Dallas Cowboys

Standoff between Texas and the feds continues over Rio Grande access

Tensions between Texas and the federal government intensify over Border Patrol access.

On the day after the release of the findings of a federal investigation into the 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, what we’re learning and what it could mean for accountability.

With the intensification of winter weather this week, how advocates for people experiencing homelessness are trying to shelter and care for Texans left out in the cold.

A sneak peek at the Super Bowl prospects for the Houston Texans, facing a big playoff challenge this weekend.

And we’ll have the week in politics with Matthew Watkins of the Texas Tribune.

La Pitada

554 miles from AT&T Stadium you will find a Dallas Cowboys celebratory tradition that is unique in Texas. You might expect it in Dallas or Arlington, but to find this three decade tradition thriving in a Brownsville neighborhood, is both surprising and heart-warming. It is called La Pitada. Texas Standard commentator WF Strong has more.

New invasive species sighted in Southeast Texas nature preserve

The Supreme Court of the United States issues its first orders and opinions of the new year. UT Legal scholar Steven Vladek on the impact and what to watch for today. Other stories we’re tracking: the week ahead at the Texas lege: Sergio Martinez-Beltrán of the Texas newsroom on attention turning to teachers and the classroom. And President Biden’s Border initiatives and the connection to past administrations’ efforts to manage immigration. Also an historic grand hotel in Palacios spared from the wrecking ball, at least for the moment. And a surprising discovery at a huge federal nature preserve in southeast Texas. Plus the Cowboys maintain their losing streak in the playoffs and much more today on the Texas Standard:

New NSA recruitment effort underway in San Antonio

Sticker shock at the grocery store. We’ll explore whether and how pandemic disruptions continue to affect the food supply chain. Also the race-motivated mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart in 2019 ruptured a community and captured the world’s attention. But the prosecution of the shooter has languished. What’s happening now? We’ll explore. And Russia’s invasion of Ukraine kicked off a series of events that are now having an impact on the Texas Gulf Coast. We’ll explain. Plus one of San Antonio’s biggest employers is hiring. Now the secretive National Security Agency is sharing a bit about its Texas operation. And the playoff win on the road that broke a decades-long streak for the Cowboys. All of those stories and more today on the Texas Standard.

Texas Standard: February 10, 2021

The wait for a vaccine and the frustration of many over even getting on a list. We put some questions to a doctor on the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel today on the Texas Standard. So how is Texas allocating vaccines and why did the state open up phase 1B wider than the CDC recommendations? We get some answers. We’ll also explore the equity of vaccine distribution… and whether should teachers be higher on the priority list. Plus a push by Texas sports team to legalize betting. And the new voice that’s come out in hesitation. And Texas through the lens of a new PBS Nature documentary. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

The Weird Connection Between Tony Romo and Tony Roma’s

When Tony Romo joined the Dallas Cowboys back in 2003, some people confused his name with that of Tony Roma’s, the restaurant chain. They thought maybe Tony Romo was related to the Tony Roma family, perhaps heir to the baby back ribs fortune, even though there was an important one letter of difference at the end of the names. Everybody knows by now that there is no relationship between Tony Romo and Tony Roma’s, but there is quite a deep connection between the Dallas Cowboys and Tony Roma’s that few people know about.

Back in 1976, the Dallas Cowboys played the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl X in Miami, a game the Cowboys lost by four points. After the game, Clint Murchison, Jr., owner and founder of the Dallas Cowboys, went to dine at the only Tony Roma’s restaurant in existence at the time. It was in North Miami. He was so impressed with the ribs and the cole slaw, that in legendary Texas style, he said to himself, “I like this restaurant. I think I’ll buy it and move it to Texas.”

These quick draw decisions were not unusual for Murchison. He was once forced to spend a good deal of time with bankers in New York City and soon found himself frustrated that he couldn’t get a decent bowl of chili or good smoked brisket. So, he did the only rational thing a rich Texan could do. He opened his own restaurant there in Manhattan. He called it The Dallas Cowboy. It served classic Texas chili and smoked brisket. Problem solved.

Back to Tony Roma’s. Clint Murchison couldn’t buy the original Tony Roma’s because Tony wouldn’t sell it. But Clint did buy the franchise rights. Within just a few years, there were Tony Roma’s in Manhattan (giving Murchison a second place to get food he liked when he was stranded in New York), Hollywood, Dallas – and the headquarters soon moved to Dallas (well, Plano to be exact) where it remained until just last year.

It could be said that Clint Murchison, Jr. started two great franchises in his life – the Dallas Cowboys and Tony Roma’s. The Dallas Cowboys are today the most valuable team in the NFL. In fact, at $4 billion, Forbes says the Cowboys are the most valuable sports franchise in the world. Worth more than New England or Green Bay. Worth more than the New York Yankees. Worth more even than Manchester United or Real Madrid.

Jerry Jones must be given his due for creating a good deal of that value, but Murchison did build the Cowboys into a marquee name in the NFL before he sold the team. As for Tony Roma’s, it is privately owned so I don’t know its value, but I do know the restaurants have gross sales of over $300 million a year. That’s a lot of ribs, y’all. And now they’ve added lamb ribs to their newest menu.

Just as the Cowboys are known worldwide, Tony Roma’s is, too; 150 restaurants in 30 countries on six continents. You can eat at Tony Roma’s in Madrid, in Tokyo, in Bangkok, Lima, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, where there are eight to choose from, or at locations right here in Texas. Yes, Clint Murchison, Jr. gave us the sacred tradition of watching the gladiators of the gridiron on Sunday afternoons and he gave us the food to watch ‘em with, too. Now, that’s a mighty fine accomplishment. A mighty fine man.

Tony Romo may have no official relationship with Tony Roma’s. But I think he should buy a franchise so we can say I’m going to Tony Romo’s Tony Roma’s. That would be hard to say three times real fast, which I’m sure you’re gonna try as soon as you’re done reading, which is now.

Texas Standard: November 18, 2016

According to some in Sacramento, the election outcome is an existential threat. Has California become the new Texas? Plus Texas has legalized the medical use of cannabis oil, but the fees for doing business may make it impossible. A co author of the bill wonders if that wasn’t part of the plan, we’ll hear from her. Also, a prominent public figure delivers a concession speech: only this one’s not politics, it’s football. We’ll hear what the fuss is about, and why it matters in a larger sense. Plus a Texas history textbook from the 1950’s rediscovered, and reviewed. And the week in politics and much more coming up today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 27, 2016

Glass ceiling shattered, so whats next? Texas Democrats and Republicans point to a possible challenge to Ted Cruz from a prominent Latino, we’ll explore. Also what’ll it take to sell Texas’ Bernie Sanders supporters on Hillary Clinton? What about Bernie himself? The former candidate makes the case personally to the Texas Delegation today, we’ll hear how that went down. Plus lawmakers thought they’d come up with a way to beat synthetic marijuana. But a new wave of overdoses in Houston suggests otherwise. Also 50 years after the Texas Tower Shooting, the state of gun violence and mental health. And the man in the hat, was he really all that? Those stories and lots more today on the Texas Standard: