Haven’t said this in a long time, but I think it’s pretty clear that – as of summer 2015 – the next local pro sports team to win a championship will be the … Cowboys?
Well, they’re the closest.
When Dallas won a playoff game in 2009 we had the same feeling. But then Tony Romo broke his collarbone in 2010 and the Rangers went to World Series and the Mavs up and won a championship and the Cowboys sank to 8-8 mediocrity. But things have changed. Drastically.
The Mavs are a perennial playoff team, but they haven’t won a post-season series since ’11. They’ve added coveted free-agent center DeAndre Jordan, but there’s no reason to believe they’re legit contenders to emerge out of the NBA’s West, much less win a title next season.
The Rangers sniffed a title in ’11, but have trended sharply downward to 95 losses last year and are battling more injures to bob around .500 this season. Making the playoffs would feel like an overachievement. Another World Series seems irrational.
The Stars? You’ll have to catch me up, as I don’t think any of us have paid attention since Brett Hull scored and then Mike Modano retired. Actually, they missed the playoffs in 2015. So that’s that.
While the other teams have glaring holes, the Cowboys are in their best shape in a long time. They’re coming off a 12-4 season in which they were a controversial reversal away from playing in the NFC Championship Game. Romo is in his prime. The offensive line is one of the best in the NFL. Dez Bryant is an elite playmaker. Dan Bailey is a clutch kicker. And the defense is improving with the additions of Greg Hardy and first-round draft pick Byron Jones and the return of Sean Lee.
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I’m not saying the Cowboys will win the Super Bowl. I’m merely suggesting that if you were laying local odds today, they’d be the favorite.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.