NFL Capsules: Cowboys play out West twice in preseason again - Brownsville Herald: National

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NFL Capsules: Cowboys play out West twice in preseason again

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Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 10:00 pm

IRVING (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys will play two preseason games out West after opening the exhibition schedule in the Hall of Fame game against Miami.

No dates are set for games at Oakland and Arizona, although they will be the weekends of Aug. 9 and Aug. 16. The Cowboys will have training camp in Oxnard, Calif.

The Cowboys wrap up the preseason with home games against Cincinnati and Houston. The Bengals will visit Cowboys Stadium the weekend of Aug. 23, and the Texans game likely will be on Aug. 29.

Dallas plays the Dolphins on Aug. 4 as part of a Pro Football Hall of Fame weekend that will include the induction of offensive lineman Larry Allen and former coach Bill Parcells.

Vikings to start final Dome season vs. Texans

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings will start their final season at the Metrodome at home, against Houston in an exhibition game the weekend of Aug. 8-10.

The NFL announced the preseason schedule on Thursday, but most exact dates and times haven't been set.

The Vikings will play at Buffalo the weekend of Aug. 15-17 and at San Francisco on Aug. 25 before hosting Tennessee on either Aug. 29 or 30. The San Francisco game will be televised nationally by NBC.

The regular season schedule will be released later this month.

The Vikings have played at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, now known as Mall of America Field, since 1982. They'll move to TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota for 2014 and 2015 before opening their new downtown home in 2016.

Saints to play only AFC teams in 2013 preseason

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — The New Orleans Saints' 2013 preseason schedule is comprised of four AFC opponents, including a nationally televised game at Houston.

New Orleans' preseason schedule, which was released Thursday, begins with a pair of home game against Kansas City and Oakland, followed by road games against the Texans and Miami.

The game at Houston will kick off at 3 p.m. (local time) on Aug. 25. The Texans and Saints have met in every preseason since 2008.

Dates and times for the games against the Chiefs, Raiders and Dolphins have yet to be announced.

New Orleans' visit to Miami will be its first since winning the Super Bowl there in February 2010.

Panthers face Super Bowl champs in preseason

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers will visit the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens for a nationally televised preseason game Aug. 22, the NFL announced.

The Panthers open the preseason against at home against the Chicago Bears on Aug. 9.

The next two games are on the road — Aug. 15 at the Philadelphia Eagles followed by the game at Baltimore which will be televised by ESPN.

Carolina finishes the preseason at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The date for that game has not been determined.

Chiefs open preseason at New Orleans

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs will open preseason play against the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome.

The NFL announced preseason matchups Thursday, although dates and times are not yet set.

After playing New Orleans, the Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium, the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field and the Green Bay Packers back home in Kansas City.

League News

Stadium fans get look into locker rooms

NEW YORK (AP) — Hey, NFL fans, here's a new view for you at the stadium: the locker rooms.

The NFL has ordered all teams to have cameras in their locker rooms next season, with video shown only on stadium scoreboards. It's part of Commissioner Roger Goodell's initiative for "enhancing the fan experience in our stadiums."

The videos will be available on team apps as well.

Each team will operate the cameras and will determine what is shown on the video boards and apps. The Cowboys already have been making such videos available to fans.

"Our philosophy is to always look for ways to improve," Goodell has said. "Our goals are to continually evolve the game to make it better and safer, serve our fans in new ways, and represent the NFL with integrity. We do that by emphasizing quality and innovation, including the latest technology as it applies to everything from equipment to medical care to the stadium experience."

NFL vice president of business operations Eric Grubman said last summer that the cameras were coming. They have arrived.

"Then we will be offering unique content, as we already are doing with the video replays involving referees," Grubman said. "I can see cameras in locker rooms or tunnels or coaches' facilities before games. Fans want it, and clubs can do it."

Teams also will be required to show all replays available during a video review on the video boards, not just those the home team would choose — ones that might be favorable to the host club.

Grubman has predicted more in-stadium improvements for fans, especially in the use of videos.

"We're thinking of really advanced video in concourses and parking lots," he said. "Fans want to know what is going on around the league, they don't want those areas to be a zone of less information and it doesn't need to be."

-- Barry Wilner

NFL: No violation in combine questions

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL found no "specific violations" in questions teams asked college players at February's scouting combine.

Colorado tight end Nick Kasa and other players said they were asked about their sexual orientation, but did not identify by which teams or what questions they asked. The NFL's investigation found no such improper questioning.

"Our review has not established any specific violations," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday, "but we have made it clear to our clubs what is acceptable when interviewing potential players and other job candidates."

The issue was discussed at last month's owners meetings and Commissioner Roger Goodell said that if such questions were asked, "that's unacceptable."

"We will do things the right way," Goodell said then. "We will give them that education and that training. I hope that that will solve the problem."

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell also said they were asked about their sexual orientation during an informal period at the combine when the players met with most of the 32 clubs.

Although no teams were found to have broken from league policies, the NFL would take action if it receives new information establishing a violation was committed.

Last month, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman urged the league to investigate the alleged questioning, which he said would be illegal in New York. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal in New York and in at least 23 other states where the NFL's 32 teams are based.

Team News

Detroit K Hanson retiring after 21 seasons

Jason Hanson wanted to keep on kicking. His body told him to stop.

The Detroit Lions kicker is retiring after 21 seasons, announcing his decision Thursday. The 42-year-old Hanson thought about returning, but problems with his heel prompted him to call it a career.

"It's time," Hanson said. "I gave serious thought and consideration to playing in 2013. While the determination and willpower are still there, the wear and tear on my body, especially the issues I had and still have with my heel, have convinced me that it's time to retire."

Hanson became the first player to play 300 games with one franchise, finishing with 327. He also set an NFL record last year when he played his 21st season with the same team.

Hanson made a record 52 field goals from at least 50 yards. He's third on the career scoring list at 2,150 points and third in field goals with 495. Hanson is the only player with 2,000 points for one franchise.

"Jason Hanson is the gold standard," Lions President Tom Lewand said. "He had an exemplary, Hall-of-Fame worthy career on the field, and for those of us fortunate to know him well, he is an even better person, teammate, friend, husband and father."

Hanson joined such players as Jerry Rice, George Blanda, Morten Andersen, Gary Anderson and Vinny Testaverde with 21 pro seasons.

It's already a big sports weekend for Michigan teams. The Detroit Tigers play their home opener Friday, and Michigan is at the Final Four in Atlanta. But by the time Tuesday rolls around, Hanson should have more of the spotlight to himself.

Hanson joined the Lions in 1992, the year after they reached the NFC championship game. He played in six postseason games — all losses — and endured the team's 0-16 performance of 2008.

But his perseverance was rewarded in 2011 when the Lions made the playoffs for the first time in a dozen years.

"I look forward to my press conference next Tuesday where I can publicly thank so many people who have played such a big part in my career," Hanson said. "You all helped me along this journey and I am forever grateful."

-- Noah Trister

Ravens terminate contract of LB Ayanbadejo

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens have terminated the contract of reserve linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, a three-time Pro Bowler on special teams.

Ayanbadejo has played 10 seasons in the NFL, the last five with Baltimore. He started four games at linebacker for the Ravens, but his main contribution was on special teams.

General manager Ozzie Newsome announced the move Thursday.

Ayanbadejo has been an open proponent for gay marriage, a stance he reiterated in the days leading up to the Super Bowl.

The 36-year-old Ayanbadejo had a career-high 30 tackles from scrimmage last season for the Super Bowl champions. He also had a sack and 14 stops on special teams.

He made the Pro Bowl on special teams in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Ayanbadejo started his career with Miami in 2003.

Sensabaugh honoring late brother with fundraiser

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Titans cornerback Coty Sensabaugh is helping honor his late brother by taking part in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's fundraiser.

Sensabaugh's older brother, Jamaar, died at the age of 16 a week after being diagnosed with leukemia when Sensabaugh was only 11. That is why Sensabaugh is helping the society with its Man and Woman of the Year fundraiser that started Thursday with winners picked after June 13.

The Titans cornerback came up with the campaign slogan of "A Fight for Jamaar" with information on his website at www.cotysensabaugh.net or donations directly to the society at www.coty4acure.com .

Sensabaugh, a native of Kingsport, Tenn., also is taking part in several fundraisers for the campaign. He says it is his responsibility to raise awareness about the disease in his brother's memory.

Falcons release veteran tackle Clabo

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons released starting tackle Tyson Clabo on Thursday, with the move effective after June 1.

Clabo started all 101 games he played for the Falcons, including 16 games in each of the last five seasons at right tackle. He has played the left side in his career, too.

The team will save about $4.5 million in salary by cutting Clabo, who joined Atlanta's practice squad in 2005 after signing with Denver as an undrafted free agent the previous year.

Atlanta had less than $2 million in salary cap space heading toward the draft and needed to free up money to sign rookies.

Clabo could find employment quickly with several teams in need of a tackle. But with that position so strong in this year's draft, his options might be limited until after the draft.

"Unfortunately, we had to make another difficult decision regarding our roster today," said Falcons coach Mike Smith. "Tyson was a valuable contributor to our football team during his time here and we appreciate everything he did for this team and in the community."

Chiefs sign former Packers linebacker Zombo

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs added depth at linebacker Thursday by signing Frank Zombo, who had spent the past three seasons with the Green Bay Packers.

Zombo will be reunited with longtime Packers personnel man John Dorsey, who was hired as the Chiefs' general manager in January and has been aggressively overhauling the team's roster.

A former undrafted free agent, Zombo played college football at Central Michigan before signing with Green Bay. He played in 25 games and made nine starts, racking up 53 tackles and five sacks while forcing a pair of fumbles while dealing with several injuries.

On Wednesday, the Chiefs signed reserve offensive lineman Tommy Draheim, who spent time with the Packers in training camp last season.

Giants sign DT Patterson

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants have signed defensive tackle Mike Patterson, who spent the previous eight seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Patterson joins DT Cullen Jenkins, who also was cut in February, in moving from the Eagles to the Giants.

Patterson underwent brain surgery in January 2012, but returned to the Eagles for five games last season. He was diagnosed with a brain malformation in August 2012 after suffering a seizure during a training camp practice.

A first-round draft pick in 2005 out of Southern California, the 29-year-old Patterson played in 115 games with 99 starts. He made 551 tackles, 16 1-2 sacks, had four forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.

Cardinals sign CB McCann, S Taylor

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals have signed cornerback Bryan McCann and safety Curtis Taylor to one-year contracts.

McCann played in eight games for Miami last season. In 2011, he played in 12 games with Dallas, Baltimore and Oakland. He began with the Cowboys as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2010. Taylor has played in 12 games for San Francisco in his career. He was on the 49ers' practice squad last postseason after signing with the team on Dec. 26.

In addition, running back Alfonso Smith re-signed with a one-year deal.

The Cardinals also announced their preseason opponents. They will open on the road against Green Bay, then play home games against Dallas and San Diego, then finish with a game at Denver. The dates have not been announced.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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