The Dallas-Fort Worth area has a team in each of the four major professional sports leagues to go along with franchises in the WNBA and MLS. There are a lot of big names in this big market and there are varying levels of scrutiny surrounding each of the teams and their players. With the the last taste of major playoff success in the area being the Mavericks title and Rangers World Series appearance back in 2011, it has been a long time since the area has tasted the ultimate relevancy. Who are the figures in town who have the most on line in 2020 as each franchise looks to get back to the top of their sport’s mountain?
When this piece was first published, this spot was held by “TBD coach of the Cowboys.” After the Cowboys officially made a statement on letting Jason Garrett go on Sunday, it only took about 14 hours for news to leak that they had already decided on long-time Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy as their new man in charge.
McCarthy brings a 125-77-2 record over 13 seasons with Green Bay and of course a Super Bowl win back in February 2011 when North Texas hosted the big game. If the Jerry Jones truly cherished finding a head coach with extensive recent NFL experience and a proven track record, one would think he is expecting McCarthy to come in and win right away, as he should. If Jones and the front office would have hired one of the many up-and-coming coordinators or young college coaches fans and media were clamoring for, there might have been a bit of a learning curve over the next year or two.
Before Jason Garrett’s 9.5 year run as head coach, the previous five Cowboys coaches all had a tenure between two and four years. Jason Garrett had a leash that had never been given throughout the Jerry Jones era. While McCarthy made strong enough of an impression on Jones over the weekend to be able to sleep over at his house, he doesn’t have the relationship with the Jones family that Garrett had established years before being named head coach of the Cowboys. McCarthy will need to make major playoff noise within the first two years of his Cowboys tenure or he could be looking for a new owner’s couch to crash on after an interview.
If you just selectively watch the Mavericks, you might be underwhelmed with any random single game performance of Kristaps Porzingis this season. He has more games with less than 10 points (3) than he does explosive games with over 30 (1), but overall he has been very solid for the Mavericks in his first season back from an ACL injury that made him miss a season and a half of his young NBA career.
Putting typical counting stats aside, as his respectable 17 points and 9 rebounds aren’t much to fret over at this stage of him working his way back, it’s hard not to be a tad frustrated with the points Porzingis has left on the table with his streaky shooting from beyond the arc. Shooting just 34% from beyond the arc on the season, one cannot point shot difficulty for the reason KP’s percentage is below average like the could for Luka Doncic and his step-back three’s. Porzingis is getting a lot of open three point shots and simply not hitting enough of them. Making open shots doesn’t require explosiveness that could still be lacking in a recovering knee.
Until Dak Prescott is franchised tagged or signed to a massive contract in the next few months, Kristaps Porzingis is the highest paid athlete in DFW sports when it comes to strictly contracts. At $27.3 million this year and with a deal that could go as high as $36 million in the 2023-2024 season, surely at some point throughout 2020 a poor performance from Porzingis won’t be met with patience.
Ray Davis and Bob Simpson
“Who?” A lot of you probably said that as the two main faces of the Rangers ownership are about as anonymous as owners come in a town with the likes of Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban. The guys are the most generic looking older gentlemen in suits you’ll ever see and they essentially never interact with the media. One thing they have done is require the Arlington taxpayers to fork over $500 million to help fund the new Globe Life Field opening this year.
While the duo has certainly helped the Rangers maintain an above average payroll throughout the duration of their ownership, they have been incredibly conservative with their checkbooks the last several seasons while the team has struggled on the field and the contracts of Shin-Soo Choo and the retired Prince Fielder probably give them some buyers remorse. Now with the public finally getting this new ballpark that is expected to be a money-making machine, these owners will be expected to vault this team’s payroll into the top five in Major League Baseball.
Plain and simply: If they want to average 35-40K at every home game beyond the first few weeks of the season while everyone discovers the new stadium, the Rangers are going to have to field a competitive team. While it is possibly to field a competitive team without spending top dollar, it’s incredibly difficult. These guys have the money to offer huge contracts to players, they need to do it. The Rangers are closer to relevance than people realize, but the process can be dramatically sped up with some major money invested into the roster.
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