Cow­boys’ Jones on TV, on the road

Dal­las owner talks about HBO show, travel plans, foot­ball

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTSBRIEFING -

1 Ari Gold will not be­come the owner of the new Los An­ge­les NFL fran­chise, tele­vi­sion sources tell me. A source said the fic­ti­tious su­per agent on “En­tourage” will get the fic­ti­tious bad news in a cou­ple of weeks. Cow­boys owner Jerry Jones, who had a few scenes on a re­cent episode of the HBO hit and sug­gested Gold be­come an NFL owner in L.A., kid­ded dur­ing Fri­day’s press con­fer­ence about Ari’s chances, “We’ve suf­fered a set­back.”

Jones didn’t say how he spent the $70 scale pay he re­ceived for his one day of film­ing in Bur­bank, Calif. Rich Dal­rym­ple, the Cow­boys head pub­li­cist and a huge Pitts­burgh base­ball fan, had no speak­ing part but was on cam­era and said be­ing on the “En­tourage” set was like “be­ing with the ’71 Pi­rates.”

2 Good for Nick Sa­ban for blast­ing un­scrupu­lous, money-hun­gry agents. Oh, wait. Isn’t that the pot call­ing … oh, never mind. The Alabama coach is an­gry, mostly be­cause he has a player in the cross­fire. The prob­lem is with the 39 states that have laws against agents buy­ing am­a­teur ath­letes but don’t have the will or the where­withal to pros­e­cute them. The main rea­son is this: the schools don’t re­ally want to be in­volved in the pros­e­cu­tion ei­ther be­cause of the con­se­quences their pro­grams could suf­fer. Bot­tom line: no one’s in­ter­ested in hold­ing their feet to the fire, so in­stead ev­ery­body just com­plains.

3 Con­grats to Rudy Dava­los for be­ing in­ducted re­cently into the ath­letic di­rec­tors’ hall of fame. The for­mer Hous­ton, Texas-San An­to­nio and New Mex­ico boss didn’t give a speech, which was smart, he said, “be­cause we get more bor­ing as we grow older.”

4 Cir­cle Aug. 14 on your cal­en­dar. That’s when the Pack­ers host the Browns at Lam­beau Field in the pre­sea­son opener for both teams.

The third-string quar­ter­backs for the two teams are Colt McCoy and for­mer Texas Tech thrower Gra­ham Har­rell, who would fig­ure to get a ton of the snaps. Colt may miss Jor­dan Ship­ley, but at least Michael Crabtree won’t be play­ing for the other team this time.

5 Jerry Jones re­minds all the crit­ics of the Cow­boys’ ex­pan­sive travel plans this sum­mer — tak­ing the team to San An­to­nio, Can­ton, Ohio and Ox­nard, Calif. — that two of his Su­per Bowl teams took trips to Tokyo (lost to Hous­ton) and London (tied Detroit) dur­ing those sea­sons. Funny, Aikman, Irvin and Smith might have been im­mune to ex­haus­tion.

6 Bet you didn’t know ten­nis is the nation’s fastest-grow­ing tra­di­tional sport, with 43 per­cent growth over the past decade. Much of the credit goes to the U.S. Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion’s no-cut pro­gram in more than 3,300 high school pro­grams and a Quick­S­tart pro­gram fos­tered by Andy Rod­dick, among oth­ers.

7 For­mer Longhorn back­stop­per Tay­lor Tea­gar­den has been re­called by the Rangers and will catch ev­ery two games to Benji Molina’s three or four games de­spite start­ing the sea­son with only an in­field sin­gle in 27 at-bats. “My con­fi­dence is back,” said Tea­gar­den, who only hit .242 with three homers and 32 RBIs at Dou­ble-A Frisco. “I got out­side my­self and got off to a bad start, and it was hard to re­verse. I’ve worked mostly on my hands, keep­ing them very loose and not so rigid and jerky.”

He’s hit ev­ery­where he’s been. He bat­ted .319 with six homers in his rookie sea­son in 2008, but has to make con­tact con­sid­er­ably more of­ten than his aw­ful 112 strike­outs in 272 ca­reer at-bats. Asked if he’d seen enough to think Tea­gar­den had ended his trou­bles, Rangers gen­eral man­ager Jon Daniels said, “No, but we put a pre­mium on (de­fen­sive skills).”

8 Even though Cow­boys Sta­dium will lose out on more Big 12 foot­ball cham­pi­onship games af­ter the last one ever this De­cem­ber, don’t fret. Jones will ac­tively re­cruit other col­lege foot­ball games. “It’ll be im­por­tant to shake out all the op­por­tu­ni­ties for sig­nif­i­cant col­lege games,” he said. Asked if that could in­clude fu­ture Longhorn games, he said, “I can’t say in what form that’s go­ing to take.”

9 It’s ap­pro­pri­ate that base­ball has fi­nally got­ten around to ran­dom blood test­ing for the use of hu­man growth hor­mone. But at the mi­nor-league level? Re­ally? Yeah, that’s where the prob­lem is. Those cheat­ing mi­nor-lea­guers. Ob­vi­ously, they are not part of the play­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion un­der the cur­rent col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment. Wake me when the ma­jor-league play­ers agree to it.


One crazy pre­dic­tion:

With a great vet­eran quar­ter­back in Dono­van McNabb and a qual­ity head coach in Mike Shana­han, the Washington Red­skins will reach the Su­per Bowl. Re­mem­ber, its de­fense ranked 10th last year in a 4-12 sea­son, with eight of the losses by nine points or fewer.

Chris Carl­son

Alabama foot­ball coach Nick Sa­ban (hold­ing the na­tional cham­pi­onship tro­phy at the end of last sea­son) has taken player agents to task.


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