Doug Free, the highest paid right tackle in football, has agreed to a pay cut to stay with the team. Doug Free is taking a 50% pay cut, but in all honestly as long as he’s still the right tackle of the Dallas Cowboys, the offseason was a failure. Now if it turns out the the Cowboys sign another tackle this week and free is just insurance, I will take this story down. But as of now it looks like Doug Free will once again be getting beat every sunday. Tony Romo was seen already running for his life at a local golf course in Dallas.
With Doug Free still starting, I will officially declare the offseason a bust. The biggest problem America’s team has had is the offensive line. The offensive line has never been a strength during the Tony Romo era, but this past season it was downright bad. I can honestly say that Texas A&M had a better offensive line, and in 5 years will probably have more NFL starters. Once Romo was given the big contract, I fully expected Jerry Jones to fix this problem. Last offseason, the big hole on the team was the secondary. Jerry Jones did a rare great job as GM, and addressed the problem by signing Brandon Carr, and trading up to draft Mo Claiborne. The jury is still out on Claiborne, but at least Jerry addressed the big need at the time. Yes, the Cowboys did use their 1st round pick on Center Travis Frederick, who will start day 1. But 1 player on a horrible line doesn’t really solve much, certainly not enough for Romo to be protected and the running game to have some life.
The Cowboys are expecting Phil Costa to return, so in a way the Cowboys are adding two new starting interior linemen to the team. But anybody that watched the Cowboys last year knows that Doug Free is a huge problem, and the fact that he’s still starting means the problem is still there. Time will tell what the Cowboys do with the money saved by Free’s paycut, and again if they go out and sign someone like Eric Winston to compete with Free, then I take this entire article back. But if Free is starting against the Giants opening night, look for Justin Tuck to be chasing Tony Romo worse than Jessica Simpson did.
The quick search for a new President is over, Nolan Ryan’s son, Reid Ryan will be announced on friday morning, per ESPN Dallas. Reid currently runs Triple A Round Rock Express, a Rangers farm team, and double A Corpus Christi Hooks, an Astros farm team. The rumors of Nolan Ryan being a target for the Stros was alittle off, just by one generation. Time will tell if the Ryan vs Ryan lone star battle will ignite the new AL west rivalry between the Rangers and the Stros.
The Texas Rangers made a lot of headlines this off season, and most were negative. Take that back, all of the news was negative, as the once powerful Rangers were falling apart at the seams. Josh Hamilton split to the rival Angels, and bashed the Dallas/Forth Worth fans along the way. Longtime Mr. Ranger himself Michael Young was traded away for little, and another fan favorite Mike Napoli also left Texas. The Rangers made no big free agent splash, and no big trade. And to make matters worse, the Dallas media created another bad story for the Rangers. It was “reported” that Rangers part owner, CEO, and hall of fame face of the franchise Nolan Ryan was leaving the organization.
The newly built solid foundation of one of the best franchises in sports looked to be crumbling, and all in 1 offseason. The thing is, once a great foundation is built, its easy to rebuild, or in Texas, we prefer the term reload. The Rangers didn’t make a big free agent splash, but they did sign two veteran bats, Lance Berkman to DH and AJ Pierzynski. Both have fit in nicely, and have added the pop needed after losing Napoli and Hamilton. The Rangers decided this was enough to reload the former back to back AL champs, and it turns out they were right.
The season is only a month old, but the Rangers have jumped out to the best record in all of baseball. The young rotation has looked solid, and Yu Darvish has looked like a true Ace. The bats haven’t always been hot, but they’ve exploded when needed too. All in all the Rangers are a far more balanced team than last season. The faith the Rangers put in guys like Darvish, Kinsler, and Andrus has paid off. The Rangers have battled early injuries to their rotation, but rookies Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm have been a very good band aid until Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison come back. So good that they have made a case to stay in the rotation no matter who gets healthy. The depth on this rotation might be the deepest in team history.
Hamilton’s and the rival Angels struggles have been icing on the cake, as has the current 6 game lead the Rangers enjoy in the AL west. The same Dallas/Fort Worth media that claimed the castle was crumbling, and even tried to kick out the king, haven’t been as vocal at the success that the front office has done reloading. The season is still very young, and the Rangers could fade, but as of now the Rangers front office have seem to made all the right moves.
The Spurs traveled to Oakland tied 1-1 with the Warriors, but were on the ropes. For starters, they had lost a home game in the playoffs, never a good sign, and were lucky to even win the 1 game at home they did win. The world was crashing down around the Spurs, and to make things worse they were going to the loudest arena in the NBA (don’t believe me, ask ESPN) and were in real danger of falling 3-1 to the upstart Warriors. The only problem, nobody told the Spurs they were doomed.
The Spurs rolled into the bay area, and even though the arena was the loudest in the history of sports (again, per ESPN) the Spurs were able to take back home court. Tony Parker did what great players do, he carried the team in the 1st half, made sure the Warriors didn’t build on their momentum gained in San Antonio. Parker scored 25 points in the 1st half, and it was enough to springboard the Spurs to victory.
Game 4 didn’t go as well, but the Spurs did play well defensively and took the Warriors to over time. Bottom line the Spurs took back the series, and home court. Now don’t start planning the victory parade on the riverwalk yet, the Warriors could come back to San Antonio just as hot as they left. But the Spurs showed some real grit in the loudest place on earth (ok i’m harping), took the game they needed too, and come back to San Antonio with a real blueprint on how to beat the Warriors, and win this series.