The Year In Sports: North Texas' Biggest Headlines Of 2017
Sports news coming out of North Texas made a lot of national headlines in 2017. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made a lot of people mad, the nation’s longest winning streak came to an end and a local legend was enshrined by his sport.
Here’s a look back at some of the top sports stories of the year.
Tony Romo Turns Broadcaster
When former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo retired, nobody really expected him to trade in his helmet for a CBS microphone.
Romo’s transformed his enthusiasm, and football I.Q., into an impressive rookie broadcast season. Some consider him one of the best football broadcasters since John Madden.
His ability to predict plays before they happen has made him a fan favorite this year no matter who you root for.
Down Goes UConn
The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team had not lost in 867 days before rolling into Dallas. The Huskies put their 111-game winning streak on the line in the NCAA Final Four at the American Airlines Center in March.
UConn was favored big time over Mississippi State. That is, until the game went into overtime, when Mississippi State stunned the Huskies 66-64 with a buzzer-beating finish. It made for one of the biggest upsets in sports history.
NFL Players Protest Police Brutality
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had himself quite a year. He entered the NFL Hall of Fame, and inserted himself into one of the biggest controversies of the year.
Jones said any player who doesn't stand for the National Anthem will be benched, and a day later President Trump saluted Jones on Twitter for that stance.
Jones created a friction among NFL players, fans and even sponsors. He thought it was disrespectful for the players to protest police brutality by taking a knee during the anthem.
After an organizational meeting, including players and Jones, some voiced their frustration at the policy. In the end, the team solution was taking a knee before the national anthem at their game against the Cardinals in October.
Pudge Goes To Cooperstown
The bright spot in a down year on the field for the Texas Rangers came in the form of a Hall of Fame induction. One of the club’s best players to put on the uniform, Pudge Rodriguez, entered the Baseball Hall of Fame. Pudge made his debut with the Rangers when he was just 19.
I interviewed him in August and he described his first tryout with Texas.
“The Rangers came, and they asked me to put the catching gear on,” he said. “And the first throw that I threw to second base, I threw it 92 miles per hour. That's the only one I threw to second base. Just one throw, and I became a Texas Ranger.”
Zeke Elliott Versus The NFL
The biggest sports headline of the year in North Texas had to be the on-and-off again six-game NFL suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Elliott violated the league’s personal conduct policy for being accused of domestic violence by his former girlfriend. Jerry Jones and Elliott’s legal team fought off the NFL’s suspension until week nine of the NFL season.
Dallas eventually lost the first-three games during Elliott’s suspension; essentially dashing them from playoff contention.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said South Carolina defeated the University of Connecticut in Dallas. Mississippi State defeated UConn.