2014 Dallas Cowboys Season Preview and Schedule

The Dallas Cowboys have been the NFL’s most average team over the last decade, and as they come of yet another 8-8 season the team is looking for a new identity. The 2013 Cowboys had one of the worst defenses in NFL history, giving up an obscene amount of passing yards including allowing Calvin Johnson to break the NFL record for receiving yards in a game. Even with the defensive woes, the season came down to Week 17 against the Philadelphia Eagles. QB Tony Romo was lost for the game after an injury the previous Sunday, and a Kyle Orton interception with two minutes left in the 4th quarter ended the Cowboys season.

This year the Cowboys go into the season without All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Ware for the first time in nine seasons, releasing the pass rusher before the cap hit. Ware joined the AFC champion Broncos and the Cowboys brougth in Henry Melton to help out in his absence. Miles Austin was also let go after a productive career thus far, though he might still be brought back with a smaller deal if the Cowboys decide not to pick up a wide receiver in the first couple rounds of the upcoming draft.

Will this ever be a winning combination? (USA Today)

Many of the fans complaints through the 2013 season came about the coaching staff, with Monte Kiffin’s defense playing a new system that did not work in any facet of the game. The blitzing that we saw in 2013 behind Rob Ryan was gone, with a more conservative approach being taken. On offense, Bill Callahan took over play calling duties from head coach Jason Garrett to middling success. The season began well, including a huge game passing from Romo against the Broncos in Week 5 that included 5 TDs and over 500 yards. As the season went on the offense declined, and the choice to call passing plays even with the run working baffled pundits and fans around the league.

The 2014 schedule is challenging, with home games against the 49ers, Saints, Colts and Cardinals. Those teams had a combined record of 44-20 in 2013, and the 49ers were one play away from a second consecutive berth in the Super Bowl. The Saints returned from suspension hell after the ‘Bountygate’ scandal, and were once again a force to be reckoned with — including their 32-point beat down of Dallas in Week 10.
On the road the Cowboys will see Chicago, Tennessee, and the defending-champion Seattle Seahawks. There’s no stadium in the NFL louder than Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, and the last time the Cowboys were at Soldier Field it didn’t work out too well for them. The Cowboys will also play the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London on November 9, with the Jags losing the home game from their schedule.

The NFC East is always a wide-open race, and this year expect the Redskins to once again challenge the Cowboys and Eagles. The Cowboys went 1-1 against the Eagles in 2013, and will need to get through divisional play with a winning record if they want another shot at the NFL playoffs in 2014.

Average Ticket Prices trending up for UFC

Saturday, April 26, Jon Jones and Glover Tiexeira face off in UFC 172. Teixeira comes in with a 22-2-0 record. His last three major fights were all victories, with his most recent victory a TKO against Ryan Bader. Jones, with a 19-1-0 record also won his last three major fights, with his last TKO coming almost a year ago against Chael Sonnen. This Light Heavyweight Title Fight is sure to be a thrilling bout, but how does it stack up to other big fights?

First, we compared the past five big UFC fights: UFC 171 – UFC 167. While UFC 172 is finally showing an uptick in ticket price, it’s still a significantly cheaper average ticket than UFC 167. Back in November when Georges St-Pierre defeated Johny Hendricks in a round five decision, average ticket price was a whopping $591.72. Ticketholders for the next fight, UFC 168, Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva faced off in a rematch of UFC 162. You may remember this match as the fight when Silva broke both his left figula and tibia in the second round, resulting in a TKO and a second victory for Weidman. Ticketholder for this cringe-inducing fight paid an average of $550.57.

Maybe fans didn’t want to witness another severely broken leg, but average ticket prices for UFC 169 dropped substantially. Fans for Renan Barrao’s first round TKO of Urijah Faber paid the lowly average price of 162.83. Probably for the best as the title fight lasted under two minutes. Fortunately, the following two years showed slight growth. UFC 170, featuring Olympians Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann brought the average ticket price back above $200 to $213.29. Average ticket prices continued to trend up when Johny Hendrix defeated Robbie Lawler by decision. Ticket prices for UFC 171 averaged $260.01.

So far, Jones is on track to second his best average ticket price at a fight. He peaked at UFC 159 with an average ticket price of $274.43. Tiexeria isn’t even close to his best from UFC 160, though he wasn’t the title fight of that event. Average ticket price for that night was $315.12.

While ticket price can definitely show interest in the fight, there’s no way of knowing how exciting the fight will truly be. That’s one of the best part about checking out a UFC fight is that you never know how incredible of a fight you may see. From close five-round fights to first round TKOs to some of the more gruesome injuries in sports, there’s never a shortage of excitement at UFC.

The fight next Saturday will take place at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. The rest of the main card is rounded out with light heavyweights Phil Davis and Anthony Johnson, middleweights Luke Rockhold and Tim Boetsch, lightweights Jim Miller and Bobby Green, and featherweights Max Holloway and Andre Fili. With Teixeira and Jones teased as the title fight for the past three UFC events, this fight is the culmination of quite a bit of anticipation. Who do you see walking away with the title? Sound off in the comments!

Paul McCartney Summer Tour Expands, New Texas Dates Added

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney announced the Out There Tour would hit US shores earlier in April. At the time only four dates were confirmed. That changed yesterday with the addition of six more dates. Two of the dates will be here in Texas, along with more arena shows in Atlanta, Jacksonville, Nashville, and Salt Lake City.

Texas Tech’s United Spirit Arena will host the former Wings front man on June 14th, while the American Airlines Center will see The Quarrymen‘s former rhythm guitarist arrive on June 16th.

Keen observers of the passage of time will note the last date added, August 7th at EnergySolutions Arena, leaves a 1 month gap between it and the earlier date. That certainly suggests Sir Paul is not quite finished fleshing out his summer touring schedule.

2014 “Out There” North American Tour Schedule, New Dates in Bold:

  • June 14United Spirit Arena, Lubbock, TX
  • June 16American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
  • June 19 – Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
  • June 21Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
  • June 22Jacksonville Veterans Mem. Arena, Jacksonville, FL
  • June 25Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
  • June 26 – KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, KY
  • July 05 – Times Union Center, Albany, NY
  • July 07 – Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
  • August 07EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

The tour schedule is available on our Paul McCartney tickets page.

Unlike Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney has embraced the Internet with his own YouTube channel. In fact, he embraced the crap out of it. There’s so much there I couldn’t even find a “regular old music video.” Pretty sure he did some. I remember the 80′s, everyone did music videos. Still, have to settle for a quick embed of “Band on the Run” with only the album cover to keep us company as we listen.

2014 New Orleans Saints Season Preview and Schedule

The New Orleans Saints were a cat among the pigeons with their “Bountygate” scandal, but they found a way to persevere. The losing season in 2012 was followed up by an 11-5 campaign that included wins over teams like the 49ers and Panthers in the regular season, before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Seahawks in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. Drew Brees returned to the elite status he had cultivated for himself amongst NFL quarterbacks, and the Saints defense ranked 10th in the league in points allowed.  The stage is set for New Orleans to take back its place at the throne of the NFC South in the 2014 season.

A familiar face in Lance Moore has been released after having only 37 receptions in 2013, his lowest total since 2009. Moore spent eight years in the Saints organization after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Toledo. Kenny Stills looks to be the future Moore’s former position, with the 21-year old rookie hauling in 32 receptions for 641 yards and 10 TDs in 2013. The biggest signing of the off-season thus far is veteran cornerback Champ Bailey, who spent the last 10 seasons in Denver. The 35-year old made the league’s All-Decade team for 2000-09 and this will likely the last stop of his NFL career.

Sean Payton and Rob Ryan worked well together in 2013. (USA Today/Derick Hingle)

The Saints 2014 schedule is chalk full of interesting opponents, though we won’t know the dates until the April 22 release from the NFL. At home, New Orleans will host big non-divisional games against the Ravens, Bengals, Packers, and 49ers – who sported a combined record of 39-24-1 in 2013. The Saints beat the 49ers 23-20 in Week 11 last season with a field goal as time expired, so expect that one to come down to the wire once again. The last time New Orleans faced the Packers, Brees threw for 446 yards and 3 TDs in a 28-27 loss at Lambeau Field.

The road is a little friendlier, with the Saints traveling to cities like Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Dallas. New Orleans went 3-5 on the road in 2013, and had trouble getting the offense going outside of the Superdome. Expect Brees to not have the same problems against a historically-bad Cowboys secondary and a weak Lions defense, but Heinz Field in Pittsburgh is no walk in the park.

The NFC South will be an interesting race to follow, with most pundits not knowing what to expect from the Panthers and Falcons in 2014. Carolina came out of nowhere to win 12 games last season behind one of the NFL’s best defenses, but the offense was shaky at best. The Falcons were picked by many to make the Super Bowl in 2013 before injuries and a nose-dive in offensive production dropped Atlanta to a 4-12 record. A healthy Falcons team will be back this season, and wins over these division rivals are key for the Saints to get back into the playoffs and get the all-important home field advantage.

 

NHL Playoffs: Rangers-Flyers Match-up Most Expensive First Round Ticket

The NHL playoffs are finally here! Tonight the rivalry playoff match-up between the Rangers and Flyers kicks off and the series is already breaking records as the most expensive in the First Round of the playoffs. The fact that these teams haven’t met in the postseason since 1997, coupled with an intense rivalry, means the average price for a ticket to a game is $199. That’s 45% more than the league average for a ticket to a First Round playoff game.

stanleycup_playoff_vs_image_tampa_bay1Rangers fans are really the driving force behind this trend as they head into the series with a bit of an edge having secured home ice-advantage. Ticket prices for games played at MSG vs. Wells Fargo are on average 80% higher. This indicates that Rangers fans will be in strong attendance at home, a fact that doesn’t bode well for the Flyers, who have lost 8 straight games at MSG. Additionally, Game 5 is the most expensive of the series, when the Rangers return home to MSG after two away games. With an average ticket price of $256, Game 5 is also the most expensive First Round playoff game in the league.

This will be the 11th time these rivals meet in the postseason, and Philadelphia has won six of the first 10 meetings, including the last three.  This season both teams overcame sluggish starts to reach the playoffs, but they’re both clicking now. Game 1 will be important to the Rangers as they look to get off on the right foot against their long-time rival, so tune in tonight at 7pm ET as the series begins.