Dallas Sports

Dallas Cowboys

Anyone who grew up watching football in the early to mid-1990s has had the Dallas Cowboys imprinted on their mind forever as unbeatable juggernauts. With the combination of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin, stopping the Cowboys' offense was like trying to stop a train. One decade and several coaches later, Dallas' "America's Team" isn't anywhere close to the heydays of the 90s, but nevertheless looks like the team to beat in the National Football Conference. Dashing quarterback Tony Romo and speedy running back Marion Barber look ready to take the Dallas Cowboys back to the Super Bowl.

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Texas Rangers

Even with three late-90s playoff appearances, the Texas Rangers have never been known as a successful Major League Baseball club—talent seems to leave as fast as it arrives with the Rangers. The Dallas team has featured, at various times, such star sluggers as Ivan Rodriguez, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. It's a sign of the Rangers' misfortune, and mismanagement, that none of the three is still with the team. Over the past eight years, the Rangers have finished at the bottom of their division. Despite an astounding 30-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles this season, the Texas Rangers fail to generate media buzz around their 2008 season.

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Dallas Mavericks

The recent success of the Dallas Mavericks can arguably be tied directly to entrepreneur Mark Cuban. In the decade prior to Cuban's purchase of the team in 2000, the Mavericks hadn't had a single winning season. Since 2000, they've advanced to the playoffs every year. The Mavericks finally reached the National Basketball Association Finals in 2006 but fell to the Miami Heat. Last year they compiled one of the best NBA regular-season records in history and were favorites to return to the Finals, but the Golden State Warriors ended their run in a dramatic first-round upset. With Dirk Nowitzki and Devin Harris returning this season, the Dallas Mavericks look playoff-bound once again.

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Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars, though an infant franchise in American sports, boast two Stanley Cup Finals appearances and one championship in their short history. For that they can thank future Hall-of-Fame center Mike Modano, the all-time leading scorer among American-born players. Modano's name has become synonymous with the Dallas Stars and hockey in general— he almost guarantees at least 20 goals every season. But Modano, now 37, is taking a back seat to younger players like Brenden Morrow and Niklas Hagman. The two are leading the Dallas Stars in points and look to keep the team competitive in the National League Hockey's tough Pacific Division.

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FC Dallas

With an average record, negative goal differential and no player capable of cracking the list of Major League Soccer's top ten scorers, FC Dallas' success speaks to the competitive parity in MLS. Captain Carlos Ruiz's production fell from 13 goals in 2006 to seven this year, and the Guatemalan striker is tied for second in the league with nine yellow cards. Defender Juan Toja completes Dallas's one-two misdemeanor punch, leading the league with 83 fouls committed. Yet despite FC Dallas' proclivity for violating the rules, they've found their way into the MLS playoffs and look capable of unseating defending champion Houston Dynamo.

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