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Leading Off (4/29/15)

Southwest Cancels Flights to Baltimore. As of this writing, things seem calm in Charm City. But the airline canceled at least 10 flights before last night’s curfew even went into effect, amid fears of rioting.

Independent Investigator Clears Richardson Mayor. Last month, there were calls for Laura Maczka’s resignation over accusations that a relationship with a developer affected her vote on zoning. Last night, a parade of citizens remarked on the relationship at the city council meeting. An investigator cleared Maczka on the ethics violations, but said she may have violated the Texas Freedom of Information Act when she didn’t turn over emails between her and the developer in question.

Video of Assistant DA’s DWI Arrest. The footage of Justin Moore, who was at the time a 27-year-old prosecutor with the Dallas DA’s office, serves as a lesson of what not to do on the off chance you’re ever pulled over after drinking. A quick list: 1) You shouldn’t try to speed away at over 100 mph. 2) You shouldn’t threaten to have the officers fired. 3) You shouldn’t ask the officers if they’re in the Ku Klux Klan. 4) You definitely shouldn’t call anyone an “Uncle Tom.” 5) You shouldn’t suggest that you hope you get fired. Because Justin Moore was.

Mavs Wish Rockets Well in Future Endeavors. The Houston Rockets beat the Mavericks last night, 103-94, clinching the series. Before the game was over, the Rockets team Twitter account posted a gun emoji next to a horse emoji and the words: “Shhhhh. Just close your eyes. It will all be over soon.” The Mavs responded gracefully, and the Rockets eventually apologized.

Dallas Cowboys Reveal Plans for Tomorrow Night’s Draft. There aren’t really any revelations here, but that’s how this story is billed. On a personal note, I’ve declared myself eligible for both the NFL and NBA drafts every year since I graduated high school. I feel like, despite my perceived lack of athletic prowess and my controversial statements about giraffes, I could really help the right organization. So far though, we haven’t found a GM gutsy enough to pull the trigger. Here’s hoping tomorrow night is the lucky night.

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Greg Hardy Suspended for 10 Games

If you’ll recall, a few months ago, the Dallas Cowboys signed defensive end Greg Hardy. Hardy played in only one game last season with the Carolina Panthers, after he was arrested and charged with assaulting and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend. Hardy initially was found guilty, and a judge found that Hardy threw the woman down on a couch full of assault rifles and then faked a 911 call to frame her. (The case was eventually dismissed when the witness did not want to testify again, and Hardy received his full $13 million salary last year.)

A quick refresher, from the restraining order filed by Hardy’s ex-girlfriend:

“On May 13, 2014, Greg Hardy attacked me in his apartment. Hardy picked me up and threw me into the tile tub area in his bathroom. I have bruises from head to toe, including my head, neck, back, shoulders arms, legs, elbow and feet. Hardy pulled me from the tub by my hair, screaming at me that he was going to kill me, break my arms and other threats that I completely believe. He drug me across the bathroom and out into the bedroom. Hardy choked me with both hands around my throat while I was lying on the floor. Hardy picked me up over his head and threw me onto a couch covered in assault rifles and/or shotguns. I landed on those weapons. Hardy bragged that all of those assault rifles were loaded.”

The Cowboys were reportedly expecting a four-game suspension. Unlike in the Ray Rice case, this time the NFL apparently conducted an actual investigation that included viewing photos of Hardy’s bruised ex-girlfriend. Today the NFL announced Hardy’s suspension: 10 games, without pay.

ESPN’s Jane McManus says the NFL got it right. The league’s traditional defenders are calling this “the new NFL.” (So far there’s no mention of whether commissioner Roger Goodell will also have someone beat and choke Hardy, throw him onto a couch full of guns, or threaten to kill him.)

Hardy, who has never admitted any wrongdoing, is expected to appeal. And Cowboys fans are already wondering how this will affect the draft.

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Poll: Will You Root For the Dallas Cowboys?

Last week the Dallas Cowboys signed Greg Hardy, a noted football player suspended last season for having beaten up his girlfriend. As discussed on our most recent EarBurner podcast, the move prompted WFAA sports anchor Dale Hansen to go “unplugged,” and Mayor Mike Rawlings (an outspoken crusader against domestic violence) called it a “shot in the gut.” But then, yesterday, Rawlings said he’ll still be rooting for America’s Team this season.

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Leading Off (1/23/15)

High-Speed Rail Line Likened to Berlin Wall. Judging by the responses we’ve seen in the comments of previous articles about the possibility, Dallas residents seem generally excited about the prospect of a high-speed rail line being built that will mean Houston is just 90 minutes away by train. But WFAA spoke with several Ellis County landowners who are none too excited about their property being divided by the project.

Prime Prep to Merge With Another School. The struggling charter academy, co-founded by former NFL star Deion Sanders, will reportedly hook up with another Oak Cliff campus, Triple A Academy. It’s not clear whether Triple A’s recent 117-10 basketball win had anything to do with the decision.

Cowboys Fan Sues NFL For $88 Billion. Terry Hendrix is upset about the officials’ reversal of Dez Bryant’s catch during this year’s playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, claiming damages for the league’s “negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and also reckless disregard.” The hand-written lawsuit was filed on Wednesday. Also of note, Hendrix is incarcerated in a Colorado correctional institution.

Dogs Mysteriously Disappearing in Wise County. And there’s “not one shred of physical evidence that proves the dogs were taken.” Has the pet rapture begun?

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Tom Landry’s Dallas Cowboys

I had an ulterior motive for yesterday’s poll asking who deserves to be the most beloved coach in Dallas sports history. I figured that Tom Landry, longtime coach of your Dallas Cowboys, would win easily. I left him in, and didn’t just make it a contest to find the second-most beloved coach, because I wanted to gauge just how easily. (Answer: extremely)

I knew I’d be announcing this morning that the latest selection in our 40 Greatest Stories series is Peter Gent’s October 1981 article about Landry and his teams of the 1960s and ’70s. Gent, as many of you know, played for the Cowboys for five seasons and went on to a career as a novelist. His first was a semi-autobiographical effort about his pro football career, called North Dallas Forty, and he penned the screenplay for the 1979 film adaptation as well. He died of complications of a pulmonary disease in 2011, at age 69.

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Poll: The Most Beloved Head Coach in Dallas History?

A recent Grantland piece about the abrupt resignation of Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington referred to him as “the most beloved head coach in the history of North Texas sports not named Tom Landry.” Which got me thinking “Really?” And then “Hey, yeah, I guess so, maybe.”

Followed by, since we’re now 25 years on from Landry’s dismissal by Jerry Jones and that first 1-15 season under Jimmy Johnson, “Does St. Landry still mean much to today’s whippersnappers?”

So let’s take a poll. Nominees are the two most successful coaches in each of Dallas’ pro sports teams’ histories, based on overall record and championships.

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Dandy Don

The NFL season kicks off tonight, though your Dallas Cowboys won’t get started until they host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon. Most experts aren’t high on the team’s chances to make the playoffs, let alone reach the Super Bowl. ESPN expects them to post their fourth straight 8-8 record. Only one of the outlet’s 16 experts thinks the Cowboys are playoff-bound. Sports Illustrated doesn’t have the Boys in the postseason either. Peter Schrager of Fox Sports is saying 10 wins and a playoff appearance, but he’s also characterized that as a “bold prediction.”

Who will get the credit or the blame for however this shakes out? Most likely, it’ll be Jerry Football or quarterback Tony Romo, who (fairly or not) can’t disprove his reputation for not being able to carry his team to a win in a big game. Romo isn’t the team’s first QB to be saddled with the vitriol of fans despite evidence that other deficiencies may have had more to do with a run of mediocrity.

Before Tony and Troy and Roger, there was Dandy Don.

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Leading Off (8/8/14)

Why Businesses Aren’t Charged With Bribing John Wiley Price.  News 8’s Brett Shipp investigated why the companies named in the indictment of the county commissioner aren’t themselves having to facing possible punishment for their parts in the alleged crimes. And it turns out, well, maybe the federal prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to charge the companies? Or maybe they just focused on the bigger target, a government official? Or somehow Bradley Cooper fouled the whole thing up by falling hard for one of his informants? Hard to say.

Cowboys Lose Meaningless Game. Quarterback Tony Romo didn’t play, so feel free to blame him for the 27-7 loss to the San Diego Chargers in the team’s preseason opener.

Family Sues DirecTV For Sending Sex Offender to Their Home. Wahren Scott Massey didn’t work for DirecTV, nor for the subcontractor sent to respond to a service call at a home in Murphy. But he did tag along with an installer in August 2012 and was caught taking photos of the family’s 12-year-old daughter while she was stretching. Massey has been a registered sex offender since 1998. The family believes DirecTV should be held accountable, while the company denies responsibility since Massey didn’t work for them and should never have been along on the call with the installer.

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Poll: Which Dallas Sports Team Will Win a Championship Next?

The Texas Rangers were expected by many baseball experts to contend for the American League West division crown. Instead, they’ve been beset by injuries and have limped into the All-Star Break having lost eight in a row and 22 of their last 25. It’s the worst such stretch for the club since 1972, the first year that the team played in Arlington (having relocated from Washington, D.C., where they were the Senators.) That team finished with 100 losses. This year’s team owns the worst record in Major League Baseball. It’s time — after cheering on Yu Darvish and Adrian Beltre in the All-Star Game tonight — to start thinking about next year.

Meanwhile the Dallas Stars and the Dallas Mavericks were both impressive, if unsuccessful, in their first-round playoff match-ups this spring. And each of those teams has made major additions to their rosters that raise hopes for next season.

So, we asked a version of this question back in May, but given what’s changed since then, it seems like an appropriate moment to ask again.

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Leading Off (5/9/14)

Dallas Cowboys Pass on Johnny Manziel. The former Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner was still available when the team made its first-round pick — No. 16 overall. But despite the marketing bonanza that could’ve come from pairing Manziel with Jerry Jones in a Papa John’s commercial, the Cowboys selected Zack Martin, an offensive lineman out of Notre Dame. Johnny Football is taking his talents to Cleveland.

City to Award Love Field Gates to Virgin. According to WFAA’s sources, an announcement will be made today. City Manager A.C. Gonzalez made the call, which comes as no surprise, given the Justice Department’s stance on which carrier should get the gates the American Airlines is being forced to divest in order to have its merger with U.S. Airways approved.

Storms Flooded Streets, Downed Trees, Cut Power. Late Thursday, thousands of homes were still waiting for electricity to be restored. Though some places saw several inches of rain, officially (at D/FW Airport) the area got only a half-inch, leaving us still 8 inches below normal for precipitation this year.

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Celebrating (?) 25 Years of Jerry Jones With Your Dallas Cowboys

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Jerry Jones purchasing the Dallas Cowboys. For our 35th anniversary issue, Jones wrote about his dealings with prior owner Bum Bright. Even after the deal was announced publicly in 1989, as well as was the decision to fire Tom Landry and replace him with University of Miami head coach Jimmy Johnson, there were weeks of negotiations involving millions of dollars that had to be settled before it was finalized:

When we finally resolved the details, there was a figure in excess of $350,000 we couldn’t agree on. Bum said we should just flip a coin. I called—tails—and Bum flipped it. I lost.

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