<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - ]]>Copyright 2017https://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.comen-usSun, 17 Dec 2017 00:53:33 -0600Sun, 17 Dec 2017 00:53:33 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Updated High School Football Playoff Pairings, 6A-1A]]> Fri, 08 Dec 2017 22:06:49 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/football-generic-marker-01.jpg
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Photo Credit: Frank Heinz, NBC DFW]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Switzer Sends Jersey to Number One Fan]]> Sat, 16 Dec 2017 23:03:31 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/doney_switzer_sends_jersey_to_fan_1200x675_1118296131572.jpg

Cowboys rookie wide receiver Ryan Switzer sent a surprise gift to his number one fan, and the reaction was priceless.

See the entire video here.

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<![CDATA[Inside High School Sports - Segment 4]]> Sat, 16 Dec 2017 19:42:37 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/hot+plays+of+the+week.jpg

Denton Guyer takes on Rockwall on the basketball court, plus the playoff version of the Plays of the Week.

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<![CDATA[Inside High School Sports - Segment 3]]> Sat, 16 Dec 2017 19:40:03 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/IHSS__SEG_3__121617.jpg

Colleyville Heritage wide receiver Ka'Von Ahmad and head coach Joe Willis are in studio as Ahmad receives the "Good Hands" MVP bobblehead.

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<![CDATA[Inside High School Sports - Segment 2]]> Sat, 16 Dec 2017 19:36:43 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/kennedale+football.jpg

More playoff action as Kennedale takes on Stephenville, Brock looks top keep moving up against Kemp and Plano Prestonwood goes for the TAPPS Division I state title.

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<![CDATA[Inside High School Sports - Segment 1]]> Sat, 16 Dec 2017 19:29:26 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/week+18+game+of+the+week.jpg

One more step left for teams to make it to the state title game. Allen took on Round Rock Cedar Ridge in the Game of the Week, plus the rematch between Highland Park and Denton Ryan.

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<![CDATA[Nominate a Wingstop High School Scholar Athlete]]> Mon, 30 Oct 2017 15:05:51 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/1200x675-HSSALogo%5B1%5D.png
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<![CDATA[Cycling Track in Frisco Going Away To Make Room for Growth]]> Sat, 16 Dec 2017 18:36:25 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/The+Superdrome+in+Frisco.jpg

Frisco is home to many professional sports venues.

Soon, the city's first may be gone.

The Superdrome has been a destination for amateur and professional cyclists for the past 20 years.

It even hosted the U.S. Olympic cycling trials in 2000.

This week, the City of Frisco and Collin College announced it will end their management agreement this month meaning the gates of the historic venue could soon lock for good.

“I think to see it demolished would be a shame,” said cyclist Abbey Robinson.

The Superdrome sits on the Collin College campus in Frisco, a school that's grown by almost 400 percent since the track opened in 1998.

Removing it allows the college to re-purpose the land and expand.

“Space is at a premium, and availability of the land where the track currently exists will accommodate our expansion plans.” said Dr. Neil Matkin, Collin College district president.

Bridget Tooley, 15, and her brother Beckett, 13, train on the track.

He is a reigning national champion. She brought home silver and bronze.

“I was shocked and devastated,” Bridget said. “[In] two years, I can go to world. I can still compete, but it’s going to be harder to train.”

The City of Frisco says the decision was based, in part, on a decline in use and the cost of upkeep.

“We recognize our city and the college have evolved over the past two decades,” said Henry Hill, Deputy City Manager, in a press release. “Our community is shifting emphasis to recreational and road biking. While we’re proud and appreciate the contributions of the ‘Superdrome’ to our community, the viable life cycle of the facility has reached the end of its life in Frisco. We agree it’s not efficient for us to continue to invest and maintain the facility.”

Supporters are collecting signatures to sharing the hashtag #SavetheSuperdrome.

They’d like to see it relocated.

A final ride is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m.

Collin College says they have not made any decisions on what will happen to the track.

The City of Frisco says it's fielded questions about the possibility of relocating it.

There are less than 30 velodromes left in the U.S.

The second track in Texas is in Houston.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[High School Football Semifinal Action at AT&T Stadium]]> Fri, 15 Dec 2017 22:48:32 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Friday_Football_Championship.jpg

The high school football playoff semifinals are underway, with a full slate of games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

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<![CDATA[NBC 5's Pat Doney's Son Says 1st Words Using Eye-Gaze Device]]> Fri, 15 Dec 2017 17:47:16 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/pat+hudson+doney.JPG

Technology is giving a voice to people living with the most severe forms of cerebral palsy.

Eye-gaze tablets are designed to track the gaze of the eyes on a screen. By looking at control keys or cells displayed on the screen, a user can generate speech either by typing a message or selecting pre-programmed phrases.

The technology helped NBC 5's Pat Doney and his wife, Sheleena Doney, hear their 2-year-old son "speak" to them for the first time in his life.

This week, Pat posted a video on social media of Hudson telling Sheleena, 'I love you,' on her birthday.

"It's something you always want to hear, your son say, 'Mom' and 'Love you,' and I didn't know if I was ever going to hear him say that. So it was really special," Sheleena said.

Hudson has the most severe form of cerebral palsy, which is a group of disorders that impairs a person's ability to move.

In severe cases, it traps a child inside his or her own body and can make it impossible for that child to speak.

"However, it doesn't mean that child cannot communicate. It just means they have to find a different way to use their voice," said Dr. Jan Brunstrom-Hernandez, of 1 CP Place, a pediatric neurology and pediatric physical therapy center in Plano.

Brunstrom-Hernandez, herself, lives with cerebral palsy. She says eye-gaze technology has changed the lives of some of her patients by giving them independence.

"It gives you a chance to have a life like everybody else," she said. "This has changed his quality of life instantaneously. It's changed his chances for education, instantaneously."

"I've always told Pat that one day I want [Hudson] to go to regular school and go to prom and do all those things that normal kids do, so that's our goal," Sheleena said.

It's a goal that starts with just a few simple words.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[State Football Semifinals Underway at AT&T Stadium]]> Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:38:20 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Friday_Football_Championship.jpg

Stephenville and Kennedale are facing off Friday in the Class 4A Division I state semifinals at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

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<![CDATA[Martial Arts Instructor Adapts Program for Special Needs]]> Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:47:41 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TXCU_Adaptive_Martial_Arts.jpg

Discipline, structure and confidence are all pillars of martial arts.

And they are all things Tony Rios instills in his pupils at his My Martial Arts studio in Dallas.

"Everything is earned here. Nothing is given," Rios said.

He's loved martial arts since his youth, but he never expected it become his purpose until he met children like 11-year-old Grover Hood.

Grover was born with Down syndrome and autism, and he has had five open-heart surgeries. What others may view as simple tasks can be a challenge for him.

"Grover's been through a lot," said his father, Chris Hood. "Milestones for us take longer to reach. It's a very slow journey."

But after working with Rios, that's changing.

"He's learning how to follow instructions and that there's a reward around the corner for hard work," Chris Hood said.

Those milestones prompted Rios to create a program that caters to kids and adults with unique needs. It's a personalized program that still maintains the fundamentals of martial arts.

"There is an absolute need for this," Rios said. "There is a need for these guys to spend energy, focus their anger management, [and] it's giving these kids the confidence to say, 'I can do that.'"

Watching their confidence grow has only fueled Rios's own calling.

"I like to think that, for me, I'm just a platform. I'm a platform for these guys to stand up and show they can actually do this stuff," he said.

Rios hopes his program will one day be adopted by other studios so more children and adults with special needs can participate in martial arts.

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<![CDATA[TMS's 2017 'Year in Photos']]> Fri, 15 Dec 2017 17:33:21 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/tms-2017-year-in-photos-+%2826%29.jpg Recap the motorsports season at Texas Motor Speedway. The track played host to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Verizon IndyCar Series, Robby Gordon Stadium SUPER Trucks and the American Sprint Car Series.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tiny Snowboarder Tears Up the Slopes]]> Sat, 16 Dec 2017 22:56:05 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_snowboarder1215_1920x1080.jpg

Little Cash Rowley is only 1-year-old, but she's already snowboarding like a pro.



Photo Credit: KTVB-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Stargazing: Stars Face Flyers Saturday]]> Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:09:18 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-465851648.jpg

The following is a news release published by the Dallas Stars, Dec. 15, 2017.

IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA
The Dallas Stars travel to Philadelphia to face the Flyers in the final game of a four-game Eastern Conference road trip. The Stars and Flyers meet on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center for the first of two games during the 2017-18 campaign. Dallas posted a 1-1-0 record in 2016-17 vs. Philadelphia and have recorded points in five of the last six games (4-1-1) against them. In the most recent contest between the two clubs at Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers defeated the Stars, 4-2, on Dec. 10, 2016. Forward Devin Shore recorded both goals (2-0=2) in the contest for Dallas with defenseman Dan Hamhuis (0-1=1) and forward Antoine Roussel (0-1=1) each adding assists in the game. Dallas defeated Philadelphia, 3-1, in the first game of the 2016-17 season series on Dec. 17, 2016 at American Airlines Center. Forward Jason Spezza leads all Stars skaters with 31 points (9-22=31) in 36 career games against Philadelphia.

HITCHCOCK ONE AWAY FROM 800 WINS
Head Coach Ken Hitchcock recorded his 799th NHL coaching victory on Wednesday night against the New York Islanders and is one win away from reaching the 800-win plateau. With his next victory, Hitchcock will join Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Joel Quenneville (867) as the only coaches in the history of the NHL to win 800 games. Earlier this season, he moved into third place on the NHL all-time coaching wins list with a victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 14, 2017, passing Al Arbour (782 wins). The native of Edmonton, Alta. holds a 799-487-200 in 1,486 regular-season games over 21 NHL seasons. Hitchcock has amassed a 295-167-73 record in 535 regular-season games over his two stints as head coach of the Dallas Stars, ranking first in franchise history in games coached (535), wins (295) and points percentage (.620). He has also accumulated wins as a head coach with St. Louis (248 wins), Philadelphia (131 wins) and Columbus (125 wins). Over his career, the bench boss guided his teams to eight division titles (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2003-04, 2011-12 and 2014-15) and two Presidents Trophies (1997-98 and 1998-99). Hitchcock was also named the Jack Adams Award winner in 2011-12. He led Dallas to two trips to the Stanley Cup Final and led the Stars to the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship in 1999. 

LEHTS GO!
Goaltender Kari Lehtonen turned aside 32-of-34 shots on Wednesday night to help the Stars defeat the Islanders, 5-2, at Barclays Center and earned his 300th career NHL victory. The netminder improved his record to 4-1-1 over his last six road games, sporting a 1.79 goals against average and a .936 save percentage over that span. Lehtonen became the 33rd goaltender in NHL history to earn at least 300 career victories and is currently tied for 31st in all-time wins with Carolina's Cam Ward and Tomas Vokoun. He has recorded 206 of his 300 victories as a member of the Dallas Stars, with the additional 94 wins with the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets franchise. The netminder also appeared in his 624th career NHL game on Wednesday night, passing Miikka Kiprusoff for the most games played by a Finnish-born goaltender in NHL history, and moved into 40th place all-time in games played by a goaltender. Lehtonen has earned a 300-223-65 record in 624 regular-season contests with 37 shutouts and 28 assists. The native of Helsinki, Finland has earned a 1-11-3 record with a 3.45 GAA and a .889 SV% in 15 career appearances against the Flyers.

OH CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!
Captain Jamie Benn tied his season-high with three points (1-2=3) on Wednesday night against the Islanders at Barclays Center. The captain helped the Stars snap a four-game road losing streak to the Islanders (last win: 3-2, Dec. 15, 2011 at Nassau Coliseum) and record the franchise's first win at Barclays Center. Benn has inked the scoresheet in three consecutive games (2-3=5) and has points in six of his last seven games (2-6=8). The captain leads the Stars with 29 points (13-16=29) in 32 regular-season contests, ranking second in goals (13) and is tied for second in assists (16). Additionally, Benn shares first on the club with nine power play points (4-5=9) this season and second in power play goals (4). On the road this season, Benn leads all Stars skaters with 18 points (8-10=18) in 18 games and ranks first on the club in road goals (8). The native of Victoria, B.C. has points in three of his last four games (2-2=4) against the Flyers and has four points (3-1=4) over his last four games at Wells Fargo Center. Benn has skated in 12 career games vs. Philadelphia and has registered 11 points (5-6=11).



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[FC Dallas Signs Figueroa to New Contract]]> Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:53:33 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-450680112.jpg

FC Dallas signs veteran defender Maynor Figueroa to a new one-year contract.

Figueroa, 34, spent the last two seasons with FC Dallas after being traded to Dallas from the Colorado Rapids in January 2016.

"The Honduran played 28 league matches for FC Dallas that year, helping the club claim its first Supporters Shield and second Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in franchise history. The defender improved his numbers in 2017, scoring three goals and adding an assist. FC Dallas had a record of 9-6-11 when Figueroa was in the starting 11," the team said.

"The versatile defender started 16 matches at left back and 10 at center back for FC Dallas in 2017. Figueroa is a veteran of two World Cups and the 2012 Olympics Games with Honduras. He also spent eight seasons in the Premier League with Wigan Athletic (2008 – 2013) and Hull City (2013 – 2015).




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ Three Openly Gay Men Compete for a Spot on US Olympic Team]]> Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:19:36 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/johnfennellgay2018olympics_1200x675.jpg

An openly gay man has never competed for the U.S. in a Winter Games, and it's been 14 years since one did in a Summer Games, NBC News reported. 

John Fennell is one of three publicly out male athletes competing to qualify for the Pyeongchang Games. He is joined by figure skater Adam Rippon and freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, who came out publicly after winning the silver medal in Sochi in 2014, NBC News reported.

Fennell will find out in December if he makes the U.S. Olympic luge team, and Rippon and Kenworthy will know their 2018 Olympic status by January.

Since 2004, gay men from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Finland, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil and Tonga have competed, reported NBC News. 

The U.S. is not liberal as it seems when pushing for gay rights. For example, the U.S. enacted legislation in 2015 that allows same-sex couples to marry, but gay marriage has been widely accepted in several other countries — like Netherlands (2000), Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Sweden (2009) and Argentina (2010) — for years now, reported NBC News.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Alex Livesey]]>
<![CDATA[Eat Like a Dallas Cowboy Thanks to 2017 Family Cookbook]]> Fri, 15 Dec 2017 03:17:00 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-cookbook.jpg

It's an annual tradition and this year's Dallas Cowboys Family Cookbook features an wide array of sweet and savory recipes from players, coaches, the Jones family and more.

The cookbook which benefits Happy Hill Farm – a residential home and school that provides education for underprivileged youth – provides favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, in addition to selections from the facilities where players train and play.

The Dallas Cowboys Family Cookbook tradition dates back to the 1970s, with yearly publications since 1990. Last year's cookbook is out of stock.

Along with a beef entrée, salad, grain bowl, burger and holiday side dish, he cookbook includes the recipes for the acclaimed Cowboys Cheesesteak, Texas Chicken & Waffle, Spinach and Feta Turkey Burger, Frito Pie Dog, Tacos al Pastor, Texas BBQ Brisket Sandwich, as well as the famous Truffle Mac and Cheese available at AT&T Stadium.

This year's cookbook features a special beloved family recipe from former First Lady Laura W. Bush: her mother Jenna Louise Hawkins Welch’s recipe for Ambrosia, provided in memory of Mrs. Welch.

Chefs at AT&T Stadium and The Frisco Star provided recipes as well as some helpful "kitchen hacks" and some recipes from Cowboys’ sponsors Albertsons and Tom Thumb grocery stores are also featured in the 2017 edition.

The $29.95 (plus tax) cookbook is available online at www.happyhillfarm.org and will arrive at the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop at AT&T Stadium on Wednesday, December 13.

MORE: HappyHillFarm.org



Photo Credit: 2017 Dallas Cowboys Family Cookbook]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Prescott Has No Fear When It Comes to Running the Ball]]> Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:55:44 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/cowboys+redskins+prescott.jpg

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL trying to score a touchdown on Sunday.

Now, the team with the NFC's best record is no longer a Super Bowl favorite because their quarterback is out for the season.

Wentz's injury, though, should have no impact on Dak Prescott's approach to the Cowboys' game against Oakland on Sunday Night Football.

Running is part of what makes Prescott among the game's best quarterbacks, if we're talking about dudes 26 or younger.

Seriously, who do you want more than Prescott? Wentz, San Francisco's Jimmy Garoppolo and Houston's Deshaun Watson are pretty much the only players in the conversation, unless you want to add Tennessee's Marcus Mariota or Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston to the conversation.

Prescott has passed for 2,752 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions with a passer rating of 91.6 this season.

He's rushed 45 times for 288 yards, but that doesn't begin to tell the entire story. He's rushed for five touchdowns and 23 drive-sustaining first downs. He's converted 11 third downs and one fourth down running.

He slides to avoid big hits, which is something Wentz has been criticized for not doing often enough.

But he'll also run over defenders if he needs a key first down or a touchdown.

Remember the key touchdown in the win over Arizona, when he leaped over a defender and helicoptered into the end zone to give Dallas a 7-6 lead? Or when he ran through an arm tackle at the goal line for a touchdown to give Dallas a 31-28 lead against Green Bay with 73 seconds left?

Two weeks ago against Washington, Prescott bruised his right hand when a defender's helmet hit him just as he pitched the ball on an option play. The reality is you can't escape the NFL's physicality no matter how hard you try.

"No, I'm not going to put that in my mind," Prescott said when asked if Wentz's injury would change his style.

"I don't think anybody is. That's part of the game. That just comes with it. Us running quarterbacks, we know that we're susceptible to that when we're running," he said.

"For me, it's just about going to get what I can," Prescott said. "If I need to get that touchdown, or in his case right there, it was needed. He went and got it. That's just him being a competitor. I'll treat the game the same way as I've been playing."

The Cowboys just want him to continue being smart about his approach. He ran the ball 14 times a game at Mississippi State, but only 3.5 times a game with the Cowboys.

Most of his designed runs come in the red zone on the read option. The others are scrambles when his pass protection breaks down.

"I got hit a couple of weeks ago and hurt my hand, so it's real," Prescott said of the dangers of running. "You're more susceptible to [getting] hit and these guys hit hard."

"It's different than college. I'm taking all those things into account, but I'm going to play smart, I'm going to keep my competitive edge while doing that," he said.

He must for the Cowboys to continue their improbable playoff run.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[It's OK for Dak Prescott to Run the Ball]]> Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:40:27 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/JACQUES_ON_DAK_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1117115459738.jpg

Carson Wentz tore his ACL when trying to run the ball against the L.A. Rams, but NBC 5 Cowboys insider Jacques Taylor explains why it's OK for Dak Prescott to run the ball when needed.

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<![CDATA[Dirk Says He May Return Next Season]]> Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:22:54 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-887255278.jpg

Losing is no fun for Dirk Nowitzki. But waking up and going to the gym still is.  Razzing teammates in the locker room? Still is. Heck, even watching film? Still is.

While the losses have mounted in a season that has been hard to watch at times, but promising at other moments, Nowitzki opened up on Thursday and said that the 8-20 record going into Thursday’s game at Golden State has not dampened his enthusiasm.

Not for this season. Or next season.

“I’m not going to say 100 percent I’ll be back -- but it’s looking like it,” Nowitzki said after the Mavericks had a morning walk-through at the Olympic Club in downtown San Francisco.

Read more on this story from our partners at The Dallas Morning News.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Division III Player of Year Kasper Leads AP All-America Team]]> Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:09:49 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/footballs-night-generic.jpg

Division III player of the year Bret Kasper of Wisconsin-Oshkosh was selected as the first-team quarterback on The Associated Press D-III All-America team.

Kasper won the Gagliardi Trophy on Wednesday night in Salem, Virginia, where the Division III championship game will be played Friday. Mount Union faces Mary Hardin-Baylor in a matchup of undefeated teams.

Mary Hardin-Baylor placed four players on the first team, more than any other school, with offensive lineman Corbin Campbell, all-purpose player Bryce Wilkinson, defensive lineman Haston Adams and defensive back Kris Brown. Mount Union offensive linemen Cole Parrish made the first team and three of his teammates were second-team picks.

The team was chosen by a panel of sports information directors from around the country and released Thursday.

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback -- Brett Kasper, senior, Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
  • Running backs -- John Smith, senior, Husson; Austin Breunig, senior, North Central.
  • Linemen -- Cole Parrish, senior, Mount Union; Matt Gono, senior, Wesley; Corbin Campbell, senior, Mary Hardin-Baylor; Ty Summers, senior, Wisconsin-Oshkosh; Vic Rodriguez, senior, Hardin-Simmons.
  • Tight end -- Jacob Maher, sophomore, Worcester State.
  • Receivers -- Jesse Zubik, senior, Washington & Jefferson; Nick Holcomb, senior, Wisconsin-La Crosse.
  • All-purpose player -- Bryce Wilkerson, senior, Mary Hardin-Baylor.
  • Kicker -- Willy Warne, junior, Linfield.

DEFENSE

  • Linemen -- Haston Adams, senior, Mary Hardin-Baylor; Mamadou Soumahoro, senior, Berry; Niles Scott, senior, Frostburg State; Mike Riley, junior, Rose-Hulman.
  • Linebackers -- Jordan Hassan, senior, Illinois Wesleyan; Darin Hungerford, senior, Kean; Ty Parsons, senior, East Texas Baptist.
  • Backs -- O'Shea Anderson, senior, Washington & Jefferson; Kris Brown, senior, Mary Hardin-Baylor; Michael Joseph, senior, Dubuque; Jake O'Connell, senior, Brockport.
  • Punter -- Tyler Kohman, senior, Carnegie Mellon.

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback -- Chase Burton, senior, Franklin.
  • Running backs -- Roger Walker, senior, Marietta; Josh Breece, freshman, Washington & Lee; (tie) Christiaan Williams, sophomore, Ohio Northern.
  • Linemen -- Adan Barrientos, senior, Brockport; Joe Fehrle, North Central; Matt Beck, junior, St. Thomas; Ben McFall, senior, Wisconsin-Whitewater; Brock Riggs, senior, Heidelberg.
  • Tight end -- Zach Lindquist, senior, Wheaton.
  • Receivers -- Justin Hill, sophomore, Mount Union; Riley Brockway, senior, Wartburg.
  • All-purpose player -- Reese Childress, junior, Hardin-Simmons; (tie) Cameron Vocke, senior, Heidelberg.
  • Kicker -- Nathan Hierlihy, junior, Redlands.

DEFENSE

  • Linemen -- Chase Greenlee, senior, Wheaton; Austin Crow, senior, Heidelberg; Monte Lee, senior, Ferrum; Elijah Berry, senior, Mount Union.
  • Linebackers -- Charlie Dear, senior, Mount Union; Jason Farlow, senior, Linfield; Mason McKenrick, senior, John Carroll.
  • Backs -- Jordan Powell, junior, Widener; Fred Hargrove, sophomore, Otterbein; Quan Soyini, junior, Husson; Trevor Staley, junior, Illinois Wesleyan.
  • Punter -- Andrew DiNardo, senior, Catholic.

Selection panel: Mark Adkins, Manchester; Kelly Bird, Linfield; Fran Elia, Cortland; Jeff Garvin, Heidelberg; Timothy Glon, Ohio Northern; Chad Grubbs, Hardin-Simmons; Brent Harris, Wabash; Geoff Henson, Olivet; Craig Hicks, Denison; Jeff Hoedt, Trine; Jennifer Jones, Birmingham Southern; Sean King, Washington & Jefferson; Kevin Lanke, Rose-Hulman; Brian Laubscher, Washington & Lee; Chris Lindeke; UW-Whitewater; Brian Magoffin, Springfield; Brett Marhanka, Wheaton (Ill.); Mike Scala, Montclair State; Clark Teuscher, North Central; Matt Tittle, Becker.

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<![CDATA[Texas A&M-Commerce QB Perez Leads AP D-II All-America Team]]> Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:06:55 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/football-generic-marker-01.jpg

Texas A&M-Commerce quarterback Luis Perez and Gannon running back Marc Jones highlight The Associated Press Division II All-America team.

Perez leads D-II in yards passing with 4,390 yards and has thrown 42 touchdowns. The senior has guided Texas A&M-Commerce to the Division II national championship game, where it will play West Florida on Saturday in Kansas City, Kansas.

Jones is Division II's leading rusher at 197.8 yards per game.

Perez and Jones are among 10 finalists for the Harlon Hill Trophy, given to the most outstanding player in Division II. Other finalists selected to first-team All-America were Slippery Rock defensive lineman Marcus Martin and Central Oklahoma receiver J.T. Luper.

The team was selected by a panel of sports information directors from around the country.

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback -- Luis Perez, senior, Texas A&M-Commerce.
  • Running backs -- Marc Jones, senior, Gannon; Cameron Mayberry, sophomore, Colorado School of Mines.
  • Linemen -- Alex Cappa, senior, Humboldt State; Lavonte Hights, senior, Shepherd; Dominic Giunta, senior, Ashland; Harley Vaughan, senior, West Georgia; Gavin De Los Santos, senior, Harding.
  • Tight end -- D.J. Cornish, sophomore, Shepherd.
  • Receivers -- J.T. Luper, senior, Central Oklahoma; Weston Carr, sophomore, Azusa Pacific.
  • All-purpose player -- Devontae Jackson, junior, West Georgia.
  • Kicker -- Casey Bednarski, junior, Minnesota State.

DEFENSE

  • Linemen -- Marcus Martin, senior, Slippery Rock; Bo Banner, senior, Central Washington; Adonis Davis, junior, Florida Tech; Myles Humphrey, senior, Shepherd.
  • Linebacker -- Kevin Haynes, senior, Central Washington; Terry Samuel, junior, West Alabama; Dennis Gardeck, senior, Sioux Falls.
  • Backs -- Tyler Hasty, junior, Central Washington; Tavierre Thomas, senior, Ferris State; J.R. Stevens, sophomore, Indiana, Pennsylvania; Chris Johnson, junior, North Alabama.
  • Punter -- Justin Marcha, senior, Emporia State.

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback -- Travis Tarnowski, senior, Ashland.
  • Running back -- Walter Fletcher, sophomore, Edinboro; Deshawn Jones, sophomore, Missouri S&T.
  • Linemen -- Andrew Alten, senior, Findlay; Jerron Seales, senior, Indiana, Pennsylvania; Jake Daugherty, senior, Ferris State; Daniel Owens, senior, Wingate; Jared Machorro, senior, Texas A&M-Commerce.
  • Tight end -- Qua Boyd, junior, West Alabama.
  • Receivers -- Marcus Johnson, senior, Slippery Rock; Jalen Tolliver, senior, Arkansas-Monticello.
  • All-purpose player -- Ja'Quan Gardner, senior, Humboldt State.
  • Kicker -- Cole Tracy, senior, Assumption.

DEFENSE

  • Linemen -- Evan Perrizo, senior, Minnesota State; Zach Seiler, junior, Ferris State; Nathan Shepherd, senior, Fort Hays State; John Williamson, junior, West Florida.
  • Linebacker -- Kyle Kitchens, senior, Catawba; Sam Blankenship, junior, Harding; Tyler Morrisey, junior, West Chester.
  • Backs -- Tevin Madison, senior, West Alabama; Cua' Rose, junior, Arkansas Tech; Aaron Ivory, senior, Findlay; Marvin Conley, junior, West Florida.
  • Punter -- Zach Gaines, sophomore, West Alabama.

Selection panel: Todd Anderson, UNC Pembroke; Josh Deer, Concordia-St. Paul, Minnesota; Jon Holtz, Slippery Rock (Pennsylvania); John Kean, Missouri S&T; Josh Manck, Texas A&M-Commerce; Jeff Weiss, Wayne State (Michigan).



Photo Credit: Frank Heinz, NBC DFW]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys, Raiders Hope to Salvage Disappointing Seasons]]> Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:51:13 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/New+Cowboys+Game+%2818%29.jpg

A season that began with such high expectations in Dallas and Oakland is headed to the finish with the Cowboys and Raiders struggling to stay alive in the playoff race.

Whether it's Ezekiel Elliott's suspension that helped derail Dallas (7-6) or the poor defense and offensive regression that doomed Oakland (6-7), these expected contenders have looked nothing like it heading into Sunday night's meeting.

"I think the two of us probably expected to have a few more wins at this point in the year," Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said.

"I just think that's just part of the hype around the game. It's understood. Been talked about a lot. It doesn't really matter. It's what you earn on the field."

After the Cowboys won 13 games and the NFC East last year and the Raiders had 12 wins for their first playoff berth since 2002, many experts believed both would be among the top contenders this season.

But Dallas got off to a sluggish start by losing three of four games early and then dropped the first three games during Elliott's suspension that ends after this week. But that might be too late for the Cowboys, who are in a three-way tie for eighth place in the NFC and need help to reach the playoffs .

"I know how important it is for us to win and that's the only thing we can control," quarterback Dak Prescott said. "The rest is kind of crossing fingers and I guess hoping, so for us it's just about winning out, and that's all we're focused on."

The Raiders dropped four straight to fall into an early hole but managed to get back into a tie for first place in the mediocre AFC West heading into last week. But Oakland lost 26-15 to the Chiefs and is one game behind Kansas City and the Chargers in the division and a game back in the wild-card race and also needs lots of help.

"If we don't beat Dallas, there's no playoff scenario," left tackle Donald Penn said. "All I can focus on is our next game because this has been a frustrating season."

Here are some other things to watch:

GOING DEEP: Oakland's Derek Carr ranks 32nd out of 35 qualifying quarterbacks this season when it comes to throwing deep. Carr has completed just 13 of 50 passes that traveled more than 20 yards downfield with three TDs, six INTs and a 48.5 rating. That's a big drop-off from a year ago when Carr had a 117.8 rating, completing 25 of 52 deep throws with seven TDs and two INTs.

"I think I completed more deep balls last year, throwing it times I shouldn't have thrown it," Carr said. "Throwing it up, and we all high-five and clap about those things. Again, when you lose, people just have a different way of spinning things."

ESSENTIAL LEE: Dallas linebacker Sean Lee returned from a three-game absence because of a hamstring injury with his fifth career 20-tackle game against the Giants. The 2016 All-Pro finished with 20, including 15 solos, and recorded his first interception since 2015, his longest drought when healthy. Despite missing five games overall with hamstring issues, Lee is tied for the team lead with eight tackles for loss after getting one against New York. The Cowboys are 1-5 in games Lee missed or didn't finish because of injury.

PRESSURE POINT: The Raiders have done a much better job generating pressure the past three weeks since firing defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. Oakland has 12 sacks in three games under new play-caller John Pagano, nearly equaling the total of 14 in the first 10 games. Bruce Irvin leads the way with five in that span, with Khalil Mack and Denico Autry adding three each.

DEZ DROUGHT: Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant has never played all 16 games without recording 100 yards receiving at least once. He's three games away from doing that. The 2014 All-Pro does have six touchdowns, including a 50-yard catch-and-run against the Giants. In his second year in 2011, Bryant didn't have a 100-yard outing but missed a game early with an injury. He had nine TDs that season.

STEPPING UP: The Raiders have gotten few contributions from this year's draft class with top two picks Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu spending most of the season on the sideline with injuries. The biggest contributor among the rookies has been an unlikely one in undrafted linebacker Nicholas Morrow, out of Division III Greenville College. Morrow has worked his way into the starting lineup and has been a key contributor on defense in a pleasant surprise for Oakland.

"I was late for OTAs and there were some days I only got two reps," he said. "I started off training camp in group four. My expectations have been way more than exceeded. I'm definitely blessed."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Zac Brown Band to Perform National Anthem at CFP Title Game]]> Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:07:35 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-643951122.jpg

Three-time Grammy winners Zac Brown Band will perform the national anthem before the college football national championship game in Atlanta on Jan. 8.

The College Football Playoff on Thursday announced the participants for its pregame festivities.

Atlanta gospel choir David Walker & High Praise will accompany Zac Brown Band on the anthem and Carly Ortega, a 12-year-old Georgia native, will sign it. Ortega attends the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf.

The flag will be presented by U.S. Marines from Bravo Company, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, based in Smyrna, Georgia.

The CFP previously announced that the Chainsmokers, Darius Rucker, Jason Derulo, Bebe Rexha, Brett Young, Spencer Ludwig and Lizzo will perform in concerts at Centennial Olympic Park from Jan. 6-8.



Photo Credit: Getty Images for CRS]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Films Impressed by Dak's Arm, Humor, Spitting]]> Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:45:51 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/New+Cowboys+Game+%281%29.jpg

After a game in which he threw for a career-high 332 yards with three touchdowns and no picks, Dak Prescott has won over some new admirers with NFL Films for not only his accuracy but for his sense of humor.

Prescott was mic'd during the game against the New York Giants and, as much fun as it is to relive the many ways he sliced and diced the Giants secondary, it's fun to hear his sense of humor as he interacts with teammates.

See the clip below.

Winning sure is fun, huh?



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Zeke Bets Eric Dickerson He'll Get 200 Yards in Return]]> Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:14:55 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5956931461.jpg

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott says he'll get 200 yards in his Week 16 return game against the Seattle Seahawks.

This comes from a TMZ video where former SMU and NFL running back Eric Dickerson said he's got a bet with Elliott about his upcoming return.

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If Elliott gets 200 yards, Dickerson, who holds the NFL's single season rushing record with 2,105 yards, will give Elliott one of his special jerseys and he'll wear an Elliott jersey on the air sometime.

If Elliott fails to reach the number, he'll turn over his game jersey to Dickerson.

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Elliott is currently serving a six-game suspension for allegations of domestic violence. His suspension ends after the Cowboys-Raiders game on Sunday Night Football on NBC 5 -- making him available to return to team activities on Monday.

The first game Elliott can take part in is the Week 16 match-up against the Seattle Seahawks.

The 200 yards number isn't crazy as long as it's not all on the ground -- Zeke has never hit 200 on the ground. However, in Week 7, Elliott went off for 147 yards on the ground and another 72 through the air -- a total of 219 yards.

Elliott's eclipsed the 200 number once before, in Week 15 of his rookie season when he pounded-out 159 yards on the ground and added another 42 through the air for a total of 201 yards.

The Seahawks' defense is giving up, on average, 329 yards per game this season.

We're pulling for you Zeke ...

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Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Jerry Jones, Roger Goodell Say It's All Good Between Them]]> Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:10:05 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jerry-jones-roger-goodell-irving.jpg

The tension had dissipated. So too, apparently, had the anger.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had settled all their disagreements by the time they met with the media Wednesday afternoon at the Four Seasons hotel, where the NFL owner's meetings were held.

While Goodell answered a wide-range of league-related questions from the media, Jones stood about 10 feet to his left listening intently.

Goodell insisted he had no issues with Jerry, even though the Cowboys' owner had submitted a resolution allowing him to address Goodell's contract extension and raise his concerns about the deal with his fellow owners at Wednesday's meeting.

"My relationship with Jerry is great. We don't always agree. I'm not paid to agree," Goodell said. "As a league we're stronger when 32 teams are together. We have our difference but we work together to solve those differences."

Goodell, who spoke for about 10 minutes, addressing his relationship with Jerry, who has been critical of him over the past several months.

"Do I look like I take it personally? Jerry, do I look like I take it personally? "The commissioner asked, glancing toward the Cowboys' owner.

"No."

The reality is why shouldn't Goodell be happy. His contract, reportedly worth $200 million over five years, is now official. So what if it's about 90 percent based on incentives.

Do you really think a man as smart as Goodell is going to sign a deal where he's not pretty much assured of getting his cash? Of course not.

But if that's what it took for him to allow Jerry to save face, then so be it.

As Goodell exited the ballroom, he and Jerry exchanged handshakes and hugs. That moment reminded of the love fest between Jerry and former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson at Valley Ranch in 1994 when they parted ways only to spend the bulk of the next 20 years taking shots at each other.

"If you're part of his league as an owner, commissioner or player,"  Jerry said. "you have to come down on each other. I know how much Roger Goodell loves the National Football Leagues - and he should love it even more now."

Jerry smiled because his master plan - taking power from the commissioner and returning it to the owners - seems to be well under way.

Whether the incentives in Goodell's contract are deemed difficult or easy to reach, Jerry can publicly claim at least a little victory.

Now, all of the owners will be involved the evaluation of whether he achieved the incentives outlined for him, and they're expected to be tied to factors such as league revenues, TV ratings and handling of off-field controversies.

That's a victory of sorts for him too.

Bottom line: Jones wants the owners to have more power over the commissioner.

"This exercise of extending Roger has brought that about. That's the way I see it, and it's going to be," Jerry said. "I want to emphasize. I didn't do it. It took the will of 32 owners to get that done.

"We're doing good, but we need some areas we need to change. One of them is an antiquated constitution and an antiquated situation as to power of the commissioner and this will address that."

Jerry, however,  wants folks to know he doesn't deserve too much credit for trying to implement change.

Whatever.

Jerry has been upset with Goodell since running back Ezekiel Elliott received a six-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy in August.

Lawsuits kept Elliott on the field for eight games before the courts finally compelled him to serve his suspension. Jerry was angry about Elliott's suspension, in part, because the commissioner reportedly told him the Cowboys' star running back would not get suspended.

When asked did you lead Jerry to believe Elliott wasn't going to get a suspension?

Goodell said, "No."

Goodell, however, did say he was open to changing the way the league disciplines its players. It's a discussion, he said he's been open to having for years.

"Let's address the way we're dealing with discipline because there are better ways to do this? We just haven't come to an agreement on that," Goodell said. "Unfortunately, there's a lot of focus on that, but the reality is there are very few circumstances - they get a lot of attention and I understand that. I'm sure that's something that will come up in the next collective bargaining agreement and we'll consider that."

Less than a year ago, Jones praised Goodell universally to anyone who would listen. Despite the public hugs and smile, their relationship has been damaged.

It'll never be the same because Jerry wants Goodell to relinquish some power. He certainly isn't going to give it away easily, so conflict is about to be the norm.

"They have a term in business called a MAC - material adverse circumstances happen between the time that you shook hands and the time you did the deal," Jerry said. "It's a very valid change of scenery. Anybody who says we haven't had any changes since last spring would be an exaggeration."



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>