Cowboys to spend more on practice facility than they did on their stadium

The Cowboys, luckily, won’t foot the entire bill. They’re partnering with the city and the schools, who will act as part owners. According to the Dallas Morning News, the city will be responsible for $60 million and the school district will owe $30 million. The Cowboys will pay for the rest.

As you can see below, there’s still some work to be done to get it looking like a $1.5 billion facility:

Here’s what the Cowboys new practice facility The Star in Frisco is looking like these days pic.

There are 31 NFL teams, and then Jerry Jones’ Cowboys, a team that operates in a completely different universe. If only their recent off-the-field accomplishments translated over to the actual football field.

During Monday evening’s Rangers/Athletics game in The Coliseum (which the A’s would win, 3-1), a young A’s fan made a very nice grab on a Rougned Odor foul ball down the left field line. The full story is much better than just a kid making a nice grab, though.

Check it out, and pay attention to the discussion by the broadcasting crew.

So earlier, that same kid missed a catch but the girl was nice enough to give him the ball anyway. The boy was fortunate enough to get another chance and made good on this one. At the urging of his father, he repaid the favor and all was right with the world. I love the look between the two dads, too.

Gobblers: A symbol of the rich hunting culture of the area, the Gobblers honors the outdoorsman lifestyle and turkeys who call Binghamton home.

Rocking Horses: The Rocking Horses celebrates the Triple Cities’ rich history as the “Carousel Capital of the World.”

Last summer, though, Boykin bristled about wanting to play not just in the slot, but on the outside. Just south of two months later, Chip Kelly shipped Boykin to Pittsburgh in exchange for a fifth-round pick. We praised the deal at the time, noting that Pittsburgh acquired a player with far greater talent than the cost they paid. Considering the Steelers’ needs in the defensive backfield, it seemed likely that Boykin would see heavy playing time. That did not happen. He was on the field for only 24.7 percent of the Steelers’ snaps on defense.

It’s great that Jones feels comfortable, but the reality is pretty simple: Ryan will be judged successful if the Bills win. If they don’t, he’ll be a failure. In related news: Buffalo is coming off a disappointing 8-8 season. They’ll need to improve on that in 2016 if we want to avoid the inevitable “Ryan’s on the hot seat” hot takes six months from now.

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Titans become latest team to ink TE, sign Delanie Walker to extension

With Mike Mularkey doubling down on “exotic smashmouth” by drafting Derrick Henry to pair with DeMarco Murray (and adding Jack Conklin to help pave the way), the Titans look like a team that could be leaning on a tight end in the passing game.

It’s why the Walker extension, part of a larger trend of big tight end contracts this offseason, makes a lot of sense.

Don’t be surprised if Mariota leans on his top receiver from last year again in 2016.

For the first time in 10 years, ESPN’s Monday Night Football will have a new play-by-play man in the booth when the NFL season kicks off.

The network announced on Monday that veteran sportscaster Sean McDonough will be replacing Mike Tirico as the play-by-play guy on Monday nights.

Tirico, who had been in the Monday night booth since 2006, is leaving ESPN after spending 26 years with the company. The announcer is headed to NBC, where he’ll begin on July 1.

AFC North

I have a feeling this is the year the Steelers get back on top. The Martavis Bryantsuspension hurts, but if there is any position where the Steelers could withstand that blow — and find plenty of candidates to step up — it’s at receiver.

It would be hard to imagine them having the same run of bad injury luck as a year ago and I believe this defense is making baby steps. Big Ben will have a monster season.
If the Steelers stay healthy, watch out.

Meantime, the Bengals have lost ample talent and suffered a lot of brain drain to their coaching staff in recent years and that takes a toll. They are a little old in key spots on defense and I was never a big Andy Dalton guy even when he had his full array of weapons. The Bengals are accustomed to having starting hot and having others chase them, but the schedule is a beast this time around with four of the first six games on the road. Not only that, they to face the Jets, Steelers, Broncos,Cowboys and Patriots in that span.

The Ravens are on the rise but I believe they are still one more draft away from being back to their usual place in the pecking order. If the youngsters lead the way and this draft is a home run, they’ll push for the playoffs again, but having so many older players coming off significant injuries (Steve Smith, Terrell Suggs) is a concern. Is there a fourth team in this division? I forget sometimes.

Ansah, who hails from Ghana, believes the game is growing in his home continent, which would be an important factor for the NFL when deciding where to take the game next (because money).

“I think now that there’s a lot of Africans playing this game, I know the young guys coming up have been picking up on the game,” Ansah said. “When I went there I met a few guys that are eager to learn the game. It’s evolving in Africa.”

It’s worth noting that back in February, Marshawn Lynch went to Africa to ride some camels and help spread football. And now, just two months later, Africa is being mentioned as a possible NFL destination, which can only serve as proof that Marshawn Lynch can do anything he sets his mind to.

Now, if only he’d set his mind on an eventual NFL comeback.

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Bronco Mendenhall ditches jersey numbers at Virginia this spring

Literally.

Hoos players are numberless, and will continue to be until their 2016 opener Sept. 3 against Richmond.

“There will be no numbers on the jerseys in the spring,” Mendenhall said, according to the The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress’ Andrew Ramspacher. “Nothing on the helmets, other than their names on the front.”

The number selection process will be merit-based, and it won’t take place until August.

“If you start from the beginning of the offseason program and you take the body of work from the offseason program through spring practice, through the summer and through fall camp,” Mendenhall said, according to the paper, “that will then determine the order in which a player can choose his number.

“So the team will vote on who gets first pick and he can choose any number he’d like. It’ll work sequentially down.”

We’ve seen all sorts of quirky moves over the years from new coaches looking to implement more accountability amongst their players. This is certainly the most unique.

UVA doesn’t open spring ball until Tuesday. To say the Hoos will look different would be a massive understatement.

“Every time you lose a game, you’re frustrated. It doesn’t matter the way you lose. Losing is losing. You can’t be happy,” Molina said. “If you’re a winner, you can’t be happy every time you lose.”

Molina’s impact on the Cardinals’ pitching has always been difficult to quantify, but impossible to deny. This season, his impact on the Cardinals’ offense has been measurable and important. His .333 batting average is the best among major-league catchers, as are his 13 doubles. He is third in OPS and second in WAR to Kansas City’s young star, Salvador Perez.

This is an unpleasant reality the sides have wrestled with for months while trying to focus on the team. But league rules and the Heat’s situation may end up causing it to come to a head as the Heat enter the summer needing to make roster plans.

Such as, do the Heat need to spend some of their $40 million in cap space on signing a center to be their starter in place of Bosh long term. A player like now-free agent Hassan Whiteside, for example.

However, Floyd’s production — or lack thereof — in college is curious. The Bears envision Floyd disrupting the quarterback at the next level, but the outside linebacker only had 4.5 sacks in 13 games in his final season at Georgia.

Can a player who wasn’t a great pass-rusher in college develop into a great pass-rusher in the NFL?

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Great-Grandma, 102, Plays Ball With MLB Family

“I taught them everything they know,” Sellaro says.

Kyle and Bradley Zimmer, La Jolla High School graduates, were both first-round draft picks out of the University of San Francisco. Kyle now pitches for the Kansas City Royals, and Bradley plays center field for the Cleveland Indians.

But long before they were playing in the big leagues, their training began in a quiet La Jolla cul-de-sac. Sellaro was there dealing out advice “since the first time we picked up a bat, I think,” said Bradley.

“I think that was about two days after we started walking,” quipped Kyle. “It’s been a long time.”

Back then, the Zimmers and their friends would keep the wiffle balls within easy reach. However, as they grew, the balls soon started flying across streets, over fences and into neighbor’s yards.

“We’ve had to extend the home run line,” said Eric Zimmer, the players’ dad. “It used to be the curb, and then it was the sidewalk, then it was the neighbor’s roof.”

The annual Thanksgiving game has become less competitive with fewer rules, but their favorite part remains the same.

“Anytime you can say you have a grandma who’s 102 years old and showing you how to hit a wiffle ball in the backyard, it’s pretty special,” said Bradley. “So having her down here has been awesome. It’s something that we really cherish and look forward to every year.”

Sellaro used to travel long distances to watch her great-grandsons play, but as traveling becomes harder, she shows her support by watching their games on TV or online.

In person, though, the batting coach instincts kick back in.

“Keep your eye on the ball,” she says, pointing at Kyle. “And that goes for you, too.”

On Monday, Kobe Bryant played his final game in Utah.

Prior to the game, though, the Utah Jazz took the classy move of providing the 37-year-old retiring superstar a collection of gifts that identified with the Beehive State. The Jazz gifted Bryant a season pass to Snowbird ski resort, along with a pair of skis.

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Blackhawks Can Clinch Playoff Spot Sunday Night

The first line will also be shorthanded on Thursday, as Marian Hossa will miss another game with a lower body injury. Hossa has been skating, according to Quenneville, but wasn’t quite ready to go for the critical showdown with the Blues.

That spot is crucial, because it allows the Hawks to stay within the Central Division for at least the first two rounds of the postseason. If they slip into fourth, then they would play the division winner with the second-best record, bringing teams like the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks into play as potential first round opponents.

Fortunately for the Blackhawks, their final seven games are an easier road than Nashville will have to navigate. The Hawks do have four road games left, but they also only have to play three more games against teams that are still in the playoff hunt (at Wild, vs. Bruins, vs. Blues). The Predators, on the other hand, have two games remaining against Dallas, a road game against the Penguins, and a home date against the Sharks on their schedule.

As it stands right now, the Blackhawks would hit the road in the first round of the playoffs to take on the St. Louis Blues in the first round. The Blues are currently in a first-place tie with the Dallas Stars, with each team registering 99 points so far on the year, and whichever team gets to the top of the divisional standings will likely get the top overall seed in the Western Conference, meaning that they’ll get the second-place wild card team (likely the Minnesota Wild).

The Blackhawks are currently six points back of both the Stars and Blues, and with only seven games remaining in the regular season, it seems unlikely that they will be able to overtake both teams for the top spot. They do have one game remaining against St. Louis during the regular season, but even that may not be enough for them to close the gap.

Chicago will transform to the center of the football universe very soon. On Tuesday, leaders from the NFL and the city offered a preview of what to expect when the draft comes to town.

The Chicago Blackhawks are trying desperately to fend off the Nashville Predators in the Central Division standings, and they helped their cause on Saturday night with a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames.

Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s senior vice president of events, said this year the league will add even more.

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LOOK: Are these the Browns’ new orange jerseys?

Mike Silver of NFL.com reported Friday the Bengals tore up Lewis’ current contract — set to expire after the 2016 season — and replaced it with a two-year deal that will take the long-time Cincinnati coach through 2017.

For one, it’s an actual jersey. All of the leaks up until this point had been artistic renderings or drawings. This is the first physical jersey.

The second reason this could be real is because the “Cleveland” typeface on the front of the jersey matches the team’s new typeface that was unveiled in February.

The collar of the purported new jersey also says “Dawg Pound,” which makes it even more believable that these could be the jerseys. The Browns said they were going to emphasize the 30th anniversary of the Dawg Pound this year.

He lost Brock Osweiler but he didn’t pay $72 million for Brock Osweiler, which is usually a win. He’s not budging on the 49ers’ demands for Colin Kaepernick, and he’s not overpaying for Ryan Fitzpatrick or another average-ish quarterback in the free agent market.

Elway might not be sitting on a franchise quarterback right now, but he’s not stuck in purgatory either. Which is precisely why he’s not going to sign Manziel, regardless of what the best player on his roster wants.

Finally, the jerseys are orange.

WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL US DONTE? This definitely could be a sarcastic tweet, implying the jerseys haven’t been leaked. It could also be that Whitner is actually surprised that they were leaked. WHO KNOWS.

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Chicago Blackhawks Winger Artemi Panarin Named NHL’s First Star of the Week

The Chicago Blackhawks’ offense had been suffering mightily in recent weeks, but one player has been rewarded for breaking out of his slump.

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, Panarin’s surge lately could cost them dearly in the long run. Panarin is now firmly in the top 10 among league forwards in scoring, he will receive a bonus of $1.725 million for next season. That money will count against the Blackhawks’ salary cap number, making it more difficult for them to re-sign free agents as extensions for Artem Anisimov, Brent Seabrook, and Marcus Kruger kick in.

“It was a fast game and it was obviously you know, a reaction and one that I need to be disciplined, and, you know, we talked about that as a team,” Keith said. “I think there’s a limit there, and I gotta know that and I will,” he added.

Keith was suspended by the NHL for his slash Tuesday night against Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle, the league’s Department of Player Safety announced Friday.

“I talked to him, you know, apologized,” Keith said of Coyle. “I called and left a message and he called me back, so I was appreciative of that. I think it shows a lot on his part, and the type of guy he is.”
“I didn’t really have a number or anything,” he said of the six game suspension. “I accept what they gave and all the guys in there, a lot of the guys have… played a lot of hockey, so I respect their decision,” confirming that he will not appeal the suspension.

The suspension is the third of Keith’s career. He was suspended for five games in 2011 after elbowing Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin in the side of the head, and he received a one-game playoff ban for a retaliatory high stick against Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter during the 2013 postseason.

In terms of new food, the Cubs will bring aboard Gilbert’s Craft Sausages this season, and they will also offer Italian beef sandwiches in the ballpark, with Buona Beef providing the iconic Chicago sandwiches.

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