Mobile, Alabama – Where Cowboys Headlines Are Made in January


I have not spent a lot of time in Mobile, Alabama, but this time of year I hate that place. It’s really not Mobile’s fault. I mean I have passed through it many times on the way to Destin Florida, and it seems like a quaint, historic and proud Gulfside community. It’s just that for most of the last 16 years the biggest Cowboys news in the month of January has come out of (wait for it)……Mobile.

Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett scouting the Senior Bowl on Tuesday in Mobile, Alabama

This year the big news is that  Monte Kiffin will be back as the defensive coordinator. This really isn’t news because he is under contract and Jerry never indicated that Kiffin was in trouble. It’s just  that most of the media that cover the Cowboys and most of the Cowboys fans are logical. Logic dictates that the man who coordinated the worst defense in the NFL would be looking for a new defense to coordinate. But logic isn’t always a passenger on a Cowboys trip.

Oh for the days when the January trips were to exotic places like Philadelphia, San Francisco or even Seattle. I moved here and began covering sports in the 90’s and every January was exciting. I moved from Michigan where January is the most depressing month of the year. It is always cold, always gray and the Lions always miss the playoffs. After covering Cowboys’ playoff runs from 92-98,  I remember thinking there is nothing better than an NFL playoff run to get you over the post- holiday blues. I know that fans feel the same way, because so many of my friends are Cowboys fans.

I saw a note that the NFC Championship game ratings were up 17% from last year. That is good for Fox and I work for Fox, but do you realize how much better the ratings would have been if the Cowboys had been playing in that game? Or how about the Richard Sherman story? As big as it has been, can you imagine how much more play it would have gotten if he played for the Cowboys or even if it had happened against the Cowboys?

I loved covering stories like that. Super Bowl XXVII is still my favorite. I went to California a couple days early and spent some time in Thousand Oaks showing haunting images of the Cowboys old practice facility there. I stayed an extra day too and followed Troy Aikman to The Tonight Show With Jay Leno the day after Troy’s  MVP performance. The Leon Lett interview during media day at Super Bowl XXVIII became national news. At Super Bowl XXX the story broke of John Blake calling Troy Aikman a racist. Drama followed this club then as it would now, if only they could field a winner.

Instead it is the Broncos and the Seahawks preparing for the Super Bowl while the Cowboys are big players at the Senior Bowl. “I’m just disappointed as I stand here,”  Jerry Jones said this week. “ I’m just sick and not feeling very good about not playing on Sunday.” I am sick about where Jerry was when he uttered that quote, he was in Mobile.

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John Rhadigan has called Texas home for nearly 25 years, having spent 11 years at NBC 5 as a sports reporter/anchor and 13 years as an anchor at Fox Sports SW. Rhadigan is the recipient of more than a dozen Emmy Awards for sports reporting and anchoring.