Though there were no titles won in the DFW area in 2013, there was no shortage of storylines. Here are the 15 biggest sports stories — good or bad — from the area over the past year.
- Nolan Ryan Retires As Rangers CEO
Amidst talk of a power struggle in Arlington, CEO Nolan Ryan resigned from his post as CEO of the Rangers in October. Nolan sold his ownership share in the team, completely removing his affiliation with the organization. Ryan called it the “right time”.
- Nelson Cruz Suspended 50 Games For PED Use
Nelson Cruz’s name surfaced in January as part of the Biogenesis investigation, but a suspension wasn’t handed down until August — right in the heart of the Rangers’ season. Cruz declined to appeal the suspension, saying he made an “error in judgment” that he deeply regretted. He returned for the team’s play-in game, going 0-for-4 in the loss. The 33-year-old declined the Rangers qualifying offer and remains a free agent.
- Tony Romo Receives Record Contract Extension
When he signed a 6-year, $108 million extension with the Cowboys, Tony Romo became the highest paid player in franchise history. After signing the deal, which included $55 million in guarantees, Romo said, “There will be no greater reward, besides winning a Super Bowl, than playing my entire career as a Dallas Cowboy.”
- Mavs Miss On Howard/Paul, Sign Ellis
Chris Paul quickly re-signed with the Clippers, leaving Dwight Howard as the Mavs primary target in free agency. ‘Superman’ ended the saga in July, choosing to sign with in-state rival Houston. The Mavs missed out on the big fish, but later signed free agent guard Monta Ellis to a three-year deal. Ellis is averaging 20.8 points, 5.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
- Rangers Acquire Prince Fielder From Tigers For Ian Kinsler
It was a trade that no one expected. Texas shipped Ian Kinsler — the team’s second baseman over the past eight seasons — to Detroit for power-hitting first baseman Prince Fielder and cash. The move carved out an everyday spot for 20-year-old Jurickson Profar, while adding a proven bat at first. When introducted in Texas, the new No. 84 called the move a ‘fresh start‘.
- Cowboys Fire Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan
Jerry Jones pledged that things would be ‘uncomfortable’ after yet another 8-8 season in 2012. Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan was his first victim. Jerry Jones fired Ryan in January, saying the defense had ‘too much scheme.’ Despite injuries, Ryan’s defense finished the season rated No. 19 overall in yards and No. 24 in points allowed. Ryan is now the defensive coordinator in New Orleans.
- Mavericks Miss Playoffs For First Time Since 2000
Two years removed from the franchise’s first NBA title, the Mavericks failed to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2000. Dallas, which finished the season 41-41, never recovered after Nowitzki missed the first 27 games while recovering from offseason knee surgery. But the season wasn’t a complete loss. By getting to .500, the team was able to finally shave its beards.
- Rangers Fall In Wild Card Play-In
Texas won seven straight games to earn a spot in a one-game play-in for an AL Wild Card. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay ace David Price was the opposing starter. Price limited the Rangers to two runs over nine innings, while rookie starter Martin Perez took the loss in a 5-2 defeat. The team failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009, but at least it was October baseball…
- Stars Rebuild With New GM, Coach, Superstar
After five straight seasons of missing the playoffs, the Stars made a splash in hiring general manager Jim Nill. After firing head coach Glen Gulutzan, Nill hired veteran Lindy Ruff and overhauled the roster. The most notable acquisition was 21-yeard-old forward Tyler Seguin, who came over as part of a seven-player trade with Boston. Seguin leads the team with 31 points (17 G, 14 A), though the team currently sits eight points out of the final Western Conference playoff spot. They also reworked the team logo and uniforms.
- Rangers Get Back-To-Back-To-Back Walkoff HRs vs Halos
For the first time in club history, the Rangers won three in a row on game-ending homeruns. Geovany Soto hit a solo shot on Monday night in the 9th for a 4-3 victory. On Tuesday, Leonys Martin’s three-run shot completed a 14-11 win in 10 innings. On Wednesday, it was Adrian Beltre with a solo shot to complete the sweep.
- Mack Brown Resigns At Texas
Though Mack Brown’s Longhorns nearly rallied to win the Big 12, it wasn’t enough to save his job. Brown resigned from Texas after 16 seasons at the helm, most notably leading the Longhorns to their first undisputed national title in 36 years. Brown departs Texas as the second winningest coach in school history, saying “It’s time for me to move on and for someone else to come in and restart the program.” His last game will be at the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30 in San Antonio against Oregon.
- Larry Allen Inducted Into Hall Of Fame
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was on hand as offensive guard Larry Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Allen — who is said to have once bench-pressed 700 pounds — made six All-Pro squads and 11 Pro Bowls in his 14 seasons, while helping Emmitt Smith become the NFL’s career rushing leader. He was a second-round pick in the 1994 draft out of Sonoma State.
- Pudge Rodriguez, Mike Modano Honored By Teams
Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez became the 16th member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in July. ‘Pudge’ made his debut with Texas at the age of 19 in 1991, finishing his career with 13 Gold Gloves, while hitting .304 with 217 homers and 842 RBIs.
The Stars retired Modano’s No. 9 jersey in a ceremony in June. He retired the all-time leading scorer among American-born NHL players with 561 goals and 1,374 points. He holds numerous team records, including 1,459 games played, 557 goals and 1,359 points.
- Dirk Climbs All-Time Scoring List
In his 16th season with the Mavs, Dirk Nowitzki is slowly climbing the all-time scoring list, passing a number of icons along the way. With 486 points this season (21.1 ppg), Dirk has surpassed Jerry West (the logo), Reggie Miller, and the still-active Kevin Garnett to reach 14th on the list. With 25,537 career points, Dirk will likely climb as high as 12th by seasons end.
- Jerry Jones Sells Stadium Naming Rights To AT&T
Since opening in 2008, Jerry World has officially been known as Cowboys Stadium. That changed in July, when Jones sold the naming rights to the $1.2 billion dollar stadium to AT&T. Jones called the partnership a good fit because both the team and AT&T represent cutting edge technology. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the stadium is now known as ‘AT&T Stadium’.
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