With the summer winding down, those people who are ages 5 to 22 (graduate students and teachers not included) are gearing up for school to be back in session. With each new year, comes new goals, new teachers, new faces, and new questions to be asked by parents, students, teachers and administrators.
August and September also happen to be key months in sports, as college an professional football start up, hockey and basketball training camp begin, and baseball and soccer (Major League Soccer) teams begin their march to their playoffs. Or, in the Texas Rangers case, their march to the No. 1 pick in the 2015 MLB draft.
With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of the major sports students, also known as teams, in Dallas-Fort Worth, and their biggest question as they go “back-to school”.
Dallas Cowboys- Will this team ever win anything other than 8 games?
For what seems like an eternity, the Cowboys have been stuck on 8 wins, primarily due to season-ending swoons, an ever-changing personnel roster, and poor roster development. While owner Jerry Jones says this isn’t a make-or-break year for coach Jason Garrett, the owner isn’t getting any younger- it’s been five years since the ‘Boys won a division title, and since then, the title has rotated between their three biggest rivals.
Texas Rangers- Is 2014 an anomaly, or a harbinger of things to come?
By now, the Rangers injury problems have been well-documented, and this year’s edition could set an MLB record for the most amount of games missed. This issue exposed the lack of depth facing the organization, partially due to midseason trades the past few years where the club gave up important prospects for a rental pitcher for the pennant race. Newcomers Shin Soo Choo and Prince Fielder haven’t produced the way they were supposed to, and with Ian Kinsler making a major impact for the Detroit Tigers, serious questions remain about whether the trade was the right move for the Rangers, who are faced with wondering about Fielder’s durability. And what will become of Jurickson Profar?
Dallas Mavericks- Did we improve enough to avoid the Spurs in the first round in 2015?
The team added Chandler Parsons, Tyson Chandler, Al-Farouq Aminu Jameer Nelson and Greg Smith in yet another free agency where they didn’t land the big dog but managed to find some nice additions. The big question remains: is it enough for a Top 4 seed in the Western Conference? The bottom four playoff seeds did not lose anyone of note, and Phoenix, who finished just a game back of Dallas added rising point guard Isaiah Thomas to their cadre of young guns. Will a starting lineup of Dirk, Monta Ellis, Devin Harris and the Chandlers be enough for Dallas to contend for home-court advantage?
Dallas Stars- What’s next?
After a year that exceeded expectations with the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2008, the team many dubbed to be the “Next Most Likely Dallas Sports Champion” went out and found a center in Jason Spezza who will play alongside Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin in what should be one heck of an offensive line, while also infusing the team with a sorely needed veteran presence. General Manager Jim Nill has a plan in place, as evidenced by the Seguin trade last year, and his signings this year. Having won four championships in Detroit, Stars fans will put their trust in Nill to see if the team can win its first playoff series since 2008 this next season.
FC Dallas- Can the team sustain recent success to reach the playoffs again?
While the Cowboys are victimized by late-season losing streaks, FC Dallas for the past two years has experienced prolonged losing streaks in May June and July that have caused the Hoops to make up a lot of ground come stretch run time. This July was a different story, and coach Oscar Pareja has his team, which isn’t going to be affected by transfers to European clubs, in fourth place in the Western Conference and just two points back of second place Real Salt Lake.