearance in franchise history.

Nine, eight, seven… each out felt like a life-or-death proposition. Each reliever out of the Dodgers bullpen that recorded an out felt the collective exhale of Dodger fans across the globe, and the progressive groans of the Brewers fans in the building.

"We had a hard time getting anything going today, more than one runner on a base in an inning, just couldn't get it going," said Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell. "We weren't able to put together rallies, multiple hits, and get things going. And credit to them for how they pitched tonight."

The team that scored first in the series lost five of the seven games. The team that hit a leadoff home run in the final two games went on to lose the game. Baseball is random, that much we know, and whatever we thought we knew was turned on its head over the span of seven games.

Six, five, four…Kenley Jansen, an All-Star closer that had his season in doubt after an irregular heartbeat sent him to a Denver hospital in early August, mowed down Milwaukee hitters like he was a machine.

"Before the game, Doc had a conversation with me, and told me they might go the same route as they did in 2016 [NLDS Game 5] against Washington [Nationals]," said Jansen. "It doesn't matter if I'm closing or not, just put me in the game when you need me. He brought me in in the seventh, and I got my job done. We just had to play all 27 outs."

Three outs left.

The constant reminder of the mantra, "all hands on deck," was apparent throughout the game as the tantalizing possibility that the Dodgers three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw would ride out of the bullpen on his white horse and send the Dodgers back to the World Series as he did in Game of the NLCS in Chicago last year.

Possibility became a reality when the 2014 MVP ran out of the bullpen to take the mound in the bottom of the ninth with the World Series on the line.

"I look around and I see Kershaw is out there and Kenley, I don't think I've ever had a better feeling," said reliever Ryan Madson who pitched one and two-thirds of scoreless relief. "When you see Clayton Kershaw in the bullpen with 100 pitches under his belt, and ready to go in to the game, I don't think there's a better feeling.

Kershaw started the bottom of the ninth with 44,907 in attendance waiting and praying on bated breath. He faced second baseman Travis Shaw to start things off. Shaw grounded out to second base.

Two outs left.

Next up was Venezuelan powerhouse, Jesus Aguilar, who the night prior had three hits, two doubles and three RBI in Milwaukee's Game 6 win. Kershaw struck him out on six pitches.

One out left. 

Fate inevitably has a way of placing the exact people it wants in the moments that hold the most magnitude. 

So with the Dodgers so close to advancing to the pinnacle series of their sport, it was fitting that someone who once went to the World Series and lost, only to go back and win it the next year, would face the man on the mound hoping to do the exact same thing that the player he was now facing had done.

Former Royals third baseman, and 2015 World Series Champion, Mike Moustakas, stepped into the box. He had singled against Kershaw in Game 1 of the series, but was 0-for-3 against him in Game 5.  Kershaw dispatched of him on six pitches as well.

"I appreciate these moments," said Kershaw after he was mobbed by his teammates on the mound. "It's pretty fun. You might never get to do it again. It's hard to take something like this for granted."

In victory, the Dodgers became the first team since the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals to win a Game 7 of the LCS on the road, and won their 23rd NL pennant, tied with the Giants for the most in NL history.

"I can't say enough about our players, our coaches, the front office and most importantly the fans," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "They supported us through thick and thin and we fed off their support."

The Dodgers were once ten games below .500 on May 16, and last place in the West division, facing the looming possibility that they might not make the postseason, let alone return to the World Series.

Thankfully, the hangover cleared, and the Dodgers returned to their dominant self, finishing 30 games above .500 from that point on, finishing with 92 wins and their sixth consecutive division title.

"This is an unbelievable feeling to be standing here right now," said Justin Turner, whose return to the lineup from a broken wrist suffered in spring training helped complete the turnaround. "At one point 10 games under .500, at one point in third place in the division in September. We've played with our backs against the wall all season, here we were again tonight, Game 7, backs against the wall again and we found a way to get it done."

The role of underdog is unfamiliar for the Boys in Blue, they have always been the Goliath in the proverbial matchup with David. Nonetheless, when they face the Boston Red Sox (108 wins), and the best team in baseball all year long, they will be a substantial longshot.

"It's an amazing team. The best team in the AL and the best team in baseball with 108 wins," said Puig of the Red Sox. "But now they're going to face us, and the best team is going to win. I've never played in Boston before, it's going to be cold."

It was 102 years ago the last time the Dodgers and Red Sox met in the World Series when Boston defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers behind a 14-inning outing by pitcher Babe Ruth in 1916.

"I'm looking forward to going back to Fenway," said Roberts who like Red Sox manager Alex Cora has won both jerseys. "Obviously for me personally I have a lot of fond memories of the Red Sox and Fenway Park. To be wearing another uniform going in there playing for a World Series Championship is going to be special for me. It's great for baseball. Two storied franchises going head-to-head. It's going to be a great series."

The last time Los Angeles won the World Series was in 1988, where ironically, they were the dark horse against the 104-win Oakland Athletics, who had the bash brothers, the best starting rotation, and the best closer in the game.

So maybe it's not a coincidence that on this date, October 20th, 30 years ago, today, the Dodgers defeated the A's, 5-2, to win the 1988 World Series, the last championship they won.

Here's hoping history repeats itself.

Up Next: 

The World Series begins at Fenway Park in Boston on Tuesday night 5:09PM PT. 

If you can't view the embedded videos, click "VIEW THE FULL MOBILE SITE"  at the bottom of this page.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Vs. Redskins Preview]]> Sat, 20 Oct 2018 20:19:27 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas-Cowboys-logo.jpg

Jason Garrett's Dallas Cowboys and Jay Gruden's Washington Redskins have been the very definition of mediocre as the NFC East teams resume their rivalry. The Cowboys are 3-3, while the Redskins head into Sunday's home game leading the so-so NFC East at 3-2 and with an 18-18-1 mark since the start of the 2016 season. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs has a preview.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Cedar Hill Flies Past Lake Ridge, and Southlake Carroll Stays Undefeated]]> Sat, 20 Oct 2018 19:37:05 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cedar+hill+vs+lake+ridg_KXASJ4CA_2018-10-20-19-34-44.jpg

The Cedar Hill Longhorns bounced back after a disappointing loss a week ago, while the Southlake Carroll Dragons improved to 7-0 by beating Keller Fossil Ridge in a shootout.

<![CDATA[Arlington Football Supports Teammates Facing Tragedy]]> Sat, 20 Oct 2018 19:39:00 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ISHSS_SEG_2.jpg

The Arlington Colts have two players who have each lost their mothers this football season, and are once again showing the power of the bond of a football team in the midst of tragedy.

<![CDATA[Allen’s Theo Wease Wins an MVP Bobblehead]]> Sat, 20 Oct 2018 19:42:30 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/IHSS_SEG_3.jpg

Allen Eagles wide receiver Theo Wease is considered one of the top football prospects in the state of Texas, and his outstanding performance against Plano East a week ago earned him an MVP bobble head.

<![CDATA[Plays of the Week]]> Sat, 20 Oct 2018 19:43:30 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/IHSS_SEG_4.jpg

Rain won’t slow down high school football in North Texas, as proven in our top plays of the week segment.

<![CDATA[National Soccer Hall of Fame Officially Opens in Frisco]]> Sat, 20 Oct 2018 18:20:22 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/SOCCER+HALL+OF+FAME.jpg

Frisco, nicknamed Sports City USA, is already home to the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Stars, Frisco Rough Riders, and FC Dallas.

Saturday, the city added one more name to its lineup: The National Soccer Hall of Fame.

It’s located in Toyota Stadium.

Walking distance away is a business that couldn’t be in a better position to benefit.

Soccer City Frisco sells everything you need to take the field.

Co-owner Todd Hightower bought the place two years ago.

“Frisco has really, honestly turned into a soccer mecca,” Hightower said.

In addition to FC Dallas fans, his store gets packed with youth soccer players.

Local clubs are among the largest in the nation.

“It’s unreal the participation of kids in soccer and it’s all right here in a 20 mile radius,” he said.

As a lifelong soccer player, for Hightower, having the Soccer Hall of Fame here is a personal and professional win.

“It’s kind of overwhelming thinking that the Soccer Hall of Fame is going to be here,” Hightower said.

Saturday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the official opening for $39 million project. It’s a public-private partnership among FC Dallas, the City of Frisco, the Frisco Independent School District and the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Inside you'll find game treasures dating back to the 1800's, tributes to the greats and an interactive museum to inspire the mind. It also added 3,000 premium seats on the field and a specialty retail space.

"All of America has heard of Canton, they've heard of Cooperstown, and now you have Frisco, Texas as the top three cities, top there sports and where their hall of fame is located,” said Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Big Game Friday - October 19, 2018]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 23:50:34 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Pat_Big_Game_Friday_101918.jpg

 NBC 5 Sports Reporter Pat Doney has the latest update for Big Game Friday on October 19, 2018.

<![CDATA[Suter has Winning Goal, 2 Assists as Wild Beat Stars]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 23:08:23 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-1052561258.jpg

Ryan Suter scored the winning goal in the third period and had two assists as the Minnesota Wild beat the Dallas Stars 3-1 on Friday night.

Dallas goalie Ben Bishop had stopped a shot by Eric Staal, but the puck went into the left corner. Suter sent the puck back in front, and it ricocheted in off the Stars' Esa Lindell with 7:06 left.

Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves for Minnesota in a game that was scoreless until 36 seconds into the third period, when the Stars' Jason Spezza scored his first of the season. He tipped in Miro Heiskanen's shot from the left point.

Matt Dumba put in a loose rebound past Bishop at 9:37 of the third to tie the score.

Bishop also finished with 33 saves, and Zach Parise scored into an empty net with 1 minute left.

In the closely played first period, Dallas didn't have a shot on goal until Spezza put the puck on Dubnyk at 11:21. Bishop stopped the period's best scoring chance when he denied Marcus Foligno on a short breakaway from the left faceoff circle at 13:38.

The second period was freewheeling, with the Stars outshooting the Wild 24-13 but unable to beat Dubnyk. His best stop was on Blake Comeau on a 2-on-1 late in the period.

Bishop stopped a short-handed attempt by Mikko Koivu on the first of two Stars power plays, and Dallas' penalty killers succeeded on the only Wild power play.

NOTES: Dumba tied Jason Zucker for the Wild's team lead with his third goal. Parise leads the team with eight points (two goals, six assists). ... Minnesota recalled F Matt Read from Iowa of the AHL and immediately put him on the top line. Read replaced Matt Hendricks, who is expected to miss 2 to 3 weeks because of a left leg injury that occurred in the first period on Tuesday. ... Stars RW Alexander Radulov had been expected to play despite what was described as a "minor issue" in the third period of their game on Tuesday. RW Valeri Nichushkin (lower-body injury) missed his second straight game.


Wild: Return home to host Tampa Bay on Saturday in the Wild's second road-home back-to-back games in six days.

Stars: Host Los Angeles on Tuesday in the second game of a three-game homestand.

Photo Credit: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Longhorns vs. Eagles for Big Game Friday Night]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 18:50:47 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/bgfn+6pm+.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney reports live from Longhorn Stadium in Cedar Hill as the Cedar Hill Longhorns take on the Mansfield Lake Ridge Eagles for Big Game Friday Night.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Stephen Jones Show: Sean Lee to Play, Trades?]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 18:22:37 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Stephen_Jones_Show_Ben_Skin_Friday_October_18.jpg

During a weekly radio appearance on NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's Ben and Skin show, Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones says Sean Lee will play Sunday against the Redskins and whether or not the team was looking to make any trades.

<![CDATA[Big Game: Cedar Hill vs. Mansfield Lake Ridge]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:38:17 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/bgfn+5pm.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney reports live from Longhorn Stadium in Cedar Hill as the Cedar Hill Longhorns take on the Mansfield Lake Ridge Eagles for Big Game Friday Night.

<![CDATA[Another Rainy Big Game Friday Night]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:47:42 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/rain+bgfn.jpg

Rain is in the forecast once again as NBC 5's Pat Doney reports live from Longhorn Stadium in Cedar Hill as the Cedar Hill Longhorns take on the Mansfield Lake Ridge Eagles for Big Game Friday Night.

<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Show: Dak Long Term, Sean Lee Availability]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:24:04 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Show_GBag_Nation_Friday_Oct_19.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Southlake Carroll Football Female Kicker Has Homecoming Mission]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 16:57:12 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/southlake+kicker.jpg

The female kicker at Southlake Carroll is on a homecoming mission. NBC 5's Pat Doney reports live from Longhorn Stadium in Cedar Hill as the Cedar Hill Longhorns take on the Mansfield Lake Ridge Eagles for Big Game Friday Night.

<![CDATA[TTU Keeps QB Mystery Under Wraps Vs Kansas]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 14:56:40 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1043028606.jpg

Jett Duffey is coming off a road win in his first career start, and Alan Bowman is now three weeks removed from a crunching hit that led to a partially collapsed lung.

Toss in McLane Carter briefly replacing Duffey in Texas Tech's last game, and there's no telling who might start at quarterback Saturday when the Red Raiders (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) host Kansas (2-4, 0-3).

As usual, coach Kliff Kingsbury isn't saying.

"I don't know if we'll have all three available for this week," Kingsbury said. "But soon will. So we'll evaluate them all during practice, get everybody a bunch of reps like we've been doing, make a decision as the week goes on."

Logic points to the sophomore Duffey in part because he played through some inconsistencies to provide the decisive moment in a 17-14 win at TCU , dashing 38 yards up the middle for the go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

Carter, a junior, replaced Duffey for one series but appeared limited by the sprained left ankle sustained in the opener. Bowman replaced Carter and was the nation's leading passer when he was knocked out of a home loss to West Virginia.

While sidestepping the question of whether Bowman was ready to return following an injury that put him in the hospital for four days , Kingsbury at least acknowledged early in the week that the true freshman had yet to participate in team drills in practice.

"He can throw, do all those things," Kingsbury said. "Obviously it was an internal injury. It's a unique thing for us. We're just making sure that he's 100 percent before we put him back out there."

The Jayhawks have lost 42 straight true Big 12 road games going into their first game since coach David Beaty fired offensive coordinator Doug Meacham during their open week. Beaty said he would call plays with help from the staff.

"It's no different than really it's always been," Beaty said. "I always talk about it like it's a rainy day. If something were to happen and one of those guys went down ... we gotta make sure we have somebody there that can call it, right?"


Against TCU, the Red Raiders allowed their fewest points in a conference game since beating the Horned Frogs 20-10 in Kingsbury's Big 12 debut five years ago. Texas Tech forced three turnovers, including Adrian Frye's clinching interception late.

"It feels good, man," safety Jah'Shawn Johnson said. "Still got to get some more turnovers. They're coming a little bit. But going on these next six games, we got to win the turnover battle each game in order to win."


Pooka Williams Jr. became the first Kansas freshman to start his career with two 100-yard games, victories over Central Michigan and Rutgers that gave the Jayhawks a winning record going into Big 12 play. But he has yet to reach 100 yards in three league losses. The closest was 97 yards in a 48-28 loss to Oklahoma State.


Despite the struggles against TCU, when Duffey had just 40 yards passing and 37 rushing before halftime, Texas Tech still leads the Big 12 in yards passing (373 per game) and total offense (552 yards per game), and is still in the top five nationally in both categories.

"Offensively it just hadn't been very smooth the last two weeks," Kingsbury said. "Not the level of execution we expect."


Kansas' last Big 12 road win was 35-33 at Iowa State on Oct. 4, 2008. The Jayhawks beat Missouri at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium that season, and since has lost 44 straight conference games outside Lawrence. ... Duffey's running ability has the Red Raiders nearly breaking even on run vs. pass plays in the normally pass-happy offense. Texas Tech has 262 rushes and 270 passing attempts.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[No. 9 OU at TCU Looking to Overcome Loss to Texas]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 14:53:08 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/kylertdus.jpg

Kyler Murray has had nearly two weeks to stew over his first loss as Oklahoma's starting quarterback.

"After the game I probably said about six words," Murray said. "But I think losing that game is definitely a learning lesson. ... I can only learn from it and get better from it."

The ninth-ranked Sooners have dropped out of and gotten back into the top 10, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops has been fired and Murray has been tabbed the AP midseason Big 12 offensive player of the year since their loss to Texas on Oct. 6 at the State Fair of Texas.

Murray and the Sooners (5-1, 3-1 Big 12) are back in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Saturday to play at TCU (3-3, 1-2). It is a rematch of last year's Big 12 championship game that already looks much different than their two meetings last year when both were top-10 teams both times.

Both now are coming off losses. TCU has already matched its loss total from last year, when two of those three losses were against Oklahoma.

"With two good defenses last year, the best we could do is hold them to 38 (points)," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "So we've got work to do."

Plus, Murray provides a bit of a different challenge than Baker Mayfield, the Heisman Trophy winner he succeeded. The dual-threat junior and first-round MLB draft pick is the Big 12's most efficient passer with 21 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He has completed 96 of 135 passes (71 percent) for 1,773 yards, and run for another 377 yards with five more scores.

"As a general rule, he can just take off on you and most people on the field can't catch him," Patterson said.

The Sooners trailed Texas 45-24 in the fourth quarter before Murray led them to three touchdowns in a six-minute span, including his 67-yard run on a one-play drive, to tie the game before the Longhorns won 48-45 on a field goal with nine seconds left .

"He took it really hard. He did. Most of the really good ones I've been around do," Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said of how Murray reacted to the loss. "But I think there's kind of a renewed focus. I think he's excited about some of the things that he's done and we're doing offensively."


Oklahoma hasn't lost consecutive games in the regular season since 1999, a year before their last national title. The last time the Sooners dropped consecutive games was in 2014, when they lost their regular-season finale to Oklahoma State then fell to Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl. They have won 38 consecutive regular season games following a loss in the regular season.


TCU faces the Big 12's highest-scoring team for the second game in a row. The Sooners average 48 points a game, the same as Texas Tech did before its 17-14 win at TCU on Oct. 11. The Red Raiders were held 31 points below their scoring average, and their 353 total yards were 248 less than their national-best average of 591 going into the game.


The Sooners' 17-game true road winning streak is the longest of its kind in the country -- no other Power Five team has more than five in a row. Their last such loss was 37-33 at TCU four years ago. ... TCU has scored 17 points or less in three consecutive games for the first time since 2006. ... The Horned Frogs are last in the Big 12 in turnover margin, with only six takeaways against 15 turnovers. ... Oklahoma and TCU are playing for the third time over a 12-game span in less than a year.


Safety Innis Gaines, TCU's second-leading tackler with 31, will miss Saturday's game and maybe the rest of the season because of an apparent left leg injury suffered against Texas Tech. He also had an interception and six pass breakups.


Oklahoma sophomore linebacker Kenneth Murray was named the Big 12 midseason defensive player of the year. His 74 total tackles are second only in the Big 12 to fellow Sooners linebacker Curtis Bolton.

Photo Credit: Dalton Johnson]]>
<![CDATA[Mavs to Host Party on the Plaza Before Home Opener Saturday]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 13:15:54 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mavs-center-court.jpg

Ahead of their home opener Saturday night against the Timberwolves, the Dallas Mavericks will host a Party on the Plaza from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The party is open to all fans "to get rowdy, proud and loud for the game and will include food and drink specials, life-size board games, a digital photo booth, live broadcast from FOX Sports Southwest and visits from Mavs Entertainers including MavsMan, Champ, Mavs Dancers, ManiAACs and the Mavs Drumline."

FOX Sports Southwest will broadcast a special 90-minute edition of Mavericks Live pregame from the plaza beginning at 6 p.m. Dallas Mavericks Legends Derek Harper and Rolando Blackman are scheduled to join the live show as guests.

Fans are encouraged to dress in their best Mavs gear, make posters, and show off their MFFL spirit throughout.

The team said in a statement as fans explore the plaza, walk the blue carpet, and take their picture with larger than life player walls and the famous D_RK letters. There also will be jumbo size board games, including Jenga, Connect4, cornhole, Pop-A-Shot inflatables and free haircuts courtesy of MVRCK by Mitch.

Every fan who attends the game will receive a unique Mavs home opener T-shirt and a schedule magnet.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scott Linehan Has the Blueprint to Offensive Line Success]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:50:35 -0500 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/scott-linehan-cowboys.png

Maybe, just maybe, play caller Scott Linehan has figured out how to maximize the Cowboys' offense.

It starts with putting Dak Prescott on the move whether he's running or throwing from a moving pocket. It means being stubborn with the run and regularly giving Ezekiel Elliott a minimum of 20 carries.

And it means making Michael Gallup and Cole Beasley the focus of the passing game.

Do that on a regular basis and this Cowboys' offense — dysfunctional and ineffective much of the season — might just score enough points to complement their defense and win enough games to get into the playoffs.

Linehan found a blueprint Sunday in the Cowboys' shocking 33-point win over Jacksonville and its top-rated defense and collection of stars.

They scored a season-high 40 points. Prescott had 265 yards in total offense — 183 passing and 82 rushing — while throwing for two touchdowns and running for another. Beasley had a season-high nine catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Dallas amassed 23 first downs and converted a season-high seven-of-17 third-down. They rushed for 206 yards and kept the ball for more than 38 minutes.

With receiver Tavon Austin expected to miss several weeks with a groin injury, the Cowboys have even fewer playmakers, which means Linehan must maximize the ones he still has.

Prescott had runs of 10, 17 and 28 yards against Jacksonville. The 17-yard run, a read option around left end, resulted in a touchdown. The other two runs were scrambles.

Prescott had 19 runs of 10 yards or more last season, and 12 as a rookie. His athleticism makes him a weapon Linehan must prioritize.

The quarterback can help by being patient with his reads in the pocket but running when no one is open. Three or four yards is obviously better than a sack or an incompletion.

"We have to continue to aspire to do that. It's going to depend on who we're playing and how they defend us," Linehan said. "I think some teams will say, 'You're not running your quarterback,' or they'll try.

"From the called runs, zone reads, any of those kinds of plays to the off-schedule plays he can make with his feet, I think we can continue to get production from him not only as our quarterback in the passing game but using his legs at times in the run game."

Getting the ball to Gallup and Beasley should also be a priority.

Gallup had a 27-yard reception on the Cowboys' first drive last week that led to points. He also had an apparent 17-yard touchdown catch overturned by replay, negating a nifty catch.

He's getting better every week, and he's responding to the criticism the coaches have given him about his inability to consistently make contested catches.

Beasley runs the best routes on the team and has the best hands. In a 19-16 overtime loss to Houston, Beasley caught one pass for eight yards.


Against Jacksonville, he had receptions of 15, 17, 18 and 21 yards to go over 100 yards for the first time in 44 games.

Jacksonville tried to cover Beasley man-to-man instead of double-teaming him and he took advantage of it. Most teams double him and because Linehan rarely sends him downfield, it becomes easy for him to be neutralized.

In the past, Beasley has gotten frustrated. This season, he's determined to work through it.

"I can't get into a game to where I'm thinking too much, or else I won't play as well. I've gotten into that before after the '16 season and I think the beginning of last season. That kind of messed with me a little bit.

"That's probably been the biggest change for me this year," he said. "I owe a lot of that to (new receivers coach) Sanjay (Lal) and the mentality that he's brought into that room. You get satisfaction out of winning your routes whether the ball comes or not."

Elliott knows the importance of getting Beasley involved in the offense. The more plays made in the passing game, the more teams have to back off their safeties and linebackers, which means Elliott has more room to run.

Last week you saw him in rare form," running back Ezekiel Elliott said. "You could see the look in his eyes, you could tell the way he was running his routes that he was just in a rhythm.

"I don't think it mattered who was guarding him at that point. He was definitely in a zone."

Now, it's a matter of whether Beasley and the Cowboys' offense can do it again.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports
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