Sports Outside the Beltway

Barry Bonds won’t be playing for the San Francisco Giants in 2008

The announcement was made at a news conference yesterday.

SAN FRANCISCO – Barry Bonds is finished in San Francisco. The Giants told Bonds they will not bring him back next season, ending a 15-year run in which he set the single-season and all-time home run records and became a lightning rod for the steroids debate in baseball.

“It’s always difficult to say goodbye,” Giants owner Peter Magowan said Friday. “It’s an emotional time for me. We’ve been through a lot together these 15 years. A lot of good things have happened. Unfortunately a lot of bad things have happened. But there comes a time when you have to go in a different direction.”

On his Web site, Bonds said he wasn’t done.

“There is more baseball in me and I plan on continuing my career. My quest for a World Series ring continues,” he said.

The 43-year-old Bonds did not join Magowan and general manager Brian Sabean at the news conference. Asked whether he had anything to add, Bonds said, “I already made my statement.”

Putting aside whether you think Bonds homerun records are legit or not,(I personally believe Bonds used Steroids and other drugs) he is still a productive hitter. There has to be an American League team that can use Bonds services as a Designated hitter.

In all honesty, I wish Barry would retire. Though this will not silence the debate over his career and records.


Miami Dolphin linebacker Zach Thomas to miss NY Jets game

More bad news for Miami.

DAVIE — Linebacker Zach Thomas’ history of concussions doesn’t seem to have caught up with him yet.

Thomas, 34, will sit out the Dolphins’ road game Sunday against the New York Jets because of a concussion he suffered in the Dolphins’ loss to Dallas six days ago.

But medical tests didn’t raise red flags for a player who has suffered multiple concussions and once considered retirement because of the problem.

“It’s good news,” coach Cam Cameron said Friday. “They brought back the MRI, and they didn’t see anything on that.”

Since when did Dizzy Dean become Miami Dolphins head coach? I sure hope doctors found something in Zach’s head.

All joking aside, Cameron said Thomas would be day to day after Sunday’s game. Rest up Zach and get well.

As much as Thomas injury isn’t good news for the struggling Dolphin defense(Thomas is
the team’s leading tackler through two games), the concussion also calls into question whether the linebacker should continue playing. Zach had a history of similar injuries earlier in his career.(1999) At age 34 with very rare exceptions, active pro football players have their best years behind him. Zach has become a wealthy man, it may be time for him to enjoy the rest of his life off the football field.

Just one more problem for a Dolphin team that has drafted only one Pro Bowl player(WR Chris Chambers) in Rounds 1 or 2 since 1995. That tells you why the team is so poor at this moment.

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Pettitte wins number 200, pulls Yankees to 1.5 games behind Boston

by Ty Kepner -

When it all began for Andy Pettitte and the Yankees, in April 1995, his wife and their infant son were living with relatives. Pettitte had earned $2,100 a month in the minors the year before, and he was eager to buy a home for his young family by making a name in baseball.

The years since have been very good to Pettitte. He has earned more than $75 million, and while there are bigger names in baseball, there are few more prolific winners.

Pettitte earned his 200th career victory at Yankee Stadium last night by beating the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1. Since the start of Pettitte’s career, only Greg Maddux (215) and Randy Johnson (203) have won more often.

Joba Chamberlain struck out Melvin Mora with a slider to end the eighth, and Mariano Rivera held on in a 34-pitch ninth, overcoming a one-out bloop double by Nick Markakis and two-out walks by Aubrey Huff and Ramón Hernández. Rivera earned his 30th save when Scott Moore struck out looking.

By holding the Orioles to a run and seven hits in seven and two-thirds innings, Pettitte helped the Yankees in two races. They are only a game and a half behind first-place Boston in the American League East and lead Detroit by five and a half games for the wild card.

The playoffs seem like a lock now, but winning the division (and hopefully getting homefield advantage) would be very, very nice.


Cowboys Sign Tank Johnson

The Dallas Cowboys have signed former Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson to a two year contract. He won’t be available until some time in November.

Johnson has at most six games left on an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy even though he has been unsigned. At the time, commissioner Roger Goodell announced Johnson’s suspension, he left open the possibility of reducing it to six games, although Johnson would have to apply for early reinstatement.

The chances of Johnson’s suspension being reduced to six games could have taken a hit when he was pulled over by Gilbert, Ariz., police for driving while impaired in June, although the charges were eventually dropped. The Bears released Johnson three days after the incident.

If Goodell upholds the eight-game suspension, then the earliest he could play would be Nov. 11 at the New York Giants. If the suspension is reduced to six games, he could debut Oct. 21 at Texas Stadium against Minnesota.

Under league rules, the Cowboys will have to release a player to make room for Johnson on the active roster for one day before he will revert to the team’s suspended list.

Johnson, 25, spent his first three seasons with Chicago, coincidentally the Cowboys’ opponent Sunday. In 46 games, he was credited with 63 tackles and nine sacks.

The Cowboys’ interest in Johnson increased when starting nose tackle Jason Ferguson was lost for the season with a torn right biceps in Week 1. Jay Ratliff has replaced Ferguson in the starting lineup and the team re-signed Remi Ayodele as the backup.

The Cowboys had character concerns about Johnson when he entered the 2004 draft out of the University of Washington. Chicago drafted him in the second round.

Clarence Hill wonders how “coincidental” the timing was.

Those who believe the Cowboys aren’t using the Tank Johnson interview to get inside information on Bears — this Sunday’s opponent and Johnson’s former team — are being naive. This stuff goes on all across the league and has been for years. Teams would routinely bring in players for “tryouts” or “free agent visits” the week before playing said player’s former team.

Now that doesn’t mean the Cowboys aren’t legitimately interested in Johnson’s services as a nose tackle because they are. But the timing of this week’s visit is no coincidence.

Anything to get an edge, within the rules, I guess.

Over on the print side, Hill reports additional terms of the deal:

Because he is currently serving an eight-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy and won’t be eligible to play until the Cowboys play at the Giants Nov. 11, he will get a prorated portion of the league minimum of $510,000 in 2007.

His salary in 2008 is an incentive-laden minimum deal. He will get no signing bonus.

That makes it virtually a no-brainer for the Cowboys. Potentially, they get a great player at a bargain basement price. At worst, they pay the minimum salary for as many weeks as it takes to find out that they signed the wrong guy and put him back out on the street.

And goodness knows they could use some help at nose tackle with Jason Ferguson out for the year.


Yanks win series as Jeter’s homerun beats Boston

by Brian Hoch -

Was there a better way for the Yankees and Red Sox to complete their season series? How much more of a tease could you ask for? And wouldn’t you like to see these two teams play just one more time?

In the end, the Yankees’ final regular-season game at Fenway Park on Sunday night came down to one Mariano Rivera pitch. With the bases loaded and two outs, the high pop off of David Ortiz’s dangerous bat came to rest safely in Derek Jeter’s glove, securing a 4-3 New York victory.

Jeter pumped his left fist emphatically, his go-ahead eighth-inning home run secure as the margin of victory. Boston cursed. New York exhaled. Nothing’s ever easy for the Yankees in New England.

“It’s not what I expected when we went into that inning,” Jeter said. “It’s always scary when you’ve got Ortiz up, let alone with the bases loaded and a one-run game. But we have a lot of confidence in Mo. He’s not afraid of anyone.”

Rivera’s showdown with Big Papi was the icing on a delicious three-hour, 10-minute affair that opened with a back-to-the-future pitchers’ duel between Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, reprising a 2001 World Series Game 7 showdown with significantly more mileage but still as much drive and heart.

Making his first Fenway Park start since the 2003 American League Championship Series, Clemens held the Red Sox to just one unearned run and two hits over six innings. Schilling brought a game to match, at least until Jeter interrupted the evening with his eighth-inning homer, a shot to the back of the seating area atop the left-field Green Monster.

Continued here.


Weekly Miami Dolphins prediction

Miami(0-1) plays host to Dallas(1-0) this afternoon at 4 p.m. This game doesn’t look hopeful for Dolphin fans. The team’s defense wore out easily last week in a loss to Washington. In addition Safety Yeremiah Bell is out for the season. Miami did sign two new safeties, but with Terrel Owens coming to town, this is no time to either be hurting or testing new personnel.

Dallas scored 45 points last week against the Giants. The Cowboys won’t do as well this week but will still come out on top. My prediction- Dallas 34, Miami 21.

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Alabama Blows Lead, Comes Back to Beat Arkansas 41-38

Nick Saban Celebrates After Arkansas Win 2007 Photo Nick Saban got his first significant win as coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide. It didn’t come easy though. He watched his team march to a quick 21-0 lead and then force a turnover. Just as it looked like the Tide was going to go up by four touchdowns, they coughed the ball up and gave up an easy 7. They followed this up with another interception another easy score.

After seeming to get their act together and going up 31-10, they gave up four unanswered touchdowns.

The final outcome was still in doubt until, with 8 seconds left on the clock, quarterback John Parker Wilson found receiver Matt Caddell in the endzone to regain the lead.

Other reports:

Wilson hits Caddell in final seconds to keep Saban’s Tide unbeaten, Ian R. Rapoport, Birmingham News

University of Alabama coach Nick Saban is already beginning to wipe clean the memories of the previous four years. Former coach Mike Shula went 49 games without a fourth-quarter comeback. In Saban’s short tenure, that devastating statistic is gone after three games.

With 8 seconds left Saturday night, quarterback John Parker Wilson found senior Matt Caddell in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard score to cap a 73-yard drive and give Alabama a 41-38 win over No. 16 Arkansas.

“Exciting, huh?” Saban said.

Even after allowing the Razorbacks 28 unanswered points, and even after taking the ball with 73 yards to go and 2 minutes 13 seconds left, Alabama was still able to march down for a win.

Four years without a fourth-quarter comeback? Old news.

“Been a loooong time,” said Wilson, who finished 24-of-45 passing for 327 yards with four touchdowns. “It’s good to fight like that. To be up, to be down, to come back and win, it says a lot about our football team. We spent all spring, all summer, all fall talking about the fourth quarter, and we pulled it out.”

On that final drive, Wilson was 7-of-10 for 73 yards, and he was helped by two Razorback pass-interference penalties. It ended with Caddell leaping over Arkansas defender Jamar Love in the end zone, sending the Alabama players toward that end of the field to create a dog-pile around Caddell and sending the 92,318 fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium into delirium.

As for Saban, he calmly held up one finger, signaling an extra point. Leigh Tiffin – last year’s goat for his three missed field goals and a missed extra point – knocked it through. Tiffin also made a 42-yard field goal with 4:20 left to keep his team alive.


Heisman Trophy hopeful and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden gained 195 yards on 33 carries with two touchdowns, while sidekick Felix Jones had 106 rushing yards. The duo left the defense ragged, but happy. “I feel pretty good,” safety Rashad Johnson said. “We came out with a win.”

The Tide controlled the game from the outset, scoring first and building a quick 21-0 lead. In the process, receiver DJ Hall became the program’s all-time leading receiver by breaking a record of 2,070 yards held by Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome. Hall had 172 yards on six catches with two touchdowns for the game.

Alabama made one final stop before halftime, leaving the Razorbacks to settle for a field goal. The half ended 21-10 Alabama.

Coming out of the locker room, Alabama caught a break when Arkansas receiver London Crawford fumbled after a 22-yard reception. Ezekial Knight recovered it and that turned into a Tiffin field goal to make it 24-10. No game has been complete without a big play from the punt-return game and Javier Arenas. This time, Arenas fielded a 34-yard punt on his own 40, stepped out of a tackle, then raced to his right down the sideline. The result was a 58-yard return to the 2. Wilson rolled left and found tight end Nick Walker for a 2-yard touchdown to make it 31-10.

Then it came crashing down.

The Hogs marched it right down the field in five plays, as Jones and McFadden combined for 59 yards, and quarterback Casey Dick found Andrew Davie for a 2-yard score.

That made it 31-17 late in third, then a fumbled quarterback-center exchange and an interception by Wilson were costly. Suddenly, with 12:05 remaining, the game was tied at 31. When Dick found Peyton Hills on a 7-yard touchdown, Arkansas led 38-31.

“The fumbled snap, that’s a basic fundamental,” Saban said. “The interception was not a good throw. Those are the kinds of things we need to learn from and grow from and eliminate.”

No matter. On its first try to tie the game, Alabama found itself with fourth-and-6 from the 25. Saban opted for a field goal. “It was the right thing to do,” he said. “I asked the defense, `Can you stop them?’ They said they could.”

All the defense had to do was stop Arkansas – without McFadden, who had a slight concussion – one more time to give the offense the ball back. “We do that in practice,” Johnson said. “It’s called, `Get the ball back.’”

The result was the game-winning drive.

Tide blows big lead, but thrives, survives with late TD drive, Paul Gattis, Huntsville Times

“I’m proud of the way our players competed in the game,” Saban said. “We always talk about playing 60 minutes and to score with 8 seconds left, it’s an easy way to reinforce a point.”


It was Alabama’s first last-minute touchdown for a win since the 1996 win over Auburn.

Tide comes back to upset Arkansas 41-38, Christopher Walsh, Tuscaloosa News

It went from there’s no way the University of Alabama football team was going to lose, to there was no way it was going to win, to how on earth did the Crimson Tide pull that off?

Although Coach Nick Saban didn’t want Saturday night to be about absolution or an attempt to get even for last year’s double-overtime loss to Arkansas, that’s exactly what happened despite his best efforts.

After blowing a 21-point lead, when the offense self-destructed and the defense apparently could no longer slow down the Razorbacks’ running game, the Tide had one final chance with 2 minutes, 13 seconds remaining and 73 yards to go. Amazingly, it came through, with senior wide receiver Matt Caddell making three of his nine receptions to help set up his clutch 4-yard touchdown catch in the back of the end zone for an unbelievable 41-38 victory.

“Exciting night, huh?” Saban said after his first SEC home game at the Capstone. “I’m certainly proud of the way our players played. You always talk about playing 60 minutes.”

In many ways, it was a typical Alabama-Arkansas game, hard-hitting with injuries and helmets flying off people’s heads, not to mention last-minute dramatics. Only this time the Razorbacks felt the heartache, while the Tide improved to 3-0 overall, 2-0 in the SEC to likely secure at least an inside track to a Jan. 1 bowl game.

“I knew if I could get up there … ” Caddell said of his leaping catch that sent both the Bryant-Denny Stadium faithful and the Alabama sideline into pandemonium.

“Amazing,” said sophomore Javier Arenas, who had a 58-yard punt return, after the locker room. “I can’t describe it.”

Caddell TD caps wild finish as Bama upsets Arkansas , AP/ESPN

Welcome to the Nick Saban era, Bama fans.


After twice blowing 21-point leads, Alabama marched down the field from its own 27 over the final 2:13, mostly on the Wilson-to-Caddell connection. Wilson hit Caddell across the middle for a 19-yard completion and two 9-yarders to move the ball across midfield. Kevin Woods and Matterral Richardson were both whistled for pass interference, Richardson on a third-and-9 play, to set Alabama up with a first down at the 13. After Wilson hit Keith Brown for a 9-yarder, he found a leaping Caddell in the left side of the end zone two plays later, sending the crowd into a frenzy and prompting a celebratory pileup on the receiver.

Alabama-Arkansas Scoring Summary 2007

“I knew if I got it up there and gave him a chance, he’d make a play,” said Wilson, who was 7-for-8 for 56 yards on the final drive. “I got the ball outside and gave Matt a chance to make the play, and he did.”

Alabama didn’t manage a come-from-behind win in the fourth quarter during Mike Shula’s four-year tenure.

The Tide’s decision to settle for Leigh Tiffin’s 42-yard field goal to make it 38-34 paid off when Arkansas was stopped on its next possession. McFadden sat out the series with a a slight concussion, coach Houston Nutt said.

“I did have confidence that we could stop them,” Saban said. “I asked the players on the sidelines, ‘Can we stop them?’ They said they could, so I believed them. And they did. “It was the right thing to do.”


“I felt like our team did not play in the second half like we needed to play,” Saban said. “We melted down a little bit, which to me is you drop your guard psychologically.”

Alabama-Arkansas Statistics 2007


Cowboys Wade Wilson Questions Pats’ Punishment

Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach, serving a suspension for taking Human Growth Hormone to treat diabetes, sees a double standard in the League’s punishment of the New England Patriots for blatant on-the-field cheating.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Friday in Fort Worth that the punishment assessed Patriots coach Bill Belichick for breaking videotaping rules “sure gets your attention, and it really was a tough penalty.”


Belichick was fined $500,000 and the Patriots $250,000. If the team makes the playoffs, the Patriots will lose a first-round draft pick in 2008; if they don’t make the playoffs, they will lose their second- and third-round picks. Jerry Jones said that he knows “probably the most punitive thing you can do with Belichick is take draft picks away from him.”

There has been an outcry that Belichick should have been suspended.

Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson was suspended five games and fined $100,000 after admitting he purchased a drug banned by the NFL as a performance-enhancing substance. He said he used the substance to combat complications from diabetes and improve his quality of life. He was with the Chicago Bears (2004-2006) when the purchase was made. He was told he was suspended five games because coaches are held to a higher standard.

Jones said Wilson’s penalty was “harsh,” but “I don’t have the ability to compare” it to Belichick’s.

Wilson is unhappy with the differences in the discipline, especially when considering intent. “I would say there is definitely a double standard being applied here,” Wilson told “I don’t want to be seen as a crybaby or as someone questioning the commissioner’s decision, but I see some major inconsistencies here. To me, they’re holding the organization accountable instead of the person. I don’t want to bash the commissioner, but … intent was a big issue in my defense. What their [Patriots] intent was, I don’t know.”

It’s a fair point. Belichick was unquestionably cheating to gain an advantage on the field. By contrast, there’s no way Wilson’s taking HGH improves his ability to coach quarterbacks. A half million dollar fine isn’t exactly getting off easy, even for a multi-millionaire coach. But Wilson’s penalty was way too harsh.

FWST’s Randy Galloway is more harsh:

With supreme arrogance, Belichick had openly defied Goodell last week by continuing to do what the commissioner had said don’t do. No more video recorders could appear on the sidelines of NFL games because they were used to steal defensive signs of an opponent. Belichick was known to be the No. 1 practitioner of this illegal activity. And on Sunday in the Meadowlands, he went right ahead and did it again, did it against the Jets, coached by one of his former assistants, who knew Belichick always did it.


Belichick was given a $500,000 fine, the maximum allowed in the NFL, with the stipulation he had to pay it, not the team. Wanna bet on that? And besides, that half a mil would hardly dent this man’s wallet anyway. The Patriots were fined $250,000, or nothing owner Bob Kraft can’t handle out of petty cash.

Plus, the Pats were ordered to give up a first-round draft pick in April (if they made the playoffs this season) or a second- and third-rounder if they don’t. New England will make the playoffs and owns two first-round picks in the next draft. No harm done at all.


The fine was one-third of Wilson’s salary. The five-game suspension cut out an embarrassed Wilson’s heart, because it took him away from the game and job he loved. Twenty-six years in the NFL, 19 as a player, seven as a coach, and with a spotless record until this, Goodell said a humiliated Wilson had to be used as an example to others.

“Coaches,” he preached, “must be held to a higher standard.”

And when the opportunity came to hold big-time Bill Belichick to the same standard as small-time Wade Wilson, the commissioner patty-caked, and caved like a wimp. If Wilson is worth five games, then Belichick had to get 10. If, of course, coaches are really being held to a higher standard by The Man.

Mr. Goodell, you are a fraud.

May Michael Vick’s pit bulls bite you in the butt forever more.

Now, the Patriots made a trade this year to get the additional 1st next year, so the idea that losing it doesn’t hurt is silly. Teams build for the future with their first day draft picks and the Pats have been among the best at making them count.

The problem isn’t that Belichick’s punishment was too light but that Wilson’s was too harsh. By about five games and $100,000.


Jerry Jones and Wayne Huizenga: Leadership Styles

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald looks at the contrasting styles of the owners of the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins, who play this weekend.

Jerry Jones is on a long-distance call talking about his connection to the Dallas Cowboys. ”Let me start out by telling you there are different ways to have success and I don’t have all the answers,” Jones says. “But when I bought the Dallas Cowboys, I decided that meant a change in occupation for me so that I could commit all my resources and energy to the team. I knew I had to bring all my efforts — my time, my skills as a businessman — to make it successful. So I became involved in the management of the team. Today I figure my time is basically divided with 10 percent going into my role in ownership and 90 percent in the management of the Dallas Cowboys.”

And that is the formula Jones has mixed to bring the Cowboys some hardships, to be sure, but also more than their share of shiny star success since he bought the team in 1989. The Cowboys have won three Super Bowls and played in four NFC title games since the owner traded in Jones Oil and Land Lease for America’s Team. And while it is true the Cowboys have suffered wildcard-round playoff exits in 1999, 2003 and 2006, it doesn’t erase the fact they were in the postseason.

So Sunday’s game between the Dolphins and the Cowboys offers an interesting contrast in ownership style and philosophy.

The Dolphins, since 1994 the crown jewel of Wayne Huizenga’s extensive empire, are run in classic hands-off style. The Cowboys, under Jones, are the yin to Miami’s yang. Jones watches film, attends just about every practice, makes trades and draft selections, and even jokes that if there’s a wad of paper to be picked up on his practice field, he’ll do that also to keep the place looking sharp. ”I believe in blurring the line a little bit,” says the most hands-on owner in sports.

So which approach is better?

In their fundamental approach both have been proven to work. But the way Jones runs things provides one subtle advantage the Dolphins might never enjoy unless Huizenga becomes more involved. Jones, you see, knows everything about his team. He talks directly to players, he talks directly to all his coaches, and he engages the scouts. There aren’t one or two men who can solely sway his decision because he knows every opinion of consequence within the organization.

The view Huizenga gets is more limited. And that becomes a liability when the owner conducts a league-wide search for a GM and is advised by in-house people to pick in-house candidate Rick Spielman.

The way Huizenga has done things cannot be criticized when Jimmy Johnson and Nick Saban are obvious hires as coach. But it demands new thinking when Johnson fails on his promise to get Miami to the Super Bowl, and having earned no such right, counsels Huizenga to hire Dave Wannstedt. That’s when hands-off ownership sets a franchise back years.

”If Wayne decided to change the way he does things and spent and focused the amount of management time I do, his success would have exceeded the success I’ve had,” Jones says. “That’s how much respect and admiration I have for him and his abilities. Now, he doesn’t choose to do that and that’s fine. But he can do it.”

Jones can speak to changing management styles because, for a time, he did exactly that. When Bill Parcells was hired as coach, Jones agreed to let the man who guided the Giants and Patriots to the Super Bowl have say and sway over football matters. ”A lot of people said it couldn’t work, me working with that strong-willed a person,” Jones said. “But I did what I had to so that it would work. We didn’t win a Super Bowl and that was a disappointment. But we tried.”

Ultimately, when it works and when it doesn’t, Jones realizes the focus for the success or failure will shift toward him. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. ”Certainly fans can become very critical if the decision-making doesn’t bring the results they expect,” Jones says. “Then the owner is meddling too much and he should let football men make football decisions. That makes me smile because there is no other business discipline where the individual that has the most to gain or lose disconnects from the business. If the boss is directly involved in his business and overseeing the operation, in most places the customers applaud that.”

Quite right. I’ve been critical of Jones’ involvement in personnel decisions because others are more qualified, through decades of dedication to the profession of football, to make them. Jones is a brilliant business man and he’s made the Cowboys arguably the best franchise in the league from a commercial standpoint; they’re now the most valuable franchise in all of professional sports. But his learning curve on the football side, which largely began when he pushed Jimmy Johnson out the door after the 1993-94 Super Bowl championship, has been steep and costly on the field.


Dallas Cowboys Most Valuable Sports Franchise

The Dallas Cowboys are now the most valuable team in all of professional sports.

The Dallas Cowboys wrested the title of the NFL’s most valuable franchise from the rival Redskins, knocking Washington off the top of the list for the first time in eight years, according to Forbes magazine’s annual survey. Thanks to a new $1 billion stadium set to open in 2009, the Cowboys’ value increased by 28 percent — by far the largest jump among NFL teams this year — to $1.5 billion. They climbed from third to first in the rankings, leapfrogging the Redskins ($1.467 billion) and the New England Patriots ($1.199 billion).

The new stadium added about $350 million to the Cowboys’ value. Jerry Jones can now boast that he owns the world’s most valuable sports franchise, according to Forbes. “Our organization’s incentive has always been to have our franchise recognized as being the best, both on and off the field,” Jones said. “This is recognition of the fans and the many constituencies who have helped build the Dallas Cowboys.”

The Houston Texans and the Philadelphia Eagles again round out the top five and remain the only other franchises worth more than $1 billion. Both New York teams also enjoyed big jumps in the rankings because of a planned stadium. The Giants moved from 15th to eighth with a 9 percent increase to $974 million. The Jets went from 19th to 10th with a 10 percent improvement to $967 million. Their jointly owned, $1.3 billion facility is scheduled to open in 2010. The stadium added about $50 million to each franchise’s value. That number is smaller than the Cowboys’ because the venue isn’t as far along. Forbes expects that the two teams’ rankings will continue to climb as the stadium nears completion. The Cleveland Browns were the only franchise whose value decreased. They rank ninth at $969 million, down from $970 million.

Since the Cowboys were already number three with a 35 year old stadium, this was inevitable. Still, Jones has to enjoy holding this coveted status again.


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