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Jerry Jones backs Cowboys coach Wade Phillips

09.24.10 at 3:05 pm ET
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Despite a plethora of chatter and speculation suggesting that Cowboys coach Wade Phillips is losing favor with Jerry Jones, the owner voiced his support of Phillips and the Cowboys coaching staff despite their 0-2 start to the season. “I can just give you a very affirmative ‘no,’ ” Jones stated on KRLD-FM in Dallas when asked if he had lost confidence in the coach or if he would make a change with a loss this Sunday.

The Cowboys will face Houston (2-0) on Sunday in a critical matchup that is being heralded as the a changing of the guard between the two Texas football teams. With a loss, the Cowboys would also be at a serious disadvantage to qualify for the playoffs; only five teams in NFL history have ever overcome an 0-3 start to reach the playoffs. Phillips, whose job security has been a constant topic in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, signed a two-year extension through 2011 at the end of last season after leading the Cowboys to their first playoff win since 1996.

However, Jones made it clear that he expects nothing but positive results from this year’s team, so Phillips’ position in the Cowboys organization could be a future concern if the team fails to meet the expectations before it.

Read More: Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, Rumor Mill, Wade Phillips

Jamie and Frank McCourt begin mediation

09.24.10 at 2:32 pm ET
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Mediation began Friday between Jamie and Frank McCourt in Los Angeles. The McCourts, in divorce proceedings, arrived at a downtown courthouse to begin negotiations that could determine the future ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Jamie McCourt hopes to convince Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman to nullify a postnuptual agreement, granting her part ownership in the National League West team. Negotiations could continue through the weekend if both sides are unable to come to a settlement.

Read More: Frank McCourt, Los Angeles Dodgers, Rumor Mill,

Report: Expanded NBA technical rules have complainers in a pickle

09.24.10 at 12:35 pm ET
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Perhaps it’s for the best that Rasheed Wallace has retired.

According to an ESPN report, the league expanded the guideline on calling technical fouls during the referees’ annual meeting in Jersey City, N.J., on Thursday, making “overt” player reactions reason for a ‘T.’ As if Wallace, the all-time NBA leader in technical fouls, needed any help in that department. According to new guidelines, a player may receive a technical foul for:

— Running directly at the ref to complain.

— Questioning a call excessively, even if in a calm manner.

— Making aggressive gestures, such as air punches, on the court.

— Using demonstrative disagreement, such as hitting his own arms to demonstrate how he was fouled.

Though similar crackdowns have been discussed in years prior, most notably 2005-06, league officials expect enforcement to increase and the rules to stick this time around. “Heat of the moment” reactions are tolerable, as are discussions with referees, but the intensity levels of these actions will be under increased scrutiny.

Maybe every foul called on LeBron James won’t be the first any more.

Read More: NBA, rasheed wallace, Rumor Mill, technical fouls

Jamal Lewis is thinking comeback

09.24.10 at 11:48 am ET
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Jamal Lewis retired after a disappointing end with the Cleveland Browns last season to what was a stellar career. The former 2,000-yard back is thinking about making a comeback. He told Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun that he keeps an eye on the NFL, particularly on the teams that might need a veteran running back. He also said that he is 250 pounds, 10 above his playing weight.

Read More: Jamal Lewis, Rumor Mill,

Raiders to Jason Campbell: Don’t talk

09.24.10 at 11:38 am ET
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Jason Campbell’s tenure as the Raiders’ starting quarterback didn’t even last two weeks and now that the team has turned to Bruce Gradkowski, he’s not talking about. At the team’s request. Campbell turned down media inquiries, citing the team’s wishes.

Read More: Bruce Gradkowski, Jason Campbell, Rumor Mill,

Could Chiefs consider moving Matt Cassel?

09.24.10 at 10:51 am ET
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Former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel continues to struggle despite the Chiefs’ 2-0 start, and his future with the team might be in question at the end of the season. Writes NFL.com columnist Jason La Canfora: “Matt Cassel is running out of excuses for his poor play. … I continue to think the Chiefs will strongly consider getting out of his contract in the offseason.”

Read More: Matt Cassel, Rumor Mill,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Smartest players in sports

09.24.10 at 7:15 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

SATURDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 4:10 p.m. (FOX, WEEI)
MLS: Crew at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

SUNDAY:
NFL: Bills at Patriots, 1 p.m. (CBS)
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 8:05 p.m. (ESPN, WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ The Sporting News has a list of the 20 smartest athletes, and sitting at No. 1 is former Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow, now with the A’s. Breslow, a Connecticut native, majored in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale. Also on the list are Harvard products Ryan Fitzpatrick (Bills) and Matt Birk (Ravens), Dartmouth alumnus Brad Ausmus (Dodgers) and New Hampshire native Matt Bonner (Spurs). No Boston pro players made the cut, but a pair of rivals did: Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Lakers big man Pau Gasol.

‘™¦ Jets legend Joe Namath weighed in on the Braylon Edwards controversy, criticizing the team for allowing Edwards to play Sunday following his DUI arrest. Meanwhile, the Jets said they won’t announce until just before the game against the Dolphins how long Edwards will be allowed to play in the contest.

‘™¦ Don Nelson was pushed out at Golden State by new owner Joe Lacob. Tim Kawakami at the San Jose Mercury News explains why the Celtics legend had to go.

‘™¦ In The Los Angeles Times, Bill Plaschke rips Lakers center Andrew Bynum for delaying surgery over the summer that now will cause him to have a delayed start to training camp.

‘™¦ Following the Ohio University mascot’s attack on his Ohio State counterpart on Saturday, Andy Staples at Sports Illustrated talks to other mascots to get their opinion on the situation.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Sept. 24, 1960, this pitcher debuted for the Red Sox. He appeared in four games that season, facing 15 batters, and did not allow a hit. He would become an eternal trivia question the following season when he surrendered Roger Maris‘ 61st home run. Who is he?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s more sad, rather than embarrassed. This type of thing doesn’t represent who we are or who I want us to be and who Rex [Ryan] wants us to be. This is not the goal we’re striving for.” ‘€” Jets owner Woody Johnson, after talking to Braylon Edwards about his DUI arrest

STAT OF THE DAY: 50 ‘€” Home runs this season by Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, who reached the mark Thursday night vs. the Mariners

‘NET RESULTS: Some fancy dribbling from the Women’s U-17 World Cup soccer tournament.

Impressive high school football catch.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Tracy Stallard

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Gerry Marsden, lead singer of Gerry and the Pacemakers, is 68 Friday.

Read More: Andrew Bynum, braylon edwards, Craig Breslow, Don Nelson

Bynum might miss start of season

09.23.10 at 7:06 pm ET
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Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register writes that Lakers center Andrew Bynum is unlikely to be ready for the start of the coming season.

The Lakers open their regular season on October 26, but because of a large delay in the timing of Bynum’s knee surgery, the team will likely be without the center throughout training camp, the preseason and perhaps the opener. Bynum originally scheduled his surgery for July 18 — over a month after the season ended on June 17 — and pushed back the procedure 10 days due to scheduling conflicts.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Hornets, 76ers pull off trade

09.23.10 at 12:35 pm ET
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The Philadelphia 76ers have received forwards Craig Brackins and Darius Songaila in a trade with the New Orleans Hornets for Jason Smith and Willie Green.

Songaila averaged 7.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 75 games for New Orleans last season. Brackins, whom Philadelphia had targeted in the June draft, was selected No. 21 overall by the Hornets, but was still a subject of interest by the 76ers. The trade was completed on Thursday morning.

Smith, a first-round draft pick by the 76ers in 2007, is a 7-foot forward who averaged 3.4 points per game and 2.4 rebounds per game in 56 games last season.

Green, a seven-year NBA veteran at shooting guard, has spent all of his years in Philadelphia. He averaged 8.7 points and 2.1 assists in 73 games last season.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Shaquille O’Neal joins other celebs for TwitChange

09.23.10 at 8:15 am ET
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Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal has joined more than 150 celebrities in TwitChange, a fundraiser to help troubled children in Haiti.

With TwitChange, bidders can go to eBay and attempt to purchase a retweet or Twitter mention from a celebrity. As of 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning, the highest bid for an O’Neal retweet was $510 and the leading bid for an O’Neal TwitChange Mega Package  (O’€™Neal will follow you on Twitter for a minimum of 90 days, will retweet one of your tweets and will send out a tweet including your @twitterhandle) was $2,550.

O’Neal has over 3.2 million followers on Twitter.